Science Questions

How do cats purr?

Sun, 20th Sep 2009

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Question

Irenie Cranwell asked:

How do cats purr?

Answer

Now, there isnít really a special purring organ in a cat.  Itís simply a very fast movement of their voice box.  So itís fast twitching of the muscles in their larynx which rapidly kind of flap up and down something called the glottis.  Thatís some little flaps inside your throat, and it causes air vibrations when you inhale and exhale.  And interestingly, a fact for you is that tigers, lions, jaguars, and leopards can only purr when theyíre breathing out!

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