Friday, May 10, 2013
WHY DO CATS PURR??
Hi fur-iends and welcome back to The Grable Report! I am Grable Davey and in todays edition we will be talking about why cats purr...
As most humans will agree people adore the sound of a purring cat...but what is the reason that we cats purr?
Well lets start with what researchers tell us...a purr is actually a vibration noise caused when your kitty inhales and exhales air. During normal breathing the space between our vocal chords opens and closes...this is controlled by our internal Larynageal muscle. This muscle in turn is controlled by a very unique Neural Oscillator located in our brain...so I guess you can say we have to use our head to purr...purr-ty smart don't you think!!
There are many types of purrs in the feline world but, not all cats have the ability to purr...
To really understand purring we have to start when we are just newborn kittens, because this is actually the age that cats learn to purr.
Our mothers use their purr to let us know where she is...because remember as newborns we are deaf and blind so the vibrations that are emitted from her purr guides us to her and her all important milk! Amazingly by the age of 2 days old we begin to also purr in return to our mom and littermates. I guess that makes us really smart for being so helpless and young! Did you know that our mommy even uses her purrs to soothe and lull us to sleep...sort of like when a human sings a lullabye to a baby.
Because we learn to purr as infants it is believed that we retain this into adulthood and many kitties even continue as adult cats to purr and knead with their front paws on soft material. This was a comfort thing when we were young and needing to prompt mommys breasts to give milk...so purring and kneading really do go paw in paw with a lot of us. So if a person tells you that a cat that kneads while purring was taken from their mommy to soon...you will know this for what it really is. It is not insecurity as some believe, we are just trying to be comforted by our new mommys or daddys...you!
Now for a myth buster...
It is often said by humans that cats purr because they are happy or content...
This is not necessarily true, certainly we do purr when we are happy or content but, we also purr when we are frightened, nervous, in labor or even sick or in pain. Purring is a stress and pain reliever in the feline world. Purring has even been studied in cats that have damaged bones or tissue. It is believed that the vibration that is emitted when a cat purrs can promote healing and, because the average cats injuries heal faster than most other mammals and much faster than those of a human this seems to have a lot of truth to it. When medical researchers used the simular vibration frequency to that of a purr on injured humans the effect seemed to speed healing. Some experts even agree the purring in felines might actually be an evolutionary asset for your kitty.
Whatever the reason for us to purr, our humans seem to agree that after just a short time of being with their four legged furfaced family member they come to recognize each different purr sound and can identify it to a specific need, almost like a human mothers ability to distingush their babies different cries...whether hungry, needing a pottybreak or simply wanting to be held and loved.
Boy are we smart or what!
So the next time your favorite feline gives you a purr remember...they learned this first from a mothers love...and now they are passing that love to you!
Thank you for reading this Grable Report...Join us again next time for more interesting facts about your cat!