how cats purr

Meet the cat with the world’s loudest purr

Smokey_the_purring_cat

A 12-year-old cat in England holds the Guinness World Record for the “Loudest Purring Cat.” Smokey, a silver tabby with striking markings, was adopted by Ruth Adams about three years ago, when Adams was looking for an older cat who would be content with staying mostly indoors. Smokey greeted Adams as soon as she stepped into her cage at the shelter, walking toward her with her tail held high, rubbing against her legs, and purring. Very loudly.

Smokey, and her shy black companion Sooty, quickly settled into the Adams’ home. And Smokey kept on purring. “Her purr resembles a cooing dove stuck in her throat,” says Adams. “Sometimes she purrs so loudly it makes her cough and splutter.”

Just how loud is Smokey’s purr? Continue Reading

What is purring?

tortoiseshell_cat_on_chair

Purring is usually considered a sign of contentment, but there’s more to a cat’s purr than meets the ear.

While there are a number of different theories of how cats purr, the consensus among researchers seems to be that purring is the result of signals from the brain to the laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles. Cats purr during both inhalation and exhalation with a consistent pattern and frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz.

Even though cats do purr when they’re content, purring can also be a sign of stress. Cats also purr when frightened or injured. In these situations, purring appears to function as a self-soothing mechanism.

Researchers 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 growth and repair, tendon repair, and mobility of joints. It seems that with the purr, nature provided cats Continue Reading