The Health Benefits of Cats Purring
Picture a relaxing evening at home. Your favorite show on television, a nice cozy blanket, curled up on the couch. The only thing that would make this evening complete is a purring cat on your lap.
Something about the sound of a cat purring can be so relaxing, almost healing when you’ve had a rough day. The effect on humans is obvious. We feel calm and peaceful almost automatically. But is it true that cat purring has actual health benefits to humans?
Why Do Cats Purr?
Most of the time, your cat’s purring signifies happiness and contentment. You’ll notice your cat purring when he is spending time with you and enjoying himself. Sometimes, cats will purr when they want something, like a treat. Other times, purring has a self-soothing effect, and cats will purr to calm themselves when they are feeling nervous or sick. Research has even shown that purring may actually help cats to heal themselves. Purrs have a low frequency, causing vibrations within the cat’s body. These vibrations may help cats heal their own injuries, ease breathing, and decrease pain and swelling.
Can Cats Purring Have a Healing Effect on Humans?
Believe it or not, yes. You may already know that just petting a cat for ten minutes can significantly reduce the amount of cortisol, a stress hormone, in your body. But the sound of a cat purring can go beyond reducing stress. One of the major benefits of a cat purring is the healing effect it can have on human muscles and bones.
Studies have shown that sounds with a frequency in the range of 18-35 HZ can have a healing effect on joint mobility in humans after an injury. Since a cat’s purring can cause vibrations with a frequency sometimes as low as 20 HZ, it’s very possible that your cat purring on your lap can help humans when it comes to both mental health and physical health. Research has also suggested that cats purring may reduce blood pressure, heal infections, heal your bones, reduce swelling, and even help you breathe easier.
How Else Can Cats Have a Positive Effect on Human Health?
Cats don’t even have to purr near us to improve our health and quality of life. There is ample evidence that cat ownership itself provides numerous benefits to our physical and mental health. Having a cat can provide a source of comfort and companionship during times of loneliness and depression. In particular, this was studied in AIDS and Alzheimer’s patients. Feeling needed was considered to be a major benefit of having a pet for these people.
The sound of a cat purring can be healing for humans in many ways, both for the body and for the soul. The health benefits of cats purring are more than enough reason to add another cat to your life – let alone all the other joys that come with sharing your home with a cat. So next time your cat falls asleep purring in your lap, tell him thank you!