There’s nothing quite like the sound of a happy, purring cat; it is almost like meditating, when I have my cat in my lap stroking her fur while she’s purring away. I was somewhat surprised to discover that there are other animals that make a similar purring noise; gorillas, guinea pigs, rabbits, and ring-tailed lemurs all make a purring sound similar to a cat.
It is still unknown exactly what makes a cat purr, although theories abound. One is that the sound comes from vibrating blood vessels inside of the voice box. Another theory is air being pushed through the vocal cords, causing a humming.
Whatever it is that makes the sound, we can be fairly sure what causes it; when a cat is content they will purr. They also purr while nursing, if they are in distress, if they are injured, and even if they are stressed. It almost seems like a meditative practice for them, helping to calm them during times of injury or pain. It has been proven that those who own a cat can benefit from the purring as well as it helps to lower blood pressure,particularly among the elderly.
Cats can help those who feel lonely to feel more connected, can improve an individual’s health by lowering blood pressure and decreasing stress levels, and basically teach us how to be kinder, gentler human beings.
Some cat breeds can be quite costly due to their rarity or popularity. Take for example the Savannah, which can cost up to $20,000 dollars! With its striking fur patterns it closely resembles its ancestor, the African Serval. They are a large cat that requires lots of playtime to keep them out of trouble. The Savannah is also one of the rare breeds not known to have particular health issues.
The Peterbald hails from Russia and is another striking cat due to its lack of fur. If it is one who is born with fur it can lose the fur as it grows older. A Peterbald can cost up to $5,000 dollars. They are known to be very affectionate and also very vocal. It is a recent breed, created in 1994 by mating a Don Hairless and an Oriental Shorthair.
The Sphynx is another breed of cat that is born without hair, although the Sphynx is an actually hairless breed unlike the Peterbald. It has velvety soft skin and can get cold easily due to its lack of fur. A Sphynx can cost up to $3,000 dollars.
A Maine Coon cat will set you back about $1,000 dollars, and is one of the largest cats breeds available. The Maine Coon is one of the oldest breeds in North America and hails from the state of Maine, where it is the official state cat.
There are a couple of other states who have named an official state cat; Maryland has the Calico cat, and Massachusetts has the Tabby, and the state of Colorado has officially named shelter cats (and dogs) their pets of choice. No matter where you are in the world, you’re bound to find a cat that will tickle your fancy.