Why and how do Kittens purr?
Hi Jamie! that is a question from a feline fancier i guess...since
i am one too! Let's see:
All big cats as lions, and tigers roar, but the little feline ones
meow...and they purr too. Some zoologists( i'm not!) say
the big cats can purr too and probably they do, but it will be
a very loud purring! Actually purring is a low, continous,
rattling hum and is interpreted as a expression of pleasure
and love. It has nothing to do with the meows, the vibration
frequency is far lower than that of vocal chords. Little is
known about the physical mechanism involved in purring,
zoologists say that the muscles of the voice box shake
(or vibe) to produce this long deep sound with the diaphragm.
The inhaled stroke is the louder and rougher, and the exhaled
one is smoother and seems to be continous. Probably that the
kittens learn to purr from their mama, calling the babies to nurse,
because when they are very young their senses are very
undevelloped, but still they can feel a vibration (purr)
from the mother.
The cats purr at different situations, as a greeting to humans,
while eating or nursing....some purr others not...
Purrr...thanks for asking NEWTON!
(Dr. Mabel Rodrigues)
In reference to larger cats, my daughter is a vet student and traveled to
Africa to study some of the bigger cats such as the lion and cheetah. She
mentioned that all the big cats purr, and this purr is rather loud.
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Update: June 2012