When you think of a cat, the first thing that probably comes to mind is its purr. But do you know why cats purr? It turns out that there is actually a scientific reason behind this behavior.
In this article, we will discuss the different reasons cats purr and what it means for their overall health. We will also dispel some of the myths about why cats purr, so you can better understand this fascinating behavior. So, why do cats purr? The answer might surprise you!
What Is Purring?
Before we dive into why cats purr, let’s first define what purring is. Purring is a unique, rhythmic hum and vibration that cats make as a way of expressing happiness and contentment. The sound of purring has been described as soothing and even therapeutic; it is rumored that the low-frequency waves created by purring can even help heal wounds faster!
While cats are the most well-known animals to purr, some other species, such as spotted hyenas, jaguars, leopards and even gorillas have also been known to produce this peculiar hum. There is still much mystery about why exactly cats love to purr so much!
Some experts believe that it may be a way for cats to relax and cope with pain or stress; others even argue that it is a form of communication between cats and their owners. Whatever the purpose of purring may be, one thing is certain – hearing your cat happily purring is simply one of life’s simple joys.
Why Do Cats Purr When They Sleep?
Most of us enjoy hearing our feline friends make this calming sound, and many people find it comforting to hear a pet express such contentment. But what purpose does it serve? Read on for more information about cats’ mysterious sleeping sounds and explore possible explanations for why cats purr when they sleep!
#1 – They Don’t Sleep Very Deeply
Cats may sleep soundly, but they don’t sleep as deeply as humans. This is beneficial for cats, because it allows them to remain vigilant and alert in the face of any potential danger. During long cats naps, cats can still be partly aware of what’s happening around them, allowing them to purr in contentment or jump up if needed.
Many cats become very relaxed when they purr, which can also help cats get a more restful sleep should any feared noises occur. So even though cats may not sleep as deeply as humans do, their light slumber does have its benefits.
#2 – They’re Self-Soothing
As cats purr contentedly, it can be comforting to know that cats are capable of self-soothing. When cats feel safe, they will often produce a low-frequency and vibration sound known as purring which is believed to help cats recover from stress or illness and heal themselves.
Studies suggest that cats will also sometimes purr in response to something pleasant, such as petting from their owner or the presence of food. Regardless of the reason, cats’ ability to self-soothe makes them even more appealing to owners looking for a source of calmness and relaxation.
#3 – They’re Content
Cats have always been known as content animals; cats purr while they’re being pet, after all! This contentment is something cats are known for and possess in abundance. Even when cats aren’t around humans that they like, they can often be caught sleeping – a sign that cats are able to find contentment no matter where they are.
When cats curl up and snuggle into their bedding or purr while being pet, you know that cats have found contentment and peace with their situation. The saying “happy as a cat” couldn’t be more true when it comes to cats finding joy in every moment of their lives.
#4 – They’re Feeling Unwell
When cats are unwell, they will often purr. Even though cats purr when they’re content and it seems like a soothing sound, scientists aren’t sure why cats purr when they feel sick. It could be a natural defense mechanism cats have in order to offer themselves comfort during tough times.
Studies suggest that cats can recognize certain frequencies of purring which can act as a self-healing remedy for the cats! Something about their purrs increases blood flow and possibly even helps with healing broken bones. Cats have always been at the forefront of taking care of their own health and we can learn a thing or two from them!
#5 – They’re In Pain
Pets, like cats, can be an important part of a family. When cats are in pain they don’t meow but instead purr. This purr can range from low and steady to incredibly loud, often indicating how serious the pain is. People need to understand that cats deserve the same level of care regardless of how they express their physical discomforts and if cats are showing signs pain, then it’s time to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Failure to do so could result in even more intense pain or in certain cases death. Cats purring doesn’t mean they’re completely healthy and people need to take that extra step to make sure our feline friends are safe and healthy for years to come.
#6 – They’re Anxious
Anxiety can have a debilitating impact on cats, causing them to display signs of stress, such as during events like a trip to the vet. However cats are remarkably resilient creatures, and one way they show their inner strength is through purring. It has been suggested that purring serves as a self-soothing mechanism cats use to comfort themselves in times of anxiety.
You might even see your cat purring when they’re feeling scared or uneasy, reaffirming the suggestion that cats don’t just purr when they’re content – it can be a sign of fear too! When you next hear your cat’s gentle rumble, recognise how strong they are tackling their anxious states with purrs!
#7 – They’re Not Purring, They’re Snoring
Although cats are often known for their trademark purr, most cats also snore from time to time. When cats doze off into a deep sleep, their larynx (throat muscle) vibrates, much like ours does during human snoring.
Usually, the tones created by cats when they snore are much gentler and easier to miss than a human’s snoring. This is why cats may appear to be contentedly purring in their sleep, when in reality they are actually catching some Zs! Though it’s a common occurrence, cat owners should keep an eye on how deeply asleep cats appear while they’re making these noise so that they don’t remain too deeply sedentary – cats need physical activity to stay healthy!
Why Don’t Cats Sleep Deeply?
For many people, a deep and restful sleep is something they look forward to every night. Unfortunately, cats don’t seem to enjoy the same privileges. Cats tend to nap rather than sleep deeply and this could be attributed to the fact that their ancestors, who lived in the wild, needed to remain alert for potential predators or prey at all times.
Even domesticated house cats possess many behaviors similar to those of their wild relatives and are constantly looking out for danger. This often leads cats spending much of their time awake, with brief bouts of light napping as opposed to a more lengthy deep sleep. Consequently, humans may sometimes find their cats napping at odd hours or even becoming nocturnal.
Cats purr for a variety of reasons, but the most common reason is to signify contentment. However, they also purr when they’re stressed, sick, or in pain as a way to self-soothe. As cat owners, it’s important to pay attention to our feline friends’ body language and overall health so we can tell when they’re trying to communicate something specific. If you think your cat might be purring for an unusual reason, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian.