The Science Behind Why Cats Purr and What It Means

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Cats are mysterious creatures, and one of their most enigmatic traits is their ability to purr.

Have you ever wondered why cats purr and what it means?

Well, wonder no more, because we’re about to delve into the science behind this feline behavior.

First things first, let’s talk about how cats purr.

Cats have a special muscle in their larynx (or voice box) that vibrates at a frequency of around 20-140 Hz.

This vibration is what creates the soothing purring sound that we associate with cats. But here’s the thing – scientists aren’t exactly sure why cats have this special muscle in the first place.

Some believe that it’s an evolutionary adaptation that helped cats communicate with each other, while others think it’s a way for cats to soothe themselves.

Now, let’s talk about why cats purr. One theory is that cats purr as a way to communicate with their owners.

For example, a cat might purr when it’s feeling happy and content, or when it’s seeking attention. But cats also purr when they’re feeling stressed or in pain.

This is known as “solicitation purring,” and it’s thought to be a way for cats to signal to their humans that they need help.

Another theory is that cats purr as a way to soothe themselves.

Studies have shown that the frequency of a cat’s purr can have a calming effect on the cat’s body. For example, the vibrations produced by purring can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing. This is why cats often purr when they’re recovering from an injury or illness.

But the most recent research suggests that cats purr as a way to communicate with humans.

Cats have a natural ability to sense when a human is feeling stressed or anxious, and they will often purr in response. This can help to soothe the person and reduce their stress levels.

So, what does it mean when your cat is purring?

It could mean a lot of things! It could be a sign that your cat is happy and content, or it could be a sign that your cat is seeking attention or help. But one thing is for sure – when your cat is purring, it’s a sign that they’re feeling relaxed and at ease.


The science behind why cats purr is still a mystery, but one thing is for sure – their purring is a soothing and comforting sound for both the cat and the human.

Next time your cat starts to purr, take a moment to appreciate the science behind this fascinating behavior and the unique bond it creates between you and your feline friend.

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Lee Harris

I'm a Brit living in the sunny Canary Islands with my beautiful wife and my wonderful black cat called Coco. I love to blog, build businesses, look after my body, and enjoy nature...

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