The Cat’s Purr – A Biomechanical Healing Mechanism?

We all know how wonderful it is to be around a purring cat.  To me, there is nothing more soothing than to be lulled to sleep or woken up by Amber’s strong purr.  But did you know that a cat’s purr has healing properties and can actually heal bones, muscles and tendons?

In a 2006 study conducted by Fauna Communications, researchers found that the frequency of a cat’s purr (between 25 and 140 Hz), convers the same frequencies that are therapeutic for bone growth and fracture healing, pain relief, swelling reduction, wound healing, muscle growth and repair, tendon repair, and mobility of joints.

The researchers at Fauna Communications believe that it’s possible that evolution has provided the felines of this world with a natural healing mechanism for bones and other organs.  From the Fauna Communications website: 

“Being able to produce frequencies that have been proven to improve healing time, strength and mobility could explain the purr’s natural selection.  In the wild when food is plentiful, the felids are relatively sedentary. They will spend a large portion of the day and night lounging in trees or on the ground. Consistent exercise is one of the greatest contributors to bone, (Karlsson et al, 2001), and muscle (Roth et al, 2000; Tracy et al 1999), and tendon and ligament strength (Simoson et al, 1995; Tipton et al 1975).  If a cat’s exercise is sporadic, it would be advantageous for them to stimulate bone growth while at rest.  As well, following injury, immediate exercise can rebreak one and re-tear healing muscle and tendon (Montgomery, 1989).  Inactivity decreases the strength of muscles (Tipton et al, 1975). Therefore, having an internal vibrational therapeutic system to stimulate healing would be advantageous, and would also reduce edema and provide a measure of pain relief during the healing process. “

I’ve always believed that animals, and cats in particular, are healers.  Isn’t it nice to know that just listening to our cats purr is not only good for our soul, but also good for our body?

Here’s a video (and audio!) of a cat with a seriously strong purr:

27 Comments on The Cat’s Purr – A Biomechanical Healing Mechanism?

  1. Donna
    December 16, 2013 at 5:46 am (1 year ago)

    I have 6 cats, and 2 or 3 of them are always on me when watching TV. I’m 64 and have none of the normal aches and pains or arthritis you’d expect! (Thank God) and purring kitty cats!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 16, 2013 at 6:35 am (1 year ago)

      Now there’s a testament to the healing power of cats, Donna!

      Reply
  2. April Pope
    December 29, 2012 at 9:13 pm (2 years ago)

    Whenever I’m sick my 3 cats always surround me. When I had a concussion a few years ago my 1 cat slept at my head and then between my husband and I. He had never done that before. Thanfully I have an understanding husaband :)

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 30, 2012 at 7:24 am (2 years ago)

      They do know, don’t they, April? And glad to hear your husband understood! :-)

      Reply
  3. Jennifer
    November 21, 2011 at 2:20 am (3 years ago)

    Aww kitties! God is so good to us that He gives animals the ability to have therapeutic effects on us. Just now when I watched the video of the purring cat I was relieved from my bladder pain. I get that once in a while before my menses after going number one. Whale sounds seem to have a therapeutic effect too. And you may think this is interesting but I found that the horse whinney has a healing effect on me as well.<3 And I've been around horses so much that I figured that out! This one time back in 2009, I was at a horse show(Memorial Dressage Horse Show, can't wait to go again!<3) and I was hanging out with a Thoroughbred horse named "Valley Boy" and he was whinneying for quite some time and I recorded him on my camera. And then I was standing in front of him with my back turned and played back the video with him whinneying and I think he answered himself as he walked up and his head was right over mine and his whinney vibrated through himself and right through me head to toe. And I remember thinking how healing that was!<3

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 11, 2011 at 6:54 pm (3 years ago)

      I like the concept you offer in your post about the awareness of our own breath perhaps being the human equivalent of purring. What a lovely thought!

