The Power of The Purr

How cats can help us heal

Nancy Parish


Sharing the couch with Harper Lee/ Photo courtesy of Author

On the day of my mom’s funeral in January, I decided to take a nap in between some of the family events. As I lay on the couch, my cat, Hermione snuggled close to me and purred. It was like she knew I needed snuggles. And the purr instantly helped me feel better.

My three cats have a tendency to gather around me when I’m not feeling well. It’s like they take turns caring for me. One by one, they will sit on my lap or snuggle close to me while I’m resting.

I’m not making this up. There’s science-based proof that snuggling with cats can help us feel better.

If you’ve ever held a cat or a kitten and as they start to drift off to sleep, their motor cranks on with gusto, and their purr vibrates, you know what I mean. Suddenly, you forget about all the pressures and stress in your life and you start to relax.

That’s the power of the purr.

It’s science. And nature of course.

A mama cat’s purr is how she communicates with her newborn kittens.

The mama cat’s purr “becomes a way to affirm safety, signal feeding time and has the evolutionary benefit of being a quiet form of communication around predators.”

The healing power of a purr

One researcher hypothesized that since cats purr at a frequency between 50 and 150 Hz, coincidentally, the same frequency that speeds the healing of broken bones, a cat’s purr could help heal broken bones.

Additional studies have shown that vibrations operating at the same frequency as purring cats have boosted the healing of broken bones in rabbits. So that argument does have some strength.

Whether cats can actually assist in the healing of broken bones of humans is still up for debate.

Could Hermione’s purr heal me?

Maybe, maybe not.

But snuggling with her, and listening to her purr, helped to heal my broken heart. That’s one thing I know for sure.

I’m not the only one.

Studies have shown that petting a cat or having a cat sit on your lap lowers blood pressure. It can also ease anxiety. Apparently, if…



Nancy Parish

Writer, Amateur Cat Herder. Previously, Contributing Editor for CWIM. My ebook Life with Scout: The Blind Kitty Chronicles avail.