When a cat purrs, you might think it is as simple as a human smiling, but it’s more complicated than that.
Cats don’t just purr when they’re happy but also when they’re distressed or afraid.
Evidence shows that purring is not only a method of communication, but a defence mechanism and way to keep calm in stressful or painful situations.
Because kittens are born blind and deaf, they need the vibrations from purring to communicate with their mother.
The low frequency of a cat's purr causes a series of vibrations inside their body that can ease breathing, heal injuries and build muscle.
Cat owners are at 40 per cent lower risk of a heart attack after interacting with cats and hearing their purrs.
How do cats purr?
You probably didn’t know that cats that purr can’t roar, and cats that roar can’t purr, because of the small bone found inside the vocal cords.
This allows big cats to make a deep, roaring sound but in domestic cats is completely hardened.
What about meowing?
Cats make more typical meow sounds by opening and closing their mouths.
However, adult cats only meow to humans, not to each other.
This knowledge may be redundant in the near future as pet translators are working on a device that could have us talking with our dogs and cats in 10 years' time.
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