Does purring benefit us, the ‘cat parents?’ YES! Studies show that when we hold or pet our purring cats, not only is our mood uplifted but our blood pressure is lowered. In most cases, when our cats purr, they are exuding contentment. However, there are many exceptions as noted in the Mews ‘N News Article, ‘CATS PURR WHEN?’
Do our cats themselves benefit from purring? YES!! Purring is a means of communication, a means of self-soothing and calming and, most notably, purring is self-healing. According to the Scientific American (4/3/08): ‘The particular sound frequency of purring cats (from 25 – 150 Hertz) improves bone density and promotes healing of both bones and muscle. Purring also appears to alleviate the dysplasia or osteoporotic conditions that are more common in dogs. These findings may provide help for some humans. Bone density loss and muscle atrophy is a serious concern for astronauts during extended periods at zero gravity.’
Per WIRED Magazine, ‘in their natural setting, cats spend a lot of time lying around waiting to hunt; purring may stimulate their bones so they don’t become weak or brittle. In fact, purr-like vibration devices have been patented for potential use in therapy. Some researchers have proposed strapping vibrating plates to astronauts’ feet during long space flights to help retain their bone density.
Some veterinarians have observed cats lying beside each other and purring when one is injured (a behavior termed ‘purr therapy’) though scientific literature on the subject is scant. ‘Purr therapy’ may have bone-healing properties. Domestic cats purr at a frequency of about 26 Hertz, in a range that promotes tissue regeneration. High-impact exercise promotes bone health for the same reason because bones respond to pressure by making themselves stronger.‘
An article in Catster Magazine by animal behaviorist Marilyn Krieger confirms that the ‘frequency that cats purr at promotes bone healing and eases muscle pain. Clinical trials of people receiving ultrasound treatments prove that low-frequency/intensity ultrasound accelerates healing in fractures.
Additionally, the above article reports that cats heal faster than animals that do NOT purr. Purring releases endorphins. Endorphins reduce pain while healing takes place. Thus, purring is the feline equivalent of expensive ultrasound treatments, without medical bills.
Felines are experts at conserving their energy through naps and lounging. It is hard to imagine but relaxed, purring cats may well be in the midst of low-intensity exercise sessions.‘