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Why Do Cats Purr?

Think about sitting on the couch all curled up with your cat. You may be watching a movie, or sitting in front of the fire. You’re petting your cat and then you hear the purring sound. You can’t help but smile. We all love hearing the sound of our cats purring. Purring usually means that they are content and happy.

How does a cat purr? Purring involves the rapid movement of the muscles of the larynx combined with the diaphragm. Then as the cat breathes in and out, air hits the vibrating muscles, this then creates the purring sound.

Each cat’s purr is unique. Purring though can mean more than just a good mood. Cats can purr to communicate other emotions as well. For example, when they are hungry their purr can be combined with a meow or cry, to really get your attention. As we all know food is great, and who doesn’t want to eat all the time right?! When we don’t eat we might get a little grumpy, just as our cats may not leave us alone until that bowl is full of food. Then they happily purr while eating and all is right in their little world. You can then finish your cup of coffee.

Kittens can purr from a very young age, this helps them communicate with their Mom. As wellpurring can strengthen their bond. Purring may also be a way of relief, when a cat gets hurt they may purr as a way to help soothe and make them feel better. A cat’s purr can also have benefits for us as humans. Purring can help pet owners relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and keep us happier.

Written by Madison Vandenberg, ACA

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