Back

Get started

Customized by You

Design your pet’s plan in less than 60 seconds.

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
The healing power of cat purrs

The healing power of cat purrs

Q: Does purring have any health benefits?

A: Yes. Many animal species purr, including almost all cats except lions.

The purring sound is made by air moving through the glottis, the vocal apparatus in the throat that consists of the vocal folds (cords) and the slit-like opening between them. The oscillations in sound are controlled by the brain, diaphragm, larynx and the nerves that connect these structures.

Mother cats purr to help their kittens locate them to nurse. Newborn kittens can’t see or hear until two weeks of age, but they can feel the vibrations of their mother’s purring. Adult cats purr when they are content, but also when they’re anxious, just like humans who bite their fingernails. In addition, cats purr when they’re giving birth, injured or in pain.

Domestic cats usually purr at a frequency of 20 to 30 Hz, though the frequency varies from 18 to 150 Hz depending on the cat’s emotional state. Purring at 18 to 35 Hz increases joint mobility. At 25 to 50 Hz, purring increases bone strength, stimulates bone fracture repair and promotes healing of injured muscles and tendons. At 100 Hz, purring decreases pain and improves chronic respiratory disease.

Research in humans demonstrates that vibrations at frequencies of 50 to 150 Hz decrease acute and chronic pain. Vibrations of 100 Hz on the chest ease breathing in human patients who are short of breath.

It’s tempting to wonder whether the built-in healing system called purring could be the magic that gives cats their nine lives.

Editor’s Note: Is a cat the best pet for you? Find out more about adopting a cat here.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com

Q: My cat Sasha is...

Q: Frankie, my 12-year...

The French bulldog is a popular breed...

cat taking medicine from woman

If your pet becomes ill or injured,...

More From Figo Blog

Q: I grew up with dogs, but...

Pet Professionals: Interview With Kristen Levine Pet Blogger | Figo Pet Insurance

We recently had the opportunity to interview...

Sometimes, we think of cats as needing less...

According to a group of psychologists at...

We all want our pets to live long, happy,...

If you are looking for an unusual cat with...

Q: I found a kitten I’ve...

Foot Licking May Be Sign Of Dog Allergies | Figo Pet Insurance

Q: Octavian, my 8-year-old...

HELP