Advice on choosing the best boarding cattery for your cat


famous cat quotationsAny household with at least one feline member has no need for an alarm clock.
Louise A. Belcher

Purrfection: Why Cats Purr

The deep, throaty sound of a contented cat’s purr is more than just music to our ears. It speaks to us on many levels, often triggering precious childhood memories of our much-loved family cat or our first kitten, little paws kneading away and eyes closed in bliss as we snuggle up to the tiny, warm body and breathe in its sweet, furry smell.

Although the cat is almost unique in its ability to produce a purr, it doesn’t have any special mechanism to create the sound. There is no ‘purr button’ hard-wired to a cat’s ears or chin, despite the immediate response when you touch there! The noise appears to be caused by using a combination of its vocal folds and larynx to make air vibrate when it breathes in and out.

cat resting

Each cat has their own purr.


There are quiet ones and there are veritable little engines that we swear could almost be heard in the next room or even the next street! Some cats add little extra noises when they purr, some drool, some alternate purring with tiny mews, depending on what they want.

Reasons to Purr

Any observant and insightful cat owner knows that cats don’t just purr to show pleasure. They also make the sound when hungry, giving birth, sick or fearful. We don’t fully understand why cats purr (another of the wonderful enigmas that make us love them so much) but one theory is that the sound serves as a kind of comfort mechanism to help the cat calm itself in stressful situations.

This means that a purring cat sitting in a corner of the cattery may not be super-delighted to be there, but quite the opposite and trying to comfort itself. Food for thought, isn’t it?

Healing Purrs and Purring Heals!

Many studies have shown that stroking a cat can lower blood pressure and that people who own a cat tend to be healthier and live longer than those who don’t. But what about the healing effect of that powerful purr?

We all know that cats have an uncanny ability to know that you are in pain and wrap themselves around the sore bit, even if that means manoeuvring themselves on top of your head! Some cat owners swear that the sound of their cat purring helps cure a headache or a migraine.

Therefore it was only a matter of time before researchers turned their attention to a cat’s purr to see if the healing and comforting effect we experience has any scientific foundation.

Certain sounds at particular frequencies can aid healing in our bodies, helping bones heal more quickly, swelling to subside and tissue to regenerate faster. Scientists have conducted experiments to prove that a sound range of between 25 and 50 Hz improved healing of bone by 20%.*

Bioacoustics expert Elizabeth von Muggenthaler recorded the purrs of many different kinds of cats (including the big cats) and concluded that domestic cats generally purr in the same 25 to 50 Hz range. It isn’t rocket science to make the connection! Cats purring really does help us heal.

The Comforting Purr

The comforting sound of purring has even been used on CDs, with and without music.

The feline welfare charity Cats Protection uses purring as its ‘music on hold’ – and what better or more appropriate way to keep waiting callers relaxed and in a good mood?

If you like the sound of that you can now
download it as your mobile ringtone
and around £2 will go straight to help the cats in their care!

Purring proves (if proof were needed) that cats are really very special and very sensitive to both ours & their own needs.

happy purring cat And so it is up to us to make sure, (whether at home or in a cattery), that all their purrs are happy ones!



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*Chen et al, "The Effects of Frequency of Mechanical Vibration on Experimental Fracture Healing". Chinese Journal of Surgery, 32 (4), 217-219, 1994).