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7 Species That Purr Besides Cats

7 Species That Purr Besides Cats
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Purring isn’t just for cats. Several other species are also thought to make the same soothing sound.

Cats, being the best-known purrers and frequently underfoot, are the most observed. They are believed to purr to express pleasure and to soothe themselves when they are stressed or in pain. Purring is a form of communication, not a reflex, as my dear departed cat Howard demonstrated: when he wanted the attention of someone far away from him, he purred louder. He also turned the volume up when, at dawn each morning, he stuck his nose in my sleeping husband’s ear and purred his insistence that it was time for breakfast.

Newborn kittens purr to communicate with their mother. They are born deaf and blind, so they use vibratory purrs to let mom know where they are and to find her.

Being around a purring cat is good for humans’ health. It has been shown to decrease stress and even strengthen bones.

The healing power of cat purrs

Infographic by Gemma, courtesy of Visually.

Whether other species purr for the same reasons isn’t clear, but they are all nice to listen to.

1. Gorillas

Gorillas have big purrs to go with their size. In this video (well, this photograph with a soundtrack), Koko demonstrates her happy sound.

 

2. Ring-Tailed Lemurs

Ring-tailed lemurs, also known as cat lemurs, make a symphony of sounds, “including squeaks, growls, snorts, clicks,” howls, and loud yodels. Tame lemurs also purr when stroked, just like cats.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock/iStock

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151 comments

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3:39AM PDT on Jun 30, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

3:36AM PDT on Apr 6, 2014

Thank you

7:37AM PST on Feb 12, 2014

wonderful, thank you, ive always had cats, could not b without these darling creatures

3:24AM PST on Feb 12, 2014

Still a lot for us to learn and respect

3:31PM PST on Feb 9, 2014

Our rabbit didn't purr. Thanks.

4:49AM PST on Feb 8, 2014

I knew I was right to love cats xxx

5:25PM PST on Feb 5, 2014

Piper thank you for the post.A cat's purr is the song he sings to you to win your heart.It never fails.

9:26PM PST on Feb 3, 2014

One thing they forgot- it helps me to fall asleep.

4:08PM PST on Feb 3, 2014

Thank you, we were convinced Clover, my granddaughter's, wee g. piggy purred but never thought to look it up (duh) so it's nice to have it confirmed the little darling is happy when his neck is gently rubbed or when he gets the full spa massage.

1:57PM PST on Feb 3, 2014

:)

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