Kitty purrs every time you pamper her with an afternoon petting – but how did purring come to be a sign of contentment?
Kittens first start purring when mama spoils them with a suckling feast. This signals that her milk rations are successfully reaching their destination. Mom purrs back to confirm the message has been received.
But a cat’s reaction to being sick or injured may be no different – she’ll purr the night away. Some scientists think that when a cat purrs in reaction to suffering, the act releases endorphins, which are natural analgesics that ease suffering. In other words, kitty self-prescribes her own “feel-good” medication when pain strikes. It’s a purr-fect solution.