A cat’s purr is a truly amazing sound. What’s most amazing to me is how incredibly loud my little cat can purr when she receives wanted attention. What’s scientifically amazing is the fact that cats can purr when they are breathing in and out. Cats meow only when they are breathing out or exhaling, but this purring goes on without stopping during the cycle of breathing. The purr is made by vibrations in the muscles within the larynx that open the space between the vocal cords. The signal that tells these muscles to perform this action originates in the brain and is called a “neural oscillator”. Cats purr not only when they are content, but also when they are injured or sick, which has led scientists to believe that the frequency at which a cat purrs may have a healing effect. Even if it doesn’t heal what ails us, it certainly is soothing. Pet your cat today and the purring may just benefit the both of you.
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Veterinary Technical Services Department