Anonymous
Anonymous asked in PetsCats · 10 months ago

How does a cat purr? There's no organ like vocal cords to help them make their joyful noise?

6 Answers

Relevance
  • Anonymous
    10 months ago
    Favourite answer

    Kittens learn how to purr when they are a couple of days old. Veterinarians suggest that this purring tells ‘Mom’ that “I am okay” and that “I am here.” It also indicates a bonding mechanism between kitten and mother.

    As the kitten grows into adulthood, purring continues. Many suggest a cat purrs from contentment and pleasure. But a cat also purrs when it is injured and in pain. Dr. Elizabeth Von Muggenthaler has suggested that the purr, with its low frequency vibrations, is a “natural healing mechanism.” Purring may be linked to the strengthening and repairing of bones, relief of pain, and wound healing (See Web link to Felid Purr: A Healing Mechanism).

    Purring is a unique vocal feature in the domestic cat. However, other species in the Felidae family External Link also purr: Bobcat, Cheetah, Eurasian Lynx, Puma, and Wild Cat (Complete list in Peters, 2002). Although some big cats like lions exhibit a purr-like sound, studies show that the Patherinae subfamily: External Link Lion, Leopard, Jaguar, Tiger, Snow Leopard, and Clouded Leopard do not exhibit true purring (Peters, 2002).

    What makes the purr distinctive from other cat vocalizations is that it is produced during the entire respiratory cycle (inhaling and exhaling). Other vocalizations such as the “meow” are limited to the expiration of the breath.

    It was once thought that the purr was produced from blood surging through the inferior vena cava, but as research continues it seems that the intrinsic (internal) laryngeal muscles are the likely source for the purr. Moreover, there is an absence of purring in a cat with laryngeal paralysis. The laryngeal muscles are responsible for the opening and closing of the glottis (space between the vocal chords), which results in a separation of the vocal chords, and thus the purr sound. Studies have shown, that the movement of the laryngeal muscles is signaled from a unique “neural oscillator” (Frazer-Sisson, Rice, and Peters, 1991 & Remmers and Gautier, 1972) in the cat’s brain.

    • Matt
      Lv 5
      10 months agoReport

      Very well posted.

    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
  • Laura
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    Cats have vocal chords thats why they can vocalize.

    A cat's purr comes from the vibration of their vocal chords.

    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
  • Nathan
    Lv 4
    10 months ago

    Cats have vocal chords - two sets for different noises. They use this to create their different sounds like purring.

    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
  • 10 months ago

    Purring results from the intermittent activation of intrinsic laryngeal muscles. Cats can purr both when they are very happy and when they are ill or in pain. I've heard it said that cats which roar, such as lions, cannot purr and cat which purr cannot roar. I'm not so sure about that.

    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 10 months ago

    Kittens learn how to purr when they are a couple of days old. Veterinarians suggest that this purring tells ‘Mom’ that “I am okay” and that “I am here.” It also indicates a bonding mechanism between kitten and mother.

    As the kitten grows into adulthood, purring continues. Many suggest a cat purrs from contentment and pleasure. But a cat also purrs when it is injured and in pain. Dr. Elizabeth Von Muggenthaler has suggested that the purr, with its low frequency vibrations, is a “natural healing mechanism.” Purring may be linked to the strengthening and repairing of bones, relief of pain, and wound healing (See Web link to Felid Purr: A Healing Mechanism).

    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
  • Matt
    Lv 5
    10 months ago

    There is. Its a vibration in the larynx.

    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.