Our feline friends offer lots to explore – furry companionship and so much more! Let’s get Curious about Cats!
PURR-VIEW (Have you ever contemplated a kitty cat’s purring?)
There is nothing like snuggling with a warm, purring kitty in your lap, especially when the wind is blowing and the snow is flying. But have you ever wondered how a cat is able to make this cozy, comforting sound? Or have you considered what other reasons a cat might have for purring?
PURR-FORMANCE (How does purring happen?)
Your cat may look rested and peaceful, but a purring cat’s body is actually working very hard! Even when the animal is at rest, a cat’s laryngeal muscles may twitch at a rate of 25 to 150 vibrations per second. This results in the sound we commonly call “purring.”
Unlike larger cats, such as tigers or lions, domestic cats have a more flexible hyoid bone, allowing for purring. Meanwhile, smaller cats also have more flexible muscles surrounding the larynx. This means cats that can purr cannot roar and cats that can roar cannot purr.
PURR-POSE (Why do the purrs occur?)
While no one can be certain why a particular cat is purring at any given moment, there are several reasons cats purr. They purr as kittens to help with bonding – the mother cat may even use purring as a lullaby! Cats also purr when they are hungry or want something, able to combine the purr with meows and other sounds, in order to really get an owner’s attention! Finally, – and, of course! – cats love to purr when they are happy and content.
PURR-HAPS… (Do cats appreciate human attempts to purr back?)
Some pet owners have reported great satisfaction from purring back to their furry companion. However, the jury is out as to whether or not our feline companions are impressed with this behavior. Why not run your own experiment, and give it a try the next time kitty feels like getting cozy?