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And Meow, A Word About Fluffy’s Purr

February 1 2019

Cats have many adorable quirks that have made them beloved pets. Fluffy’s charming meows, adorable furry face, and cute antics have all helped her earn her place in our hearts. However, one of cats’ most charming traits is the fact that these little furballs actually vibrate with happiness. A Carolina Forest, SC vet discusses kitty purrs below.

Purr or Roar

Did you know that kitties that purr don’t roar, and cats that roar don’t purr? Our feline friends are split into two different categories. Big cats, who can roar, belong to the group Panetherinae. There are actually only four kitties in this group: lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars. Purring cats belong to the cateorgy Felinae. Their throats and larynxes are different, so they can’t roar. (Fluffy may very well think she’s roaring when she meows for you to fill her bowl or rescue her toy from beneath the couch, but that’s another topic.)

Purrfect Explanation

It’s generally accepted that cats purr while they are happy. However, Fluffy also purrs when she is sick or scared. This may be a way for her to soothe herself when she’s nervous, or stimulate healing if she is hurt.

Good Vibrations

As it turns out, cat purrs have some interesting qualities. Fluffy’s little motor runs between 25 and 150 hertz. These frequencies have actually been shown to promote healing and bone growth. In fact, these frequencies are often used by physical therapists! Fluffy’s soothing purr can also be very comforting on bad days. This is one reason cats are now often used in therapy.

The Origin of The Purr

Cats may have started purring as a way for mama cats and kittens to communicate. Kittens can’t meow when they are nursing. However, they can purr while nursing. Think of this as an adorable ‘all is well’ signal. It’s worth noting that cats aren’t the only animals that purr. Gorillas, squirrels, and even elephants also purr!

Starting The Purr

Some of our feline pals will start purring the moment you pet them or pick them up. Others need a bit of help getting their motors started. Generally, scratching Fluffy’s ears or stroking her forehead when she is relaxing should activate the purr. (Bonus: purring cats make great sleep aids.) Please call us, your Carolina Forest, SC vet, if ever we can be of assistance. We’re happy to help!

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