September is Happy Cat Month. Being a cat, it’s a month I adore. If you read my latest news release, you already know some of the things I like best about this month.
Purring is one of the things that most humans relate to happiness when it comes to cats. Your cat probably purrs when you pet him or scratch his ears. Happy cats purr. That’s a fact of feline life. But does purring always mean your cat is happy?
It turns out that we cats purr at some pretty strange times. We might purr when we’re injured or sick. We might even purr when we’re close to death. One theory is that a cat purring during these times stimulates the release of chemicals known as endorphins from the brain. These endorphins are a sort of natural pain reliever. Another theory involves the sound frequency at which we purr, which might stimulate the healing of bone and muscle.
Mother cats also purr when their kittens nurse and the kittens purr to the mom as well. Maybe this is related to happiness but more likely it’s a form of communication between the mother cat and kittens.
As you can see, a purring cat does not necessarily mean a happy cat. Even so, the sound of a cat purring appears to be healthy for people as well. The benefits of cat ownership include decreased blood pressure, less risk of stroke and/or heart disease, lower cholesterol, and less stress and/or anxiety. That’s not even mentioning the fact that a cat can be a great companion and friend.
Even though your cat might purr for reasons other than contentment, it’s a reasonable assumption that if your cat starts purring when he sees you or when you start petting him, it’s because your cat is happy. So, help keep your cat healthy with regular veterinary visits and health checkups and enjoy that happy purr for a long time to come. Have a Happy Cat Month!