When I imagine a moment of ultimate bliss and content it almost always involves a Cat purring on my lap, me sitting on the porch, breath taking view before me and sky exploding in colors. I pet my Cat and feel the softness and warmth of her fur beneath my fingertips while I let the fullness of the present sink in… and then I let go of everything and melt into this dream of sky, colors, the porch, the Cat, her fur and that soft healing sound telling me I’m right where I should be-and for that moment, all is right with the world.
For Cat lovers, purring is probably one of the top features of the Cat, regardless of Cats being entirely and ultimately awesome in every aspect 😉 For me it invokes beautiful childhood memories, sets me off to a daydream of better tomorrow, relaxes and generally creates a feeling of happiness.
Besides having beneficial psychological impact on humans, what does that magical purring sound does for Cats and why do they do it? It’s common knowledge Cats purr when they are content, but having had Cats my entire life and having said my fair share of goodbyes to my fury companions, I also know Cats purr when they are sick, wounded and even scared. I also know my rascals purr when they are hungry and want to earn an extra treat.
So, What is it with these Purrs and what is the science behind the purrfect Purr?
As it turns out there is more to purring than meets our ears and our hearts. Most of the Cats purr, except some big Cat species. Lion or Tiger for instance do not purr, while your leggy and fast-like-the-wind Cheetah purrs like your regular home Kitten. Cats purr by using their larynx and diaphragm muscles. In humans, these are the same muscles that move our vocal cords and help us speak, so for cats, it’s just a way of communicating in their own special way meant for those near and dear, since cats purr at a frequency and volume too low to travel far.
What we certainly know about purring is that it can be a highly beneficial act for the cat itself. Purring is thought to be very soothing and de-stressing for cats which would explain why cats purr when they are unhappy or nervous. It’s a mechanism to help calm themselves much like for instance , crying or laughing in humans. Cats also purr while pregnant or in labor to ease the aches caused by these conditions and its a first means of bonding and communicating with their blind young.
Now here is the part where it gets interesting: Domestic Cats purr at a low frequency of about 26 Hertz, and it would seem that purring, along with other health and psychological benefits for Cats and Humans, includes tissue-regeneration. Purring at that low frequency has the same muscular and bone-strengthening benefits as high-impact exercise on humans. This is why your Kitty Cat jumps around from and to high places with such effortless grace.
So there you go,as you suspected, Cats have superpowers which would make them in conclusion-a Super (Cat) Heroes :).