The Healing Power of a Cat’s Purrs

The Healing Power of a Cat’s Purrs

“If you put a cat and a bunch of broken bones in the same room, the bones will heal.” – Ancient adage

If you’ve ever wondered why cat owners are always adding more fur babies to their homes, this could be the answer to your question. Where one purring cat is amazing for your needy human heart, three or four would be magical. Sure, this increases the cost and time of feeding and grooming, but in the end, it’s worth it. Feline friends are more than just emotionally supportive. While petting and cuddling them can seem like a pretty good way to relax and feel loved, listening to their sweet purrs could also be beneficial to our overall wellbeing.

A 2008 study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota reports that cat owners are 30% less likely to die from a heart attack than non-cat owners. [1] The 10-year study involved over 4,435 American participants, out of whom 2,435 (55%) presently or previously owned cats. The researchers concluded that the lower risk of death due to cardiovascular diseases for cat owners was probably related to the stress-relieving attributes of their pets.

Cat purrs are believed to be medically therapeutic because the vibrations fall between a 20Hz and 140Hz range. [2] You might want to tickle that cutie’s belly more often. Some of these facts are quite obvious on their own. Stroking a cat and listening as it purrs has to be one of the most relaxing pastimes for any cat owner. However, the effects are a lot more than relaxation and this just proves how special and underestimated cats are. 

Here’s a list of what your cat’s purring can do for you:

  • It may help to reduce an elevated blood pressure, according to the National Library of Medicine. [1]
  • People dealing with insomnia could try sleeping while stroking their cat as it purrs. The soft sound often has the same calming effect on the mind as light rain hitting the earth or a mildly swooshing river. [3]
  • A cat’s purr is said to decrease symptoms of dyspnea for humans and cats. Dyspnea is difficult or labored breathing that does not always come from underlying medical conditions. [4] It could be triggered by normal activities such as vigorous exercise, climbing high altitudes, tight clothing, a sedentary lifestyle or prolonged periods of bed rest.
  • According to anecdotal reports, for women, putting a warm, softly-purring cat on your belly might help to reduce symptoms of PMS. This makes sense, since hot compresses are often used to treat cramping and discomfort. The rhythmic vibration of the cat’s body as it purrs could help make you feel better.
  • A cat’s vibrations are also known to help heal damage of sore soft tissues such as muscles, tendons and ligaments. [5] 
  • Vibrational therapy has been found to promote bone strength in low frequencies. [6] Sounds ranging from 25-50Hz are best for treating bone injuries or soreness. Your cat’s lowest vibrations hover within this range and could be helpful in augmenting the doctors’ efforts (because you do have to see a doctor when your bones are weak or injured).

Cats are simply amazing and if you find yourself needing more love and support these days, you should consider getting a sweet, non-aggressive fur baby to heal your heart with sweetness.

Are you allergic to cats?

That’s okay. There are dozens of hypoallergenic cat species that you could check out if cats make you feel sneezy and unwell. Here are a few:

  • Russian Blue
  • Siberian
  • Bengal (not the friendliest breeds but you might find a sweet one)
  • Siamese
  • Cornish Rex
  • Devon Rex
  • Sphynx
  • Oriental Shorthair
  • Burmese
  • Ocicat
  • Balinese-Javanese

We are going to be straight-up honest with you. No matter how cute and sweet they are, cats are always going to be troublesome creatures and you have to be really passionate about caring for them. Make sure you’re a cat lover with a suitable home before getting a fur buddy. You should also check out Humane Society to locate cats in need of loving families near you.

References

  1. Cat ownership and the Risk of Fatal Cardiovascular Diseases. Results from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Study Mortality Follow-up Study.NLM. Qureshi et al. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  2. Good vibrations: using sound to treat disease.” Utoronto. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  3. The healing power of a cat’s purr | Animal Files.” RGJ. Bonney Brown. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  4. What is dyspnea?” Medical News Today. Retrieved 05-08-2020.
  5. The felid purr: A healing mechanism?The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. Elizabeth von Muggenthaler. Retrieved 05-08-2020.
  6. Low-frequency vibration treatment of bone marrow stromal cells induces bone repair in vivo.” NLM. Shengwei et al. Retrieved 05-08-2020.
#Pets