Do cats purr when in pain?

The purring sound that is constantly made during inhalation and exhalation is one of the distinct characteristics of cats. Cats indeed have perplexing personalities because no other animal can accomplish this feat. The ability to purr is one of the reasons why these animals make purrrfect pets. Purring is typically associated with contentment and happiness. Pet parents would want to ensure the well-being of the beloved pet. Simply by hearing the continuous tonal buzzing made by the cat, the owner is assured that all is well with the pet. Recent studies on feline behaviour have disclosed the fact that illness and pain would make a cat purr as well. Contentment and happiness are not the only reasons why cats purr.

How the cat creates the purring sound is still the topic of discussion among cat-wise people primarily because cats do not have a distinct anatomical feature that can produce the sound. One school of thought believed that the purring sound is created when the space between the glottis is closed and opened due to the movement of the internal laryngeal muscles. Whatever is the mechanics behind the cat’s purring, it is very apparent that cats use purring as a communication tool. It was noted that cats seldom purr when alone. The purring of a cat made while in the company of other cats can be an attempt to be friendly. Cats express affection through purring. Kittens are born deaf and blind. Kittens that have crawled away from the nest will be able to return by following the vibration caused by the mother cat’s purring. Cats purr when they are happy and satisfied. Cat owners have the notion that as long as the cat purrs, all is well with the pet. This was until studies have proven that cats purr for other reasons aside from contentment and happiness.

Cats also purr when they are stressed or in pain. Stress associated with vet visits would make a cat purr. Cats are stoic when it comes to pain. Injured dogs may howl in pain. This is not so with cats because these animals tend to hide when they are sick or injured. Cats appear to have an amazing ability to heal themselves. Guess what an injured cat would do while hiding in dark corners…the cat would purr! Cats would purr when in pain. Science has already proven that some frequencies of vibration cause healing. Apparently, purring is the reason why the healing of bones is much faster in felines than in other animals. Studies conducted have shown that purring frequency that is within the 20 to 59 Hz frequencies have healing properties. The vibration produced when the cat purrs is not unlike a mechanism that speeds up healing. Exposure to these frequencies causes feline bones to heal much faster. Purring supports bone growth so that bone fractures would heal much faster. This is the reason why orthopaedic concerns and non-healing of bone fractures is rare in cats.

The specialized power purr is not only beneficial to cats but to the cats’ human companions as well. Cats are always credited with mystical abilities. Cats seem to know if the owner needs comforting. Studies on feline purring shed light to the mystifying ability of these pets to bring the owners relief from pain and discomfort. Cat owners may not be aware that they are caring for “little healers”. The low vibrational frequencies of the cat’s purr are therapeutic. Purring brings quick relief to people suffering from acute and chronic pain. The vibrational stimulation of the purr improves blood circulation and oxygenation. These vibrational frequencies promote tissue growth and augments tissue strength by inhibiting bacterial growth. Cats make ideal pets for senior pet owners not only because of these animals’ serene personality but also because the cats’ purring can prevent joint and muscle diseases.

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