Why do Cats Purr? How I Can I Get Them to do it More?
You may want to know if your cat is happy, and it's not likely you can always read your cat's attitude. But, one sure sign that your cat is rather content is by seeing how much she is purring.
Purring doesn't always mean she is happy, but it's a typical sign of contentment. The low frequency vocalizations are most associated with being relaxed, grooming, nursing and being friendly. Sometimes, it's a way for a cat to soothe themselves in stressful situations, as a way to calm herself.
Does Purring Mean My Cat is Happy?
In most cases, when your cat is relaxed and purring, you can be assured she is a happy cat. You know this is how she reacts when you pet her and stroke her and cuddle with her. Purring is a way to communicate needs.
If you pick up a cat, for example, she may purr because she likes it or because she is nervous. She could also make the same sound when she is feeling sick or in pain, or if she is feeling frightened. Cats produce the noise to comfort themselves when feeling disturbed. A cat will also purr to comfort her young in times of stress.
How Does a Cat Purr?
Cats purr by using their larynx and diaphragm muscles when they inhale and exhale, but there's a lot about the process that is still not understood.
If you think about it, it's nearly impossible to examine or test a cat while she is purring. The moment the exam starts, the cat stops purring.
There is no specific purring organ in a cat. The brain sends a message to the the voice muscles and then they twitch and vibrate the vocal cords when the cat inhales and exhales. That becomes the purring sound that we know and love. Purring is a natural sound that comes from the brain.
Reasons that a Cat Purrs
Cats purr for more than just being happy. From the time they are born, kittens will automatically purr, it's an innate behavior. Here are some specific reasons why they purr.
Mother-Kitten Bond. Kittens will purr after a few days old so that they can let their mothers know where they are, and a mother cat will purr as if to sing her kittens to sleep.
Hunger. A hungry cat will let you know when it's time for dinner by meowing and purring.
Happiness. The easiest way to tell if your cat is happy is when you are stroking her and her eyes are half closed and the tail is still and she's purring.
Pain Relief. In a way to soothe it self, like an aspirin, a cat may try to feel better by purring if she is hurt or in pain. It's also like a child who may suck his thumb to feel better.
Healing. Some veterinarians believe that purring can help a cat feel better because the low vibrations in the body will heal bones and wounds, repair tendons and decrease pain and swelling.
Purring. Some veterinarians who have studied this phenomenon think, is a lot like humans do when they laugh, cry, or do other things to distract themselves when in stressful situations. When cats are next to each other when one is injured, they have what has been described as "purr therapy" where it is thought that the purring actually has a healing quality to it.
As you probably know, hugging a purring at is an amazing cathartic experience. The cat vibrates and you can feel it throughout your body too.
Does Purring Mean my Cat Loves Me?
Although it's proven that purring through the low-frequency vibrations can lower blood pressure, improve depression and promote healing, it's a bit more difficult to prove that the cat loves you when he purrs.
Purring can promote healing of the bones, helping cats who suffer from osteoarthritis, and it promotes a sense of calmness and relaxation. Those waves of energy are positive, and soothing.
And of course, if it promotes you giving her a kind caress, there's probably no doubt that your cat really does love you.