(ORDO NEWS) — Two Norwegian cat experts explain to Forskning why and in what situations cats purr. Kittens begin to make this sound when they are barely born: it helps them communicate with their mother, and later with pleasant people. But cat rumbling may have other reasons and goals.
Cats begin to purr when you take them to your knees and stroke them. But why do they even do this?
Bjarne O. Braastad is a professor at the Norwegian University of Ecology and Biological Sciences. He is a cat expert and wrote a book about them. In it, Brostad tells why cats purr.
Purring is the sound that kittens make when they drink their mother’s milk. Thus, the kitten makes it clear to the mother that she lay calmly until he finishes drinking.
Both kittens and adult cats can purr when they are near people. And then purring means almost the same thing, Brostad explains. The cat shows that he is well and that he wants to stay in the same place – in close contact with the person.
Sense of security
Researcher Mikkel Stelvig answers the same question in an article published at Forskning.
Purring, he says, creates a sense of security for the kitten and his mother. It is also an important way of communication for them.
But adult males purr, too, so that might not be the only reason, he says.
“This can be interpreted as a signal that the cat is well and feels safe,” says Stelvig.
Intense purr to get food
The louder the cat growls when you pet it, the more satisfied it is, says Brostad.
But there is another kind of purr. It is more persistent and higher in timbre.
“Such intense purring by people is often not perceived as something calming, rather the opposite,” writes Brostad.
Typically, a cat makes such sounds when it asks for food.
Researchers from the UK have studied this intense purr. It may slightly resemble the crying of a child, which is why we humans react to it. And we give the cat the desired treat.
May purr when sick
Most often, cats purr when they feel good. But sometimes this happens when they are sick, veterinarians say.
In this case, these sounds mean “It hurts me. I need care,” Brostad writes.
At veterinarians, cats purr like kittens who want their mother to take care of them.
And Mikkel Stelvig notes that cats may purr to calm themselves in a stressful situation.
When the cat purrs, he produces hormones of happiness in his body. They help moderate pain.
But the disease can not be called the primary cause of feline purrs. In general, they purr almost exclusively during communication, writes Brostad.
More often than not, the cat just wants to show that it’s good for you.
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