Can A Cats Purr Heal Broken Bones?

For centuries, cats have been beloved pets, known for their soft fur, soothing purrs, and healing companionship. While a cat’s soothing purr certainly provides comfort and stress relief, some claim that a cat’s purr has actual physical healing properties. Specifically, there are claims that the vibrational frequencies and harmonics in a cat’s purr can help heal broken bones and provide other therapeutic benefits for humans.

This intriguing idea that a cat’s purr can physically help heal humans is worth a deeper examination. In this article, we’ll take a look at what modern science reveals about the potential healing effects of a cat’s purr. We’ll consider the proposed benefits, analyze any scientific research, review anecdotal accounts, and summarize expert opinions. While more research is still needed, exploring this captivating claim can provide valuable insights into the remarkable abilities of our feline friends.

What is a Cat’s Purr?

Cats purr through rapid vibrations of their vocal cords and larynx. According to the Library of Congress, the purr is produced during the entire respiratory cycle, on both inhaling and exhaling (1). This makes a cat’s purr unique from other vocalizations. The vibrations occur at a frequency between 25-150 Hertz, which gives the purr its characteristic rumbling, rolling quality (2).

The low frequency vibrations of a cat’s purr fall within a range that has been shown to promote bone density and fracture healing. This has led to speculation about the purr’s potential healing effects, which will be explored more in the following sections.

Proposed Benefits of Purring

Purring has long been thought to provide therapeutic benefits for cats and humans alike. Some of the alleged benefits of a cat’s purr include:

  • Promoting bone healing – There is anecdotal evidence that the vibrations from a cat’s purr can help heal broken bones and fractures in humans. Some believe the 25-50Hz frequency of a cat’s purr promotes increased bone density and accelerated healing of fractures when in close proximity.
  • Relieving pain – Some studies have shown that a cat’s purr vibrations can have an analgesic effect in reducing pain sensation in humans. Researchers believe the rhythmic vibrations may stimulate natural pain relief responses.
  • Healing wounds – There is speculation that a cat’s purr may promote wound healing and reduce infection risk through increased blood flow and tissue regeneration. However, more research is needed.

While these alleged benefits are not conclusively proven, some advocate that a cat’s purr has restorative properties worth exploring further through scientific study. Most cite anecdotal experiences of cats purring near sites of injury or pain and subsequent accelerated healing.


Scientific Research on Purring

There has been some research that indicates a cat’s purr may have healing properties, though the evidence is limited. In one study published in The Fascinating Science Behind a Cat’s Purr, researchers found that the frequency of vibrations caused by purring is between 25-50 Hz. This low frequency range can help stimulate muscles and bones, reducing inflammation and promoting healing.

Specifically, the researchers found the frequencies may improve bone density and promote fracture healing. However, the study was small and did not conclusively prove purring heals bones. It only showed the potential for purring to aid healing.

Another study discussed in Why Do Cats Purr? demonstrated that cats produce purrs by signaling their laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles intermittently. But again, this study did not look at any healing effects.

While these studies show promise, more extensive research is still needed to fully understand if a cat’s purr can heal injuries, especially broken bones. The existing research has limitations like small sample sizes. More rigorous, controlled studies are necessary before definitive conclusions can be made about purring’s healing properties.

Anecdotal Evidence

Many cat owners believe their cat’s purring has healing powers based on their personal experiences. According to one article, “Plenty of pet owners will swear that their cats helped them recover from illness or injury through their rumbly purrs” (The complicated truth about a cat’s purr). Specifically, some cat owners report faster healing of bone fractures when their cat purred near the injury site.

For example, Karen Atkins shared how her elderly cat Oscar purred on her broken ankle every day while she recovered: “My kitty nursed me back to health after I broke my ankle. He never left my side and purred for hours” ( Many other cat owners have similar stories of their cats purring on them while sick or injured, and believe the vibrations helped accelerate their healing.

While anecdotal, these stories suggest some cat owners strongly believe their cats have a kind of “healing purr” that provides comfort and may even promote physical recovery. More scientific research is still needed to validate if this belief has merit.

Expert Opinions

Many veterinarians and researchers believe a cat’s purr has healing properties. According to Dr. Karen Becker at Elgato Veterinary Hospital, the frequency of a purr’s vibrations can “help heal injuries and reduce inflammation.” The low-frequency 25-150Hz range of a purr has been shown to promote bone density and reduce the risk of osteoperosis. As Dr. Becker notes, this frequency “has been shown to help heal tendons, muscles, ligaments, and fractures.”

