A cat’s purr can melt the coldest heart. Did you know that your kitty’s purring can be good for your health?
Who could resist the sound of a cat contentedly purring? Beyond making you feel calm and happy, though, can a cat’s purr have healing effects on you? Some experts think so.
According to researchers, a feline’s purr will have a frequency of 25 to 150 hertz, and sound frequencies within that range may actually promote positive effects, such as improved healing of muscles and improved bone density.
Experts think that felines, who conserve their energy while they sleep and rest throughout the day, might use purring as a way to keep their bones and muscles strong without using up too much energy whenever they are physically inactive. So part of the reason why kitties purr might be because it serves as a means to heal themselves.
Scientists have determined that positive changes could occur within the body when it is exposed to vibrations that are set at specific frequencies. The vibrations may, for example, help bones grow and regenerate, allowing weak bones to become stronger and allowing fractures to heal more quickly. Also, higher frequencies may help the body produce its own anti-inflammatory compounds, which can then help to reduce pain and swelling in joints. Plus, the right frequencies might even help to repair ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
Veterinary studies have found that kitties will not often suffer with joint related problems or bone diseases like arthritis or hip dysplasia. Cats are also less likely to develop bone cancers. And experts even think that purring may help cats who are dealing with respiratory problems, or who need to recover from surgery.
Elizabeth von Muggenthaler (a researcher who specializes in bioacoustics) also proposed, based upon her studies, that cats might use purring as a healing mechanism. After studying various felines, from servals and ocelots, to cheetahs and domestic kitties, Muggenthaler found that your typical housecat will purr at a frequency that ranges from 25-50 Hz, proving that different species will purr at different frequencies.
Benefits to Humans?
Can a purring cat help heal you, or is purring only beneficial to the kitty?
There is research that claims that exposing yourself to a frequency range of 20-50 Hz might relieve pain, heal muscles and tendons, and boost bone density. Vibratory stimulation has even made its way into sports medicine, and astronauts may also benefit, as they tend to lose bone density when exposed to zero gravity.
Studies have also found that people who live with cats might have a lower risk of cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure and heart attack. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that petting a cat may help reduce your stress level too.
We Love Them Either Way!
Whether or not a cat’s purr can help to physically heal humans or not, we love them just the same. Like other pets, kitties can bring joy and love into your life, and that may contribute to your wellbeing. So if you’ve been considering introducing a feline to your family, and perhaps even reaping the physical and emotional benefits of his calming purr, check your local animal shelters, as there are loads of kittens and cats patiently waiting for their forever home.
Lisa Selvaggio is a writer who has volunteered in animal rescue, caring for cats of all ages and learning their many quirks. She is certified in clinical pet nutrition, and enjoys helping pet parents give their fur babies the best care possible. Read more of her work online at LSA Writing Services.