Why Do Cats Purr?

Cats have been domesticated for thousands of years and we have been fascinated by them since the beginning. We have tried to understand them, and one of the most common questions we have on them is why they purr. This blog will look at the different reasons why cats purr and if they have a specific meaning behind the purr. 

cat looking

Reasons Why Cats Purr?

While it's long been thought that cats can purr independently, recent research suggests that purring may have several explanations. Purring is part voluntary and part instinctive and has many 'purr-sonalities' as it were.

cats purr


It seems to be a form of both communication and self-soothing for most cats although there are instances where purrs seem to come out instinctively in response to healing. Here are some of the common reasons why do cats purr. 

cat with owner

Cats Purr When They Are Happy

Cats communicate their feelings through small vocalizations or body language. In most cases, a cat will purr when they are happy and content. It is also a cat's way of saying she enjoys being petted. Cats sometimes purr when eating or drinking to express happiness and well-being.


Purring Is A Way Of Communication 

Kittens start purring right after a few days of their birth. This allows them to hone in with their mums, communicating back and forth with one another using this form of social interaction. They purr by using vibrations which can indeed help the mum to find her kittens as the young ones are all blind and deaf at birth. So they rely on these amazing sