Have you ever wondered why cats purr ? We refer to that hum, snore or buzz they make: the purr. These animals never cease to amaze us. At Petlife , we explain why cats purr, what it means, why they do it and how it is produced.
What is cat purr
The purr of the cat is a kind of snore or vibration produced as a sign of well – being, happiness or anxiety. But it also occurs when the cat wants company, is hungry and also, oddly enough, if it feels pain.
If you have a cat as a pet, you know exactly what we are talking about. When your feline companion is calmly lying on your lap or by your side, or when you pet them, you notice a noise and vibration as if an engine were starting inside them.
The purr of the domestic feline is nothing more than a way for it to communicate with its environment. Our furry friends, through this deep and hollow sound, have found a means to convey their state of mind to us. For example, cats in heat are usually very affectionate and cuddly. They rub against their owners and purr a lot.
If you stop to listen carefully to the purr of your mustachioed pussycat, you will see why it is so special. At first it seems a continuous murmur, but if you look closely, you can see that when the cat breathes in or out the air when breathing, that feline sound is different.
Especially since the vast majority of animals, including humans, produce sounds by exhaling the air. But in the case of the cat’s purr, it happens both on expiration and on inspiration .
But there is still more… in this kind of feline whisper, peaks of lower and higher sounds are produced. In addition, they are able to harmonize the sound depending on the urgency of your requests.
How cats purr
Although the purr of cats has been known for many years and has its own definition, it is not yet known exactly how it occurs. However, there are 2 theories:
- A cat’s purr comes from the movement of a series of muscles in the cat’s diaphragm and larynx. This activation in the internal muscles favours a pressure difference in the air that the cat breathes, creating turbulence that causes that characteristic buzzing of the cat.
- Another theory relates cat purr to blood pressure in a vein called the posterior cava. Depending on the flow and pressure that the diaphragm can exert on this vein, they cause small oscillations to be generated that are enlarged by the animal’s rib cage. As a result we would have that hiss of the cat that we like so much.
As a curiosity, you should know that the sweet and soft purr of a minimum has a frequency of about 25 vibrations per second.
What is the purr of cats for
Although the scientific community has not yet agreed on the origin of the purr of cats , it is known what this particular feline murmur is for.
It serves to communicate a feeling of well-being or pleasure. That is, when a pussycat purrs it is showing that it is at ease. A moment in which the animal is enjoying the situation and communicates it to its environment.
In addition, it happens that if you have a cat purring next to you or on your lap, it is very possible that you will begin to feel a pleasant sensation, of tranquility and peace. It can even lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
When do cats use purr?
Cats, those cute feline companions with whom we spend much of our lives, have been with us for thousands of years with their purr.
The possible causes of this peculiar sound have not always been known. Why do cats purr?. When do they use it?
Know that cats purr when they are happy. This is usually the most common reason, but not the only one. Cats also purr when they greet each other with another specimen of the same species that they consider to be their friend or family.
They do it too, while getting a nice grooming or grooming session, or even if they’re comfortable sleeping in another cat’s lake.
But they don’t just purr when in contact with a partner, be it human or animal. They can produce this sound in order to attract the attention of their owners, for example, if it is time to eat.
Do they learn it or is it natural?
The purr of the feline is part of their way of expression to get something, especially attention. From the female who wants to be mounted by the male, she demands pampering or even if the animal is sick.
Purring may have a learned component and a clearly innate component .
A cat quickly learns to associate making this sound and getting attention. But it is also true that a cat puppy that has just been born can purr within a few days of life.
For many years that pass, we will not know exactly the answer. But we do know that there is nothing so pleasant for a human than to feel this buzz of our pet in our lap, right?