Why Do Cats Purr

We have a neighbor who has cats. RJ loves to watch these cats, how they play, sleep and eat. Yesterday, she approached me and asked, “Mama, bakit may tunog ang pusa na brrr-brrr?” (Why do cats purr?) I don’t know how to answer her question because neither I know why cats purr. So curious RJ and curious me surf the net together. And here is what we found out.

Kittens learn to purr when they are 2 days old. This is a bonding mechanism between kitten and mother. As the cats grow the purring continue. Most cat species, big and small purr. Cats’ body vibrates while they purr and purrs come in varying intensities.

We often thought that cats purr when they are content and happy because they purr when they are nursing their kittens or when humans provide social contact via petting, stroking or feeding. What we don’t know is cats purr most during tense or traumatic moments. When suddenly and violently injured, even at moments near death, a cat will often purr. It is their means of communication and a potential source of self-soothing and self-healing.

This relaxing, vibrating sound happens to be in frequency which promotes healing of bones and eases muscle pains. Studies show that cats tends to have faster healing bone fracture than other animals and suffer less from osteoarthritis and other bone disease.

This self-healing of the cat has facilitated the notion that “cats have nine lives”.

Scientific American

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