Similarly, Dr. Gary Richter states on the VBVH Veterinary Hospital blog that a cat’s purr “creates vibrations that help heal and strengthen bones” and can provide pain relief. He explains that the frequencies “have been shown to increase bone density and promote healing,” which allows the vibrations to potentially aid recovery from fractures and wounds. While more research is still needed, many vets agree there is promising evidence for the healing power of purring.

Other Explanations

While some believe a cat’s purr has healing properties, there are a number of other explanations for why people may feel better after interacting with a purring cat.

One possibility is the placebo effect. The placebo effect refers to improvements in a person’s symptoms that are not due to a specific treatment, but instead due to the person’s expectations and beliefs that they will improve. In the case of cats’ purrs, if someone believes the purr will help them heal, they may actually start to feel better, even though there is no direct healing effect from the purr itself. This could explain some of the anecdotal reports of purring helping people heal.

Additionally, the act of petting and interacting with a cat can produce feelings of relaxation, lower stress, release endorphins, and distract from pain and discomfort. So it may not be the purr itself, but rather the entire experience of being with a cat that makes someone feel better. [1]

More research is still needed to fully understand if cats’ purrs have direct healing effects on humans, or if other factors like expectations and mood improvements from interacting with pets are behind the anecdotal reports.

Risks of Relying on Purrs

While a cat’s purr may have some therapeutic benefits, it should not replace proper medical treatment. Relying solely on a cat’s purr to heal serious medical conditions like broken bones or cancer can be dangerous.

One risk is that the condition could worsen without proper medical care. For example, a fractured bone will not heal properly on its own and requires immobilization and alignment under a doctor’s care. Cancer also requires evidence-based treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.

Additionally, the pain and complications from untreated conditions may become severe. A purr does not take away the pain of a broken bone or treat potentially life-threatening cancerous tumors.

Self-treating with alternative therapies like a cat’s purr could also interfere with conventional medical treatments. It’s best to consult doctors and follow their expert advice when dealing with any serious illness or injury.

While cats’ purrs may provide some comfort, pain relief, or other benefits, they should not replace professional veterinary or human medical care. Rely on doctors, not your pet, when it comes to diagnosing and properly treating medical conditions.


While evidence for cats’ purrs healing broken bones or other injuries is limited, initial research shows promising indications of potential benefits. Studies have found the frequencies in feline purrs coincide with ranges that can promote bone density and reduce inflammation. However, current research is restricted to small sample sizes and lacks rigorous clinical trials. More investigation is required before definitive conclusions can be made about cats’ purrs healing broken bones or other wounds in humans.

The existing evidence is primarily anecdotal stories of people reporting faster healing when exposed to cat purrs. There are also some initial experimental studies demonstrating faster healing in rodents exposed to recordings of cat purrs. But this preliminary research has yet to be replicated on a larger scale or directly tested on human subjects. Overall, the current evidence is suggestive but not conclusive regarding the healing effects of cats’ purrs.

While an intriguing concept, more controlled research trials directly investigating impacts on human bone healing are needed before the healing power of cats’ purrs can be confirmed. Current evidence shows potential, but remains limited. Further research would help elucidate the mechanisms behind any impacts, as well as the extent of healing benefits possible for humans. Until more thorough scientific validation is completed, relying solely on purrs to heal broken bones is unadvisable. But the initial results merit further exploration and more rigorous studies of this fascinating possibility.

The Takeaway

While a cat’s soothing purr may provide some healing benefits, more scientific research is still needed to fully understand the effects. Anecdotal reports of faster healing when a cat purrs nearby are interesting, but not conclusive evidence. The vibrations and frequencies may help relax muscles and provide comfort, but likely do not directly mend bones or cure illnesses. So enjoy your cat’s purring for the calming, feel-good sensations it brings. But for any serious injuries or health conditions, be sure to seek professional veterinary care as well. A cat’s purr should not replace standard medical treatment. Look at purring as a supplemental boost alongside proper care.

The exact healing mechanisms behind purring remain a mystery. We need controlled experiments and in-depth studies to uncover the physical and psychological impacts. But the hints of therapeutic potential deserve further exploration. As we learn more, purring could emerge as a simple, drug-free way to improve health outcomes. For now, science has not reached a definitive conclusion. Yet the clues so far indicate an intriguing area for future research. Cat owners should continue observing and enjoying their pet’s purrs, while scientists hopefully make new discoveries in the years ahead.

Scroll to Top