Letting Your Cat Purr On Your Body Can Have A Huge Impact On Your Health

by Johanna Silver
Johanna is a writer who lives, works, and volunteers in New York.

Cat lovers know it to be true: There’s nothing like cuddling with your cat, rubbing them behind their ears, and listening to their content little purrs.

Cats have the uncanny ability to brighten up our days, just like this little feline who demands attention, and it’s an added bonus if they are so happy, they’re purring.

These adorable little rumbles are generally an indication that cats are content, but there is actually much more to them than meets the eye (or ear).

Cats purr at a very specific frequency that, according to several studies, is the ideal vibration level for everything from heart health to blood pressure to bone growth.

But these benefits don’t just apply to the animal emitting the vibrations — humans that are around them enough can also reap the benefits!

So grab your cat and check down below to learn all about cat purrs and their positive effects on your body.

Why Do Cats Purr?

Petting purring cat
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Purring is a pretty common sound that cats make, especially if they are totally relaxed or feeling affectionate.

The general consensus is that cats purr when they are content, but they also purr to communicate a lot of different emotions like urgency or apprehension.

There are different hypotheses about what muscle or cord the kitty uses to make the little rumble, and there are many different types of animals that also purr.

What's In A Purr?

Cat purring on bed
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

The kind of purr frequency depends on what kind of cat, but domestic cats purr at a frequency of 18 to 20 Hz. 

These vibrations have been studied and are believed to have healing properties, which may be why cats purr in the first place.

The soothing vibrations are said to help everything from swelling to broken bones — and humans can also benefit from these adorable little rumbles by proxy.

So how can they improve one’s health? Continue reading below to discover how your kitty’s purrs are beneficial to your body!

Purr Benefit #1: Lowers Stress Levels

Cat on lap
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Feeling less stressed when your favorite fuzzy animal is on your chest may not be a total placebo effect.

The frequency of cat purrs falls within a very therapeutic sound range that loosens our nerves and makes us feel more at ease.

So the next time you are feeling stressed out, try relaxing with your cat on the couch and see if the vibrations work on you.

Purr Benefit #2: Lowers Blood Pressure

Checking blood pressure with cat
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Cats’ magic frequency is also said to lower blood pressure.

Perhaps this is because they can help you mange your stress, which can definitely play the culprit in rising blood-pressure levels.

This symbiotic relationship may shift in your favor thanks to cat purrs. Less stress leads to a healthy blood pressure, which can lead to a healthier body overall.

Purr Benefit #3: Improves Your Breathing

Meditating with cat in lap
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

According to, cat purrs can help cut down on dyspnea, which is when you have difficulty breathing.

This is because cats’ peaceful purring mimics breathing inward and outward, giving you a verbal example of how to breathe and stay calm.

This mindful breathing is actually another way to cut down your stress levels, making cat purrs a relaxation double whammy.


Purr Benefit #4: Heals Fractures And Breaks

Cuddling with cat with leg in cast
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Studies have shown that cats’ purrs can also build up bone strength, which makes it easier for them to heal after a break or fracture.

The best frequencies for promoting bone strength are from 25 to 50 Hz, and 100 to 200 Hz are the second-best frequencies.

Since most cats come pretty close at around 20 Hz, their rumbles can definitely promote bone strength and healing.

Purr Benefit #5: Improves Heart Health

Cat sitting on chest
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

According to, cat owners have 40 percent less risk of developing heart problems.

The study at the University of Minnesota compared 4,435 Americans aged 30 to 75 and found that non-feline fans were 40 percent more likely to have a heart attack.

This is likely do to their lowered blood pressure, brought on by the soothing purrs.

Purr Benefit #6: Relaxes Sore Muscles

Snuggling cat with sore wrist
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

The same vibrations that are said to heal bone can have the same soothing effect on soft tissues.

This could be because bones and tissues respond to pressure by making themselves stronger, like when you exercise.

Some even hypothesize that cats’ purrs help their little bodies stay strong since they tend to lie around a lot.

Purr Benefit #7: Soothes Creaky Joints And Inflammation

Arm is cramping
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Finally, cat purrs are also said to help lower infection and swelling, which can lead to joint pain.

So in addition to icing your limbs and taking aspirin, time spent with your kitty can help the pain too.

Who knew that cat purrs could do so much more than indicate when your little feline is content?

If you love cuddling up with your cat, make sure to SHARE with friends and family on Facebook!