- Healing Purrs: How Your Cat Can Help You Heal
Healing Purrs: How Your Cat Can Help You Heal
Cats and humans have lived together for a long time. While a lot of work goes into having cats in our homes, we can all agree that they add even more than they take.
Scientists believe that the benefits of loving a cat may even extend to our health. Studies have shown that people are less likely to die of a heart attack if they own a cat (Adnan I Qureshi, 2009).
Perhaps even more interesting are the reports of cats' purrs helping people heal.
Why Do Cats Purr?
This is an age-old question and one to which scientists don't know the exact answer yet. However, it is known that cats often purr when they are happy, sometimes when they're nervous, very often when they're hurt, and sometimes when their human is hurt or sick.
In fact, there are many stories of cats cuddling up with and purring for extended times for their sick human.
How Could Purrs Help Humans Heal?
For centuries, healers have used the power of sound in their work. It is believed that certain frequencies or tones of sound can have varying healing effects on the body. Here are some of the ways that purrs might help humans with health concerns:
- Purring releases endorphins in cats, and it can do the same thing in humans, too. Lowered stress hormones are helpful for healing, lowering blood pressure, and helping people cope with illness, too.
- Cat purring has been shown to fall between 25 and 140 Hz. The same frequency has been shown to aid in the healing of broken bones, joint and tendon repair, and wound healing. Cats are well-known for their ability to heal quickly from their own broken bones, and the incidences of joint problems and bone cancer in cats are low. It's possible that cat purrs can help humans heal faster, too.
- Clinical observations of cats that are suffering from upper respiratory conditions resulting in dyspnea, or trouble breathing, indicate that purring helps the cat breathe more easily. In fact, respiratory distress related to heart disease isn't nearly as common in cats as it is in dogs and humans. A person with respiratory problems might also be able to breathe easier if a purring cat is nearby.
- There are many stories of people with migraines whose headaches are eased or extinguished when they lie with their heads close to purring cats.
Adnan I Qureshi, M. M. (2009, Jan.). Cat ownership and the Risk of Fatal Cardiovascular Diseases. Results from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Study Mortality Follow-up Study. Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3317329/