Cats are surprisingly vocal animals, expressing themselves with meows, chattering, chittering, hissing, hissing, growling, yowling, and screaming. They have more than a hundred different sounds – and so there are z. B. Nearly 60 "meow" variations that cats use to greet others, attract attention, or because they are bored. Snarling and growling with tail wagging tends to mean "stay away from me," while chattering or . Bleating should be understood in the sense of "I am a predator". T he most enchanting and mysterious sound a cat can make is purring . This unique and probably somewhat unusual vocal utterance has something soothing, almost hypnotic about it. But what is the actual meaning of cat purring?
Why cats purr
When cats purr , it can have many different meanings. Here are four reasons that cause your cat to purr:
1. Cats purr because they are content
The most obvious is when cats are curled up on someone’s lap: cats purr because they are warm and comfortable and they are happy.
2. Cats purr to calm themselves down
Cats purr in moments of extreme relaxation. However, animal experts believe that cats also purr when they are very stressed or in great pain – for example, during a visit to the vet or even during childbirth.
Scientists believe that cats purr to calm themselves down. So a cat may purr in a stressful or painful situation as well as when it is lying on someone’s lap. The low-frequency vibrations of purring relax the cat’s breathing and relieve tension.
3. Purring supports the healing process
Cat purrs are more than just soothing – scientists believe these vibrations also help heal injuries, aid in repairing and building muscles, and even act as painkillers. This may explain why injured or sick cats expend precious energy purring. It may also be why cats tend to recover from surgery faster than dogs and suffer complications less often.
4. Using "prompting purrs" to make sure your cat’s needs are met
Purring can also help your cat directly. Scientists have now identified a particular type of cat purr – the so-called "prompting purr" – which cats seem to use exclusively to get something from their owner, usually either affection or food.
The "prompting purr" is a mixture between meowing and purring, and is similar in frequency to the sound of a baby crying. So it is a sound to which we respond, in a sense, by nature.
Cat purrs can also be advantageous for humans
When cats purr, it can also have a positive effect on humans. A long-term study by the University of Minnesota Stroke Center in the U.S. found that cat owners are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease than non-cat owners. The findings suggest that physical proximity to purring cats may play a role in this.
What if my cat does not purr??
Each cat purrs in a different way and with a different volume. Some cats are real chatterboxes, like the Siamese, while others prefer to keep quiet, like z. B. the British Shorthair. Some cats purr almost noiselessly. You only notice it when you touch them on the neck or throat and feel the vibrations. And then again, there are cats that don’t seem to purr at all . Scientists are not clear why this is so, unless there is an injury to the vocal cords.
Feral cats purr less often than domestic cats. Therefore, the theory is that wild cat mothers keep their kittens from purring so that they do not attract the attention of predators.
Scientists have also found that feral cats are much less vocal than their domesticated counterparts: they often meow and purr only in babyhood and give up these habits in adulthood. One possible reason is that domestic cats have evolved their vocal predispositions to communicate with humans. A purring cat may demand petting or rewards, and a meowing cat may get its dinner faster than a silent housemate.