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Cats Protection has Purr-fect Remedy for Blue Monday

16 January 2015
Cats Protection

UK - Cats Protection is releasing a recording of cats’ purring to ease the stress of Blue Monday (19 January) – often dubbed the most depressing day of the year.

A cat’s purr is widely recognised as having therapeutic benefits for humans so can help combat the inevitable January gloom, brought on by cold weather, unpaid Christmas bills and failed New Year resolutions, the charity says.

Furthermore, curling up with a feline friend is even known to lower blood pressure so cats really could be the purr-fect remedy for New Year blues.

“Sitting with a relaxed purring cat at the end of a hectic day is a soothing massage for the soul,” said Beth Skillings, Cats Protection’s Clinical Veterinary Officer. “Perhaps this is because the reassuring hum is generally associated with calmness and gentle communication, or perhaps it is because the frequency of the vibration is in the range that can stimulate healing.”

Cats Protection’s recommendation is backed up by research, carried out in conjunction with the Mental Health Foundation, which showed that owning a cat can help lift the spirits.

The survey found that 87 per cent of people who owned a cat felt it had a positive impact on their wellbeing, while 76 per cent said they could cope with everyday life much better thanks to the company of their feline friends.

Half of the cat owners felt that their cat’s presence and companionship was most helpful, followed by a third of respondents describing stroking a cat as a calming and helpful activity.

“These findings tell us what cat lovers have known for years – cats are not just great company but they can also be very good for you,” said Beth. “There are thousands of cats and kittens in our care that desperately need new homes and could help chase away the Monday blues.”

Cats purr in a range of situations - though how and why is not fully understood. It’s commonly believed that purring is a sign of contentment but this is not always the case as they have also been known to purr when they are in pain. Other lesser known facts include:

  • Cats purr by themselves as well as when around people.
  • Female cats are known to sometimes purr while giving birth.
  • Kittens are able to purr almost from birth and primarily purr when they are suckling.
  • The mechanism by which cats purr is elusive because there isn't a specific part of their body that produces the sound. It has been suggested that twitching the muscles in their voicebox, the larynx, rapidly dilates and constricts the glottis, causing air vibrations as they breathe in and out.
  • The loudest purring domestic cat was Smokey from Northampton who received a Guinness World Record Certificate after her purr was found to be 14 times louder than average.

The soothing sound of Phoenix, Buddy and Maddie purring can be found here.

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