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Like a Cat's Purr

The Magic of a Purr

The vibrations of a cat’s purr have long puzzled scientists. Most agree that the larynx (voice box), the muscles that control it, and a neural oscillator are involved. The constant vibration still doesn’t make sense, they should either purr when inhaling or exhaling, not both. Why is it that if a cat can roar (lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards) then they can’t purr? Other wild cats such as cougars, bobcats, and lynx do purr, but can’t roar. When I was a youngster (about four) I went with my dad to visit one of his friends. He had a trained cougar that used for movies. Dad was busy talking and didn’t notice when I started playing with the great big kitty, soon I was curled up under its chin between its front legs. A little bit of chin scratching and the big kitty started purring! I still remember how impressive that purr was, it was so powerful and strong, it vibrated all of me! Dad freaked out when he saw what was happening, though.

Scientific studies have led to the discovery of a new magical property of purring, that of healing. Actually, it’s not a new concept. Talk to any cat lover and they will tell you that when they hurt their kitty comes and gives them cuddles and purrs and they feel better. That’s just crazy “cat lady” talk, though, isn’t it? An old veterinarian’s adage says:

A happy purring cat can help you heal.

"Put a cat in a room with a bunch of broken bones – the bones will heal."
- Veterinarian's Adage
How can that be? Don’t cats just purr because they’re happy?

Why Do Cats Purr?

Cats do purr because they’re happy (being stoked and loved), but they also purr for other reasons. Cats purr when:

If you’re cuddling a cat or if they are nursing, their purrs could be a sign of contentment, but these other times are definitely not happy times. Why would they purr when they are stressed, hurt, or even dying? Could it be because a cat’s purr stimulates healing?

Why Would a Cat Purr When Injured?

It takes energy to purr, if an animal (or person) is under stress or in a lot of pain, they aren’t going to expend energy on something that won’t benefit them. That goes against the laws of survival. When faced with a live or die situation, the body naturally expends energy on surviving.

Cats Keep Themselves Well with their Purr

According to Elizabeth von Muggenthaler, president-acoustics at the Fauna Communications Research in North Carolina:

“Because cats have adapted to conserve energy by means of long periods of rest and sleep, it is possible that purring is a low energy mechanism that stimulates muscles and bones without using a lot of energy. …[Recent} research on frequencies that promote bone growth, fracture healing, pain relief and relief of breathlessness and inflammation, show that frequencies between 20 Hz and 150 Hz are healing frequencies. All cat species have purr frequencies between 20 Hz and 150 Hz with the exception of the cheetah. This corresponds exactly with the best healing frequencies.”

(The felid purr: A healing mechanism?” Elizabeth von Muggenthaler, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 110, 2666 (2001))

A cat’s purr measures between 25 Hz (hertz) and 150 Hz, generally falling between 20 and 50. A hertz is measured by how many cycles or vibrations per second a wave of sound is made. Frequency is the speed of the sound’s vibration. So, if something has 25 Hz there are twenty-five wave cycles per second, 150 Hz means there are 150 waves per second. Volume doesn’t affect the Hz, it’s the same sound, made at the same amount of speed per second, just louder.

Scientists use 26 Hz in frequency vibrational therapies to promote tissue regeneration. That means that the frequency of a cat’s purr works in a similar way to high-impact exercise. Maybe that’s why there are other proven health benefits to owning a cat.

Health Benefits of Owning a Cat

Stress relief and encouragement of a healthy lifestyle are two of the most commonly cited positives to owning a pet. Other proven benefits of owning a cat who purrs include:

Admittedly, owning a cat isn’t for everyone. Some are allergic and some simply don’t have the time or inclination to have a pet. However, the Rezzimax Tuner Pro doesn’t require litter box duties, won’t scratch your furniture and only needs to be fed (recharged) upon occasion. It is easy to travel with and won't ever produce unwanted kittens. With the push of a button, it will deliver purring vibrations at healing frequencies from 0-over 1,000 Hz, with the primary harmonics range falling between 40-102 Hz. To order your Rezzimax today click here. To get a cat or kitten, we encourage you to visit your local Humane Society or animal shelter and adopt a purring friend in need of a loving home.