The cat is a kind of cello, his purr vibrations make us calm and can even heal hot troubles: this is purr therapy. And you can be yourself a therapeut, for you and your kitty.
What characterizes the most Kitty, it is its purring. This purring, which delights and intrigues us, is both a sound and a vibration of the cat’s entire body. Like a cello, where the bow makes the strings vibrate, here is the sound, but where the whole body of the instrument returns an amplification, a modulation of this sound, with a particular timbre, specific to the instrument.
In the cat, the bow and the string are probably in the larynx, it is a friction still not formally localized, which is amplified in the airways (bronchi), then throughout the body, which serves as a resonance chamber.
Thus, the cat functions like a cello, with acoustic qualities that depend on the size of the cat, the size of its rib cage, when was its last meal, the density of its skin, the thickness of its coat … No two cats purr in the same way …
A priori, the cat purrs above all for himself. The purring is indeed a way to express his contentment, but also a defense mechanism (he purring when he is wounded, sick, when giving birth…) and it generates the cerebral production of endorphins that relieve pain. In other words, the benefits of its purr would be a positive collateral effect for the human being while the cat is naturally healed by its purr.
In humans, this hum will have two effects:
- the sound perceived by the ear and « recognized » is that of small happiness, which corresponds to an atmosphere of calm and security. It calls upon memory and a « feline culture » based on complicity.
- the vibrations perceived by our skin receptors (Paccini corpuscles) cause the secretion of very short-acting (a few minutes) but powerful endorphins.
All in all, a « cloud » of calming molecules, mixed with appeased emotional impulses: listening to the hum is a real therapy in the sense of a generalized yin …
But let’s get back to your kitty.
The cat is very sensitive to purring frequencies, because it has in its skin, but also throughout its body (and this is a unique feature of felines), nervous sensors (called Paccini corpuscles) that specifically perceive low frequencies, and which transmit them to the brain regions that produce serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins, all substances that calm, soothe, stimulate. A very effective cocktail, which the cat knows how to produce by itself, but which we can induce by purr therapy.
But the cat is also very sensitive to odors. It has been estimated that he is 40 times more sensitive than humans, especially to certain substances that will really change his behavior. In particular, it is known to be highly influenced by pheromones, those molecules that are felt not by the nose but by the palate, and which have given rise to a whole range of calming drugs such as Feliway.
But what surprised me the most was the influence of certain essential oils. Anecdote: in Toulouse, I witnessed a real cat revolt that routed a municipal employee who had come to clear a lavender flower bed on a sidewalk. It was « their » lavender, their sanctuary where all the cats in the neighborhood came to rest and recharge their batteries.
Lavender is a powerful calming agent, but the cat is even more sensitive to a plant dedicated to it catnip (in Latin: Nepeta cataria). In nature, or better in our gardens (where we take advantage of its insect repellent action), this plant attracts cats who come irresistibly to rub, smell and shake their heads, chew and roll on it in a euphoria that will last a few minutes before an almost ecstatic release. The catnip contains a chemical known as neopelactone; this terpene is known to trigger sex pheromones in the cat’s brain.
We can therefore count on these smells to both relieve and stimulate a cat. And this is simply called phytotherapy (or more exactly aromatherapy, since it uses essential oils).
Make your own “purette”
The recipe is very simple: you take your smartphone, you choose the MP3 file to listen to for Kitty, you launch the sound and you place the device in a washcloth, well closed with a rubber band. Then you pour a few drops of the chosen essential oil (see below) on the glove at the loudspeakers (usually at the base of the phone). Without wasting time, place the glove (so the purr) next to your kitty. It will be initially astonished, curious, then a little excited, but very quickly relaxed and passive, under the effect at the same time of the purring frequencies and soothing essences.
Important: the joint action of oils + purr is fleeting. The neurotransmitters secreted in the brain only have an action for a few minutes, then they are neutralized by enzymes and a recovery time is needed between two sessions. Basically, it is interesting to do three sessions a day.
Your smartphone has become a « purrette », a magic instrument of well-being… and it is safe, protected by the washcloth, neither falling, nor biting, nor the possible action of the cat’s oils or saliva. If you don’t want to « risk » your smartphone, use a second-hand device (they are now available in good condition for less than 40 dollars), or an MP3 player equipped with a quality speaker, available online for between 20 and 30 dollars).
And now, do you want to test the purr therapy with Rouky’s purr melodies ?
You just have to get via amazon the ebook “Purr therapy for you and your kitty”. So you get Rouky’s melodies and can begin to install them on your smartphone… OK, you’ve got your “purette”, you can begin your new task of purr therapeut.