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5 Crazy Cat Anatomy Facts

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2. Purr-fection

The thrumming, rumbling sound coming from a cat as she inhales and exhales is one of life’s great delights — and mysteries. Theories about purring are as varied as the markings on a calico. Domestic cats purr when they’re content, often when we’re stroking their chins or heads, or opening a can of food. Mother cats purr so their helpless newborn kittens can find them (and the source of dinner), and often purr while nursing. But cats also purr in times of stress — when they’re recovering from an injury, or at the vet’s office. Some cats purr so loudly during a checkup, the vet can’t clearly hear the cat’s heartbeat through his stethoscope.

Scientists say that a cat’s purr results from intermittent signaling by the diaphragmatic (diaphragm) and laryngeal (larynx or voice box) muscles, at a frequency of 25 to 150 Hertz (a Hertz being one cycle per second). Research suggests that sound frequency of this range can promote healing and bone growth. There’s no definitive answer yet, and the power of the purr is still a puzzle. Clinically, we may know how cats purr, but why? They may purr simply because…they can.

Why Do Cats Purr?

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Read more: Behavior & Communication, Cats, Do Good, Pets, , , , , ,

By Kathy Blumenstock, Animal Planet

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6:54AM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

Awesome, thanks for sharing!

12:48AM PDT on May 7, 2014

The relaxing sound of my beloved cat purring in my arms is one of the most enjoyable sounds in the world for me.

1:42AM PDT on Apr 28, 2014


1:40AM PDT on Apr 28, 2014

thanx for sharing

8:27PM PDT on Apr 25, 2014

Thank you

7:03PM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

yes, U think that the purring is the biggest mystery of the universe ... after the big bang and it will remain a mystery as ling as life will go on on earth. I can stay hours listening to my kitties purring ...

12:10PM PST on Mar 2, 2014

We call the quivering tail the tail dance. Jake the Kitty often does it when canned food is on the way, or when we come home after being out a long time. In fact, he usually seems to do it to signal excited delight.

Then there was my brother. The first time he saw Jake's tail dance, he started screaming we needed to take him to the vet right away because he was having a 'tail seizure.'

Funny thing, we were both raised with cats. We have both been owned by cats in adulthood. Somehow, though, my brother managed to entirely fail to notice this quite common cat behavior. The only cats I've known who never quivered their tails were all manx, and thus had no tail to quiver.

11:56AM PST on Mar 2, 2014

I love the sound of kitty's purring,

12:17PM PST on Dec 28, 2013


5:18AM PST on Dec 23, 2013


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