      Reply
  4. Ingrid
    July 15, 2010 at 8:14 pm (5 years ago)

    Cats are amazing, aren’t they, Elena?

    Reply
  5. Elena Leonardo
    July 15, 2010 at 8:10 pm (5 years ago)

    Cats are great healers and their purring is awesome. When I was injured Hero stayed with me and purred constatly. Elena

    Reply
  6. Ingrid
    September 17, 2009 at 4:37 pm (5 years ago)

    Tammy, I loved hearing about Ben and his newfound “purgling.” When I first met Buckley, she never purred. It wasn’t until she had lived with me for a couple of months that I first started hearing a very faint purr. I think that might have been the moment when she first decided that this was really her forever home. Her purr eventually became stronger and more frequent. It was one of the most humbling and beautiful experiences of my life to hear that first purr from her – the thought that I made another being so happy was overwhelming.

    Reply
  7. Tammy
    September 17, 2009 at 11:03 am (5 years ago)

    Wow – I didn’t know that purrs could actually heal. Our cats are quite sensitive to us when we are down or not feeling well. Our Ben curls up by your head and purrs. Purring is a new thing for Ben – he didn’t purr when we first rescued him. Most of the time you can feel it more than hear it. When he really gets going, he chokes himself. We call it purgling. :)

    I know that my cats purring away near me definitely soothes me – now I know why!

    Reply
  8. Ingrid
    September 15, 2009 at 8:24 pm (5 years ago)

    Theresa, I agree that cats in nursing homes are a wonderful idea. Thanks for your comment!

    Reply
  9. Theresa Mayhew
    September 15, 2009 at 8:11 pm (5 years ago)

    Intuitively we recognize the healing power of having a cat curl up in our laps, but it is so interesting to know that science can also prove it. I’ve seen many nursing homes that have cats in residence. It’s good for both the felines and the elderly to have each other.

    Reply
  10. Ingrid
    September 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm (5 years ago)

    Thanks for your comment, Elizabeth. I love that there’s actual research behind the “power of purr.”

    Reply
  11. Elizabeth Spann Craig
    September 14, 2009 at 1:24 pm (5 years ago)

    Oops! I thought my first message got eaten and I retyped it! Sorry ’bout that.

    Elizabeth

    Reply
  12. Elizabeth Spann Craig
    September 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm (5 years ago)

    That’s wonderful! No wonder I feel so relaxed around my Smoke and Shadow. I just love hearing their rattling purr. Thanks so much for sharing this, Ingrid.

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

    Reply

10Pingbacks & Trackbacks on The Cat’s Purr – A Biomechanical Healing Mechanism?

  1. […] at Fauna Communications found that the frequency of a cat’s purr covers the same frequencies that are therapeutic for bone growth and fracture healing, pain relief, reduction of swelling, wound healing, muscle […]

  2. […] Not only does petting a cat lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart attack, the cat’s purr can actually heal muscles, tendons and bones. Those of us who share our lives with cats don’t need research studies to prove that a […]

  3. […] The Pet Health Care Gazette tried to answer the question of why cats purr this week. I agree with Lorie Huston, DVM’s statement that ”there’s no sweeter sound in the world than that of a contented cat purring loudly and happily.” Read Lorie’s full post here. For more on the healing power of a cat’s purr, you may also enjoy The Cat’s Purr: A Biomechanical Healing Mechanism. […]

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  7. […] by when we are sick even with something minor like a cold or the flu. Research has even shown that the frequency of a cat’s purr can aid with healing of bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles as well as provide pain […]

  8. […] Please read the rest of her guest blog post “The Healing Powers of Cats” on Mind-Body-Spirit Works. A link to her post on the healing properties of a cat’s purr are linked in the first paragraph of that article, but just in case you can read it in The Cat’s Purr – A Biomechanical Healing Mechanism? […]

  9. […] by when we are sick even with something minor like a cold or the flu. Research has even shown that the frequency of a cat’s purr can aid with healing of bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles as well as provide pain […]

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