The Daily Purr

A Place For Cat Lovers

Why Do Cats Purr?

kitten nursing

A purr is one of those moments we all long for on a terrible day or on a terrific one. The feline purr can be felt and not heard or travel vast distances to fill your ears in the other room. It’s as mysterious as it is soothing…let’s learn some more about it.

The How

A cat’s purr is created by the internal laryngeal muscles on both in the inhale and exhale of a cat’s breathing. The contraction of these muscles causes the space between the vocal cords to open and close. Studies have shown that a unique “neural oscillator” in the cat’s brain controls the laryngeal muscle movement. Cats that cannot “meow” anymore due to injury are normally still able to purr. However, cats that lose their “meows” to laryngeal paralysis lose their purrs as well.

Communication

A mother cat’s purr is a physical beacon to her still blind and deaf kittens. The vibration of her purr allows the kittens to feel her location. Around two days after birth, kittens start to purr back (fast learners!)

Have you ever wondered why your kitties knead with their paws while purring? The likely answer is that it is a trait specific to kittens that is retained into adulthood. A kitten kneads it’s mothers chest to start the flow of milk while it feeds. The connection to purring and kneading is left after they are done nursing.

A feline’s purr is described as the nearest equivalent to a smile that cats have. However, this does not necessarily indicate happiness. As with people, a smile can communicate fear, happiness, uneasiness, nerves, and a slew of other emotions. Thus, a purr can indicate many things as well.

If your cat doesn’t purr, don’t fret. Not all cats purr. Again, there is a multitude of reasons why a cat may not purr. In a house with multiple cats the most dominate cat may not purr at all because they would feel in control and have less reason to purr as often. Less confident cats may purr more often to indicate their submission to the most dominate kitty.

Benefits

While it may not be a superpower, the frequency at which a cat purrs has been shown to help heal bones in humans faster than normal. Couple that with the fact that cat bones typically heal faster than other animals’ bones. Perhaps the purr is an evolutionary trait particular to felines that has developed into an asset for survival.

Big Cat “Purrs”

While only small cats can purr, big cats can sure roar! The expcetion is the ability of the tiger to produce a “silent” low frequency purr. The purr is below the range of human hearing but that shown the ability to briefly “paralyze” and stun prey.

A cat sneezing is a good omen for everyone who hears it.

—Italian superstition

Easy D-I-Y Cat Toy

Alright guys, here’s a cheap fun way to reuse some old boxes and give your tiger a new area to romp around in. If your tiger beats it up, hey, throw it away, it’s just a box!

Firstly, you gotta find a cardboard box. Depends how big your cat is, how rambunctious you’d like them to be, and how much work you’d like to put into “building” their new toy. 

Secondly, you’ll need a pair of scissors.

Alright, for those of you who are lazy may not need to read step three. Because step three is where “hard work” and “creativity” may apply. If you want you cat to be able to play around with a few more toys inside their fort, you can staple some ping pong balls on strings at different heights to the inside top of the box.

Cool, we’ve gotten the preparation out of the way. Now we can start the cutting! This procedure is pretty cut and dry. Take your box and start cutting different sized holes in the sides, this allows your cat to poke its head in and out. It’ll afford tons of new time for fun in a cost effective way. Stapling the ping pong balls on strings to the top gives your kitten something to bat at inside.

Let me know how your felines like it!

Finding A Pet-Friendly Residence

cat friendly apt

Finding a pet friendly apartment (or finding out that yours isn’t too late) can be a hassle. Here are a few tips for making the transition a little bit easier on you AND your cat!

1. Start your pet friendly apartment search at least 4-6 weeks before you intend to move. Pet friendly apartments in your price range and an area you’d like to live in are more sparse than apartments that do not allow pets. It’s better to give yourself and your kitties a bit more time to find a place that suites all your criteria.

2. Understand the concerns that landlords and other housing professionals have with pet owners in their buildings. As I’m sure you’re aware, some pets can be destructive and some pet owners can be irresponsible; making it more difficult for the rest of us. Destroyed carpet, ruined grass, and loud pets can be pain for anyone responsible for the place you are interested in.

3. Make use of animal and pet associations in the area. Contacting the local humane society may help you locate a pet friendly apartment/area for you. If you are looking beyond apartments a realtor and/or real estate agent can help provide you with more information. Pet friendly apartment websites are also a great resource, however, it’s also a good idea to do thorough research on the area on your own.

4. It’s best to realize that it’ll do you know good to try and sell yourself or your pet to large no-pet apartment complexes. It’s better to focus on areas that allow for certain pets (such as pets under 20 lbs.) Also, focus on an area that has a pet-keeping guidelines so that you know other pet owners are responsible for the upkeep of the area as well.

5. It is a great idea, however, to gather a history of responsible pet ownership. A letter of reference from a current or former landlord stating your responsibility as a pet owner. It is also a great idea to have written proof that your adult dog has completed or that your puppy is enrolled in a training class. Also, it is helpful to keep your pet’s medical records on hand showing vaccinations and other prudent information.

6. If you do run into a no-pet policy, ask if it was the result of a previous negative experience. Addressing a previous negative resident experience may help you understand a landlords apprehension. Expressing to the landlord a shared concern for cleanliness and emphasizing the fact that your pet is house trained is extremely helpful.

7. Promote yourself and your pet. Good pet owners make GREAT residents. They have to search longer for a place so they are more likely to stay put longer. Let them know you’re aware owning a pet is a privilege, not necessarily a right. Promoting your pet is just as important. A friendly, freshly groomed pet speaks well toward you and your pets behavior. It shows you take pride in your pet and your home.

8. Be ready to pay a little bit extra for your critter. Being willing to pay a little extra on your security deposit to cover any potential damage will go a long way.

9. Get it in writing. Sign a pet addendum to your rental agreement. If your lease has a no-pets clause, verbal approval won’t be enough. The no-pets clause should be removed from the lease (or crossed out and initialed) before you sign it. Being prepared will go a long way if something should ever happen with your pet.

10. Be honest and don’t be a pet owner that makes it worse for the rest of us. Don’t try to sneak a pet in, it normally only causes problems.