The Healing Power of a Cat's Purr!
Those who have a cat as a pet will be well aware that when their cat is content, it will often start to purr.
But they may not know that the effects of a cat purring can be beneficial for humans too!
Here are some of those benefits
- Cats create vibrations when they are purring which is said to help with healing for their human owners. These sound vibrations up to 100 Hz can help to ease pain and swelling from wounds and other injuries. Painful or strained muscles can also benefit from this sound healing. One suggestion is to encourage your purring cat to sleep on your legs after an intense gym workout as this could relieve any discomfort.
- Petting a purring cat will help to calm your nerves and relieve stress and anxiety. Studies have found that owning a cat can be associated with reduced stress in day-to-day life. Just the act of interacting with and petting a purring cat helps their owners calm down and keep their stress levels manageable.
- Cat owners are said to be forty percent less at risk of having heart attacks. That lowered stress mentioned above helps decrease the risk of certain health conditions - most of which are related to the heart. In an earlier study, researchers found that the combination of lower blood pressure and lower stress among cat owners led to an overall decreased risk of death from heart attacks. And the benefits are on going because even people who are not currently cat owners, but had at some point in their lives owned a cat, found that they had this decreased risk. The interesting fact is that dog owners did not exhibit similar levels of protection. The power of the cat - and its purr - is so relaxing and lowers stress so much that the effects are seen for years.
- Hearing your cat purr can also lower your blood pressure. That same study found that cats in the home also helped to keep cat owners’ blood pressure lower. You will know that high blood pressure can lead to many dangerous health concerns, including heart attacks and strokes. The very good news is that having a purring cat around the house, along with reducing other risk factors, can lead to lowered blood pressure and better overall health.
- The purring vibrations are said to promote bone strength with research finding that a cat’s purring frequencies can help bones recover faster after injury, including muscle and tendon injuries. It is said that the science behind this theory relates to the use of sound and vibrations for treating various human injuries and health conditions with sound vibrations at 25 and 50 Hertz (Hz) being ideal for bone growth as well as healing breaks. Conveniently, research has found that cats produce strong purr vibrations at exactly those frequencies.
The same study also found that cats can produce purrs that vibrate at higher frequencies (100 Hz to be precise), which are beneficial for humans who are suffering from dyspnea - or shortness of breath. Veterinarians have noticed when treating cats that if they are having trouble breathing will often purr to themselves to facilitate their own breathing.
Why do cats purr?
In addition to helping with their own breathing, cats have several reasons to purr...
- When they are happy and feeling relaxed.
- When they are asking you for something - often food.
- As a bonding tactic between mother cats and their kittens.
- To help them cope with stress or fear.
- To help them heal and recover.
So if you are a cat owner, love and cherish your cat and they will repay you one hundred fold!
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