Cats and Horses?


Over the holiday break I happened to watch a documentary on the Discovery Channel about domestic house cats. It was fun and interesting to see how they explained cats behaviors in a scientific manner.

They even went so far as to explain how cats inter-relate with humans and their “tricks” to get our attention.

Even though I have had lots of animals in my life, the one thing I am never without is a cat. The second thing of course would be a horse. But I have always had a cat by my side living in my home.

Granted, I did have a horse living in my garage for a time, but I’ll save that for another story.

In the documentary that I watched, most of the things they mentioned just re-enforced my own personal conclusions about cats. But there was one shocker…

They had done some scientific research into the cat’s purr. They found that the purr emitted electrical wavelengths at the same frequency as a baby’s cry for attention.

Even though it doesn’t sound exactly the same to me, the wave frequency and how our brains translated this purr is supposedly the same as a baby’s cry for attention.

The researchers concluded that because the cat’s purr and a baby’s cry are on the same frequency, that the cat is using its purr to get our attention and to get us to take care of them.

Also noted was that a cat only uses it’s purr with a human and not with another cat. Thereby giving them the conclusion that cats do this only to manipulate a human to give them attention and take care of them.

They also showed many examples of a cat purring and then a human picking it up to cuddle, or going over to feed it, or petting the cat. Which reinforced their conclusion.

Well, for the past week or so this has been stuck in my head and bothering me for some reason. I’ve thought about it and gone over in my mind all the times I’ve heard my own cats purring and when and why I thought this occurred.

I can see how they came to their conclusion about a cat’s purr, scientifically. However, through my experience I see it a bit differently.

If you have been following my stories, you’ll know that I am a very curious person who likes to do my own research through observation and experimentation. A lot of my training techniques with horses are built on my own personal experiences.

And as much as I read and investigate about horses to get a good foundation with my research and look at all the scientific information available, my conclusions are primarily based on what I’ve seen over and over and consider consistent behaviors.

I basically take all the scientific research in, look at it, question it, and then see how it relates to my own personal experiences.

So, in this particular case with a cat’s purr, I looked at their findings, questioned the conclusion that cats use their purr to manipulate us into caring for them, and looked at my own personal experiences within the same subject.

In my experience, my cats have always started purring AFTER I was petting them or after they were curled up cuddling with me. Their purr has always been a response to me taking care of them instead of the opposite as shown in this documentary.

Therefore, in my many years with cats, my thought has always been that my cats purr because they are happy and content. They purr because they have the attention they like, not in order to get the attention from us.

But that is only my experience with my cats. It is only my personal view dealing with the limited number of cats that I have had during my lifetime.

I am not saying that the documentary is incorrect or wrong in their findings at all. I am saying that every person and every cat could bring about a different experience, thereby giving a different response or conclusion.

That’s the same with horses as well. Every horse is an individual with its own personality just like humans. Every combination of horse and human can bring about different personal experiences and different responses.

Thereby having different conclusions to the same question.

The best advice I can give anyone as we go into the New Year is this…

When you are thinking about your personal relationship with your horse and what you are lacking or longing for with your horse…look for an answer that best suits your specific situation.

I have seen so many people who try the “general fixs” fail over and over again. Then they become more frustrated and more convinced that either they don’t know how to get what they want from their horse, that they aren’t good enough to fix the problem, or that their horse is the problem and they need to get a new one.

None of which, I believe, is the case.

I truly believe that in EVERY situation between a horse and human, there IS a solution. You just need to look at it from an individual standpoint.

Just like in the case of the cat’s purr. That study came to one conclusion that fit the cats and people it studied. However, my experience with my cats was different so I came to a different conclusion.

Neither one was right or wrong, it was just different.

So if you are looking to add something new to your horsemanship skills, or trying to find a solution to a problem, or working on filling a hole in your relationship with your horse…

Make sure to look for a mentor or program that sees you and your horse as unique individuals. Look for someone who takes a personal interest in helping you find what you are looking for with your horse.

And someone who asks you about your own experiences and takes into account what you and your horse have been through, together and separately, because it makes a difference. Your results will be transformational.

Sometimes making a small tweaks or adjustment can made a big difference in your results.

All of my programs come with access to me via email or coaching calls so you can ask me questions and get my personal attention if you need it. I understand that every situation and every person and horse is different.

I don’t want you to think that “your results will vary” for any reason. I’m always leery of programs that say that. I understand everyone is different and will get slightly different results, but I never want some people to succeed while others don’t.

I want all my students to get exactly what they need with their horse regardless…every single time, for every single student and every horse. That is why I want to be personally involved with every student.

So you get the results you want every time. That’s my personal guarantee to my students.

If you are looking for something new with your horse or just trying to fix an issue and are interested in having a mentor that really cares about your situation and your horse… then please check out my personal coaching programs. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Please Share

  • Hi Teddie, I agree with you totally. Cats in my experience always purr as a result of my attention, not for my attention.

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