Cat's Purr Health:

The Cat's Purr for Health

by Chet Day

Because my wife likes them, cats are also part of my life, and, for many years, as a thoroughly pragmatic and practical man who prefers lint to cat hair and dust to cat litter, I've been seeking a rationale that will allow me to live happily with four cats while also justifying the expense of cat food, neutering bills, feline toys, claw-trimming bills, carrying cases, and yet more vet bills.

Well, thanks to a fascinating article in the 18 March 2001 edition of the UK's Electronic Telegraph, I think I'll now start house-sitting cats gladly because they may well contribute to longevity and skeletal health

You see, researchers have discovered that cat purrs are the secrets to their nine lives. And if the purrs are healing our feline friends, then those wonderful little sound engines that turn on so nicely when a cat snuggles into a lap must also be sending good healing vibes into the bodies of those who pet and hold them.

According to the Telegraph article: "Wounded cats --wild and domestic -- purr because it helps their bones and organs to heal and grow stronger, say researchers who have analyzed the purring of different feline species. This, they say, explains why cats survive falls from high buildings and why they are said to have 'nine lives.' Exposure to similar sound frequencies is known to improve bone density in humans."

As soon as I read the above, I immediately thought, "Ahha, that helps to explain the studies about pet therapy that show senior citizens feeling happier and living more healthfully in retirement homes when cats are brought in for them to hold and pet."

Of course, others far smarter than me have already thought about how the cat's purr may be of benefit to humanity. According to the Telegraph article, "Other scientific teams are researching whether 'sound treatment' could be used to halt osteoporosis and even renew bone growth in post-menopausal women. Dr David Purdie, from Hull University's centre for metabolic bone disease, said that the human skeleton needs stimulation or it begins to leak calcium and weaken. 'Purring could be the cat's way of providing that stimulation for its own bones.'"

I'm sure scientists will monitor cat's purrs and break them down into a zillion different pieces and spend millions of dollars before eventually announcing to the world that holding a purring cat will benefit human health.

Well, you don't have to wait for your favorite news anchor to share this scientific breakthrough on the nightly news. Instead, take in a stray cat this week or visit the local animal shelter and save the life of a feline that would otherwise be put to sleep.

There really aren't many things in life more satisfying than a cat that has turned its purr machine up to loud while dozing happily in your lap.

And, who knows, that furry bundle of love may even strengthen your bones and stave off osteoporosis.

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