Why do cats purr?

Sign of contentment or not?

Find it Out

Have you ever held a cat and listened to it purr? It is a common held belief that when a cat is content it will purr. However, is there more to the story? Cats can purr for a number of reasons. Contrary to belief, it may not be always out of content.


To produce a purr, the cat uses both its laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscle. Even though cats may purr when they are content, they may also purr because they are nervous or experiencing some kind of discomfort. Some cats even purr when they are hungry. A cat's purr is a way to communicate. Kittens, because they are unable to see for a while after birth, learn to purr from the mother cat. The kittens are able to find their mother easier through purring.


A cat's purr can even help with healing. It is believed that cats developed this survival technique of purring to help speed up healing if they where injured. A purr can serve a number of purposes for a cat and communicate a number of different things. Next time you hear a cat's purr, think about what the cat might be trying to communicate.


Resources:

www.livescience.com/40377-why-do-cats-purr.html http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-cats-purr/

http://www.wired.com/2015/05/why-do-cats-purr/

Try it Out

Activity 1-

Perform your own observation with your cat at home, a neighbor's cat or some cats at your local animal shelter. Observe in what environments you are able to hear your cat purr. Did your cat purr when you rubbed its head? Did your cat purr before you gave it some food? Determine how varied the environments might be and how this might relate to what your cat may be trying to communicate.


Activity 2-

Contact your local vet and see if you has any more information on why a cat might purr. Ask your vet if he or she has seen a cat purr in a situations where it might not have been out of content. See if you can observe if a cat purrs during an exam. Determine how you might vary the environment for the cat to determine if it will purr. Access the environment the cat is in and decide what the purr may mean. Can you think of any other reasons not previously mentioned explaining why a cat my purr?


Want to hear what the loudest purring cat sounds like- Follow this link. https://youtu.be/tFUIVRLXD68 - The World's Loudest Purring Cat
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