If I had to divide the world into two categories, I would divide it into dog people and cat people.
Having said that, dog people may have you believe that dogs are the greatest creatures on earth — man’s best friend – loyal – helpful, etc. and cats are just selfish —mean and pompous creatures with no sense of loyalty.
However, but being a cat person, I can assure you that this is completely untrue. Cats not only make lovely pets, but just like dogs, can also help in various other ways!
Did you know that the sound of a cat’s purring can actually help us in healing ailments? If not, then read ahead and find out just how useful cats and their purring can be for us— humans.
And by the time you’re done reading this article, you will never be able to say that cats aren’t every bit as useful as dogs.
What exactly is purring and how does a cat make the sound?
Before you can understand how a cat’s purring can help us humans in healing ailments, we must first understand what exactly a cat’s purr is and how a cat makes this particular sound.
If you are a cat owner then you must have noticed that from time to time, your cat makes a strange purring sound. If it does this whilst sitting on your lap, you would have noticed that almost seems to vibrate while doing so.
A cat’s purr is something that starts in its brain receptors. Contrary to popular belief, a cat does not only purr when it is just happy and content. In fact, it purrs even when it is frightened or angry. However, you can’t really touch your cat while it is feeling the latter so you’ll never know that it is purring even then.
When a cat is feeling either one of these emotions, its neural receptors send a signal to its laryngeal muscles causing them to twitch rapidly. This is a totally reflex reaction much like how our hair stands on end when we encounter something unsettling. This reflex can make the cat’s laryngeal muscles twitch at the rate of almost 150 vibrations in just one second, causing it to make a purring sound. This is also why it might feel like your cat is humming or vibrating gently if you’re in contact with it while it starts purring. The constant twitching forces the cat’s vocal chords to separate as the cat breathes and the result is a soft humming purring sound.
Ours is a planet that is teeming with biodiversity. Each creature on this planet has a different method of showing its contentment. We humans tend to laugh and smile when we are happy, dogs will bark and birds will chirp. While cats may also purr when they are scared or angry, they mostly do so when they are happy.
All that is well and good, but now that you have a thorough understanding of what a cat’s purr is, let’s discuss how cat’s purring can be useful for us.
How can a cat’s purr help in healing ailments?
It has long since been medically proven that a cat’s purr does not only help cat’s themselves to heal, but can also help healing certain ailments in human beings as well. Some of these are as follows:
This goes at the very top of our list because it is perhaps one of the most obvious and common ailments that can go away with the help of a cat’s soothing purring sound. Yes, stress is as much an ailment as any other. People tend to overlook it and dismiss it quite often as just something that will go away with time.
However, if untreated, stress can truly cause some severe problems. These problems include migraines, headaches, heart problems, memory loss, deteriorating eye sight, weight loss, eating disorders and in extreme cases, stomach ulcers and other more severe problems.
If you are someone that is prone to taking too much stress for whatever reasons, you might benefit from adopting a cat. There is something about coming home from a long stressful day at work, to have your kitty curl up on your lap and start purring, that really helps you calm down like nothing else.
The sound of a cat’s purring has been scientifically proven to help reduce stress and invoke a feeling of calmness.
Purring helps with bone healing, muscle growth, joint mobility and tendon repair
You may find this difficult to believe but it is very true. If you have been unfortunate enough to get into an accident that has left you with broken bones, torn muscles and tendons that need reparation, then once again, a cat might be able to help you more than you realize.
Upon researching, doctors learned that a cat’s purring vibration frequency is about 25 megahertz to 150 megahertz per second, which is roughly the same frequency that doctors use when they are employing vibration therapy to treat patients with broken bones, torn muscles and joint pains.
So having a cat sit on your lap or affected area might be more helpful than you realize. As when your cat starts purring on, let’s say the muscle you tore while performing gymnastics, the vibrations from your cat might actually stimulate your healing process into healing you faster!
Decreased symptoms of dyspnoea
Dyspnoea is a disease in which it becomes difficult for a person to breathe easily. The ailment itself can cause various other issues. If you can’t breathe properly, your lungs won’t receive enough air and your brain won’t have enough oxygen and hence will not be able to function properly.
Recent studies have shown that being in frequent contact with a cat that is constantly purring will help decrease symptoms of this disease and help you breathe more evenly. Have you ever noticed that when you are sitting with your cat curled up on your lap, your breathing is strangely even and deep? A cat’s purring just seems to have that effect on humans and thus, can help decrease and control symptoms of dyspnoea.
It lowers blood pressure
High blood pressure is a dangerous disease. Especially, it can lead to many other much more severe problems. Worst case scenario, you are at risk of going into cardiac arrest if your blood pressure is too high.
It has been proven through various studies that because a cat’s purring helps in reducing stress as well as in helping us breathe more deeply and evenly, it can also help us in maintaining our blood pressure levels. A cat’s purring has a calming effect and due to this calming effect, a person who suffers from high blood pressure might have an easier time controlling their blood pressure.
Reduced risk of heart disease
It was recently discovered through a medical study that people who owned cats had a 40% less risk of having a heart attack. However, heart attacks could have multiple reasons. Sometimes it is due to the thickening of the blood in the arteries and other times, stress and psychological torment might prove as factors leading up to a heart attack.
A cat owner’s purring cat can help regulate feelings of stress and keep a person calmer than usual. Hence, they are at less risk of getting a heart attack than people who don’t own cats.
Purr vibrations can help with pain relief and heal infections as well
A cat’s purr does not only help itself to heal, but can also cut down the healing time of its owner’s body in half as well. A cat’s purr is not just a sound of contentment made out of reflex, it has healing properties. A cat’s purring helps it heal from infections, broken bones and overall, the vibrations give it relief from pain.
Studies show that the cat not only heals itself through this method but can also help heal its owner. It may not be able to perform a magical healing, but your cat can certainly shorten the time you might have to suffer from an ailment like an infectious disease and broken bone.
In view of all these factors, it is safe to assume that the purring of a cat can indeed help us humans in healing certain ailments. Although, a cat’s purring does not have any magical properties that can miraculously make any illness disappear, it does have certain physiological and psychological benefits that can help in healing certain ailments. Some of the ailments a cat’s purr can help in healing faster include infections, broken bones, pain relief and depression.
A cat’s purr can also help in reducing stress, maintain blood pressure, lessen risk of heart failure and even help reducing the symptoms of a disease called dyspnoea.
And above all that, cats also tend to make you feel special by showing the desire to be near you whenever you are around. They make you feel loved and have an ability to read human’s emotions.
With all these factors in mind, perhaps it is time to head on over to the local pet store and find yourself a nice pet cat!