What Makes Me Purr?
Everyone knows that I purr when I’m happy and contented. So this may seem like a dumb question. But actually, I purr for other reasons too.
- I’m a guy, but if I were a female cat with new kittens, I would be purring whenever I’m around my babies. Mothers are doing essentially the same thing when they hum or sing to their babies. It lets the little ones know mommy is nearby and loves them. When a mother cat purrs, she is also letting her kittens know she’s ready to nurse them. Newborn kittens can’t see or smell very well yet, so the vibrations actually help the kittens find her.
- Humans have special things they do to comfort themselves when they are feeling anxious or tense – such as eating their favorite comfort food, fixing a cup of hot chocolate, or jogging to run off the stress. Sometimes, when I am purring, I am simply de-stressing, reassuring myself that everything is going to be all right.
- If you were my owner, you’d know that when YOU’RE upset – I’m glued right there by your side and purring loudly. Since purring de-stresses ME, I’ll be hoping some of that rubs off on you and lets you know I love you and I’m here for you.
- I purr when strangers meet me for the first time, to let them know I like them and want to be friends.
- I like to purr when my owners are feeding me, especially if they open a can of my favorite food.
- When my owners get home from work, I purr to let them know how happy I am to see them.
- If I’m having a good dream about catching a mouse, I’ll even purr in my sleep.
- I’ve never done this myself, but many cats purr when they are in pain. Scientists have found that purring releases endorphins, which are helpful in reducing pain while healing begins.
- Cats are often used as “therapy animals” in hospitals and retirement homes. It is a well-known fact that owners of purring cats have lower blood pressure, especially as they get older.
So here’s a question for you … do cats purr when they’re alone and there’s no one around to hear them? What do you think?