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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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440 comments

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1:29AM PDT on Sep 17, 2014

Thank you :)

6:14PM PDT on Sep 14, 2014

noted

5:48PM PDT on Sep 14, 2014

Furry facts about cats are always welcome. I have read about these before, but never tire of reading about them again and again.

The power of the purr, purrfectly marvellous.

11:53AM PDT on Sep 14, 2014

sin mis 4 felinos no sabria que hacer

2:29PM PDT on Sep 13, 2014

Beautiful, that´s also why I love cats, I´ve got 3, Gizzy, Thori and Sisi!

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

tks

1:40AM PDT on Apr 28, 2014

thanx for sharing

8:27PM PDT on Apr 25, 2014

Thank you

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