arrow_back_ios

Main Menu

See All Software See All Instruments See All Transducers See All Vibration Testing Equipment See All Electroacoustics See All Acoustic End-of-Line Test Systems See All Academy See All Resource Center See All Applications See All Industries See All Services See All Support See All Our Business See All Our History See All Global Presence
arrow_back_ios

Main Menu

See All Analysis & Simulation Software See All DAQ Software See All Drivers & API See All Utility See All Vibration Control See All High Precision and Calibration Systems See All DAQ Systems See All S&V Handheld Devices See All Industrial Electronics See All Power Analyzer See All S&V Signal Conditioner See All Acoustic Transducers See All Current and Voltage Sensors See All Displacement Sensors See All Force Sensors See All Load Cells See All Multi Component Sensors See All Pressure Sensors See All Strain Sensors See All Strain Gauges See All Temperature Sensors See All Tilt Sensors See All Torque Sensors See All Vibration Transducers See All Accessories for Vibration Testing Equipment See All Vibration Controllers See All Measurement Exciters See All Modal Exciters See All Power Amplifiers See All LDS Shaker Systems See All Test Solutions See All Actuators See All Combustion Engines See All Durability See All eDrive See All Production Testing Sensors See All Transmission & Gearboxes See All Turbo Charger See All Training Courses See All Upcoming Webinars See All Acoustics See All Asset & Process Monitoring See All Durability & Fatigue See All Electric Power Testing See All NVH See All OEM Custom Sensors See All Reliability See All Structural Dynamics See All Weighing See All Automotive & Ground Transportation See All Calibration See All Installation, Maintenance & Repair See All Support Brüel & Kjær See All Release Notes See All Compliance
arrow_back_ios

Main Menu

See All nCode - Durability and Fatigue Analysis See All ReliaSoft - Reliability Analysis and Management See All API See All Experimental Testing See All Electroacoustics See All Noise Source Identification See All Environmental Noise See All Sound Power and Sound Pressure See All Noise Certification See All Industrial Process Control See All Machine Analysis and Diagnostics See All Structural Health Monitoring See All Electrical Devices Testing See All Electrical Systems Testing See All Grid Testing See All High-Voltage Testing See All Dynamic Weighing See All Vehicle Electrification See All Calibration Services for Transducers See All Calibration Services for Handheld Instruments See All Calibration Services for Instruments & DAQ See All On-Site Calibration See All Resources See All Software License Management See All Business Ethics

Why do Cats Purr? Solving The Mystery With Accelerometers!


Ever since the Egyptians started worshipping the cat, philosophers, scientists and cat lovers worldwide have wondered: Why do cats purr? Today, Brüel & Kjær has solved the age-old mystery using accelerometers.

It is commonly believed that cats purr when content. However, cats also purr when they are severely injured, frightened, or giving birth.

If cats were purring solely out of happiness they would not purr when injured, especially as the generation of the purr requires energy, and an injured animal will generally not expend precious energy needed for healing on an activity not directly connected with their survival.

Since the purr has lasted through hundreds of generations of cats, there must be a survival mechanism behind its continued existence. Suggesting that the purr evolved to function solely as a vocalization of self-contentment goes against the basic tenets of evolutionary psychology and natural selection.

 

Purring the Pain Away

Could the purr in any way link to the fact that vibrational stimulation not only relieves suffering in 82% of persons suffering from acute and chronic pain but also generates new tissue growth, augments wound tissue strength, improves local circulation and oxygenation, reduces swelling and/or inhibits bacterial growth?

Throughout history, the cat has been the most worshipped and the most persecuted domestic animal. Perhaps the most popular cat saying is that they have "nine lives". This type of old wives' tale usually has a grain of truth behind it. 

There is also an old veterinary school adage that states "If you put a cat and a sack of broken bones in the same room the bones will heal". Most veterinary orthopedic surgeons have observed how relatively easy it is to mend broken cat bones, as compared with dogs. 

In a study of "High Rise Syndrome" found in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Drs. Whitney and Mehlhaff documented 132 cases of cats plummeting from high-rise apartments, the average fall being 5.5 stories or 55 feet. The record height for survival was 45 stories. Ninety percent of the 132 cats studied survived even though some had severe injuries.

There is also literature that suggests that domestic cats are in general less prone to postoperative complications following elective surgeries. Cats do not have near the prevalence of orthopedic disease or ligament and muscle traumas as dogs have, and non-union of fractures in cats is rare. 

Measuring the Cat's Purr

Accelerometer Sensors





LEARN MORE
ACCELEROMETER
SENSORS

In order to measure the domestic cat's purrs and how purr vibration is spread throughout its body miniature accelerometers were used. Weighing a mere 0.14 gram, these small accelerometers mount adhesively, require no external power, and are ground isolated. They are typically used on such small objects as scale models, circuit boards and disk drives.

During tests, the cats relaxed on blankets and were encouraged to purr by occasionally stroking them. The small, lightweight accelerometers were placed directly on the skin of the cats and stabilized using washable make-up glue and medical tape. Each recording session lasted between 6 and 10 minutes. Data was recorded on DAT recorders and analyzed.

Results indicated that, despite the size and different genetics, all of the individual cats have strong purr frequencies that fall within the range of a multitude of therapeutic frequencies and particular decibel levels. Frequencies of 25 and 50 Hz are the best, and 100 Hz and 200 Hz the second-best frequencies for promoting bone strength.

Exposure to these signals elevates bone strength by approximately 30% and increases the speed at which the fractures heal.

 

Healing Frequencies

Researchers believe that self-healing is the survival mechanism behind the purr. There is extensive documentation that suggests that low frequencies, at low intensity, are therapeutic. These frequencies can aid bone growth, fracture healing, pain relief, tendon and muscle strength and repair, joint mobility, the reduction of swelling, and the relief of dyspnea, or breathlessness.

All the cats had purr frequencies between 20 Hz and 200 Hz. With the exception of the cheetah, which had frequencies ± 2 Hz from the rest, all the species had frequencies, notably 25 Hz, 50 Hz, 100 Hz, 125 Hz, and 150 Hz, that correspond exactly with the best frequencies determined by the most recent research for bone growth, fracture healing, pain relief, relief of breathlessness, and inflammation.

All of the cats' purrs, including the cheetah, had frequencies ±4 Hz from the entire repertoire of low frequencies known to be therapeutic for all of the ailments.


The Facts about the Cats

The fact that the cats in this study produced frequencies that have been proven to improve healing time, strength, and mobility could explain the purr's natural selection.

After a day or night of hunting, purring could be likened to an internal vibrational therapeutic system, a sort of "kitty massage" that would keep muscles and ligaments in prime condition and less prone to injury. Additionally, the purr could strengthen bone, and prevent.

Following injury, the purr vibrations would help heal the wound or bone associated with the injury, reduce swelling, and provide a measure of pain relief during the healing process.