The therapeutic power of a purring cat

If you love curling up with your cat, science is on your side

Is there a more relaxing sound than your cat, curled up and cozy, purring away on your lap? If you agree, the science is on your side. Research has proven that the vibrations of a purring cat can be beneficial to their owner’s well-being in several different ways.

Dr. Thompson, director of the Center for Neuroacoustic Research, San Diego, has been exploring neuroacoustics and the therapeutic application of sound. Sound is crucial to the human experience and sounds can create an emotional response — the sound of the ocean can be relaxing, but the sound of cars honking in a traffic jam can be extremely stressful.

A cat’s purr vibrates within the range of 20-140 Hz, which can have many therapeutic benefits including lowering stress levels. That vibration can decrease the symptoms of dyspnea, also known as difficult or labored breathing. You can also reduce your cat’s dyspnea by stroking it — a win win situation!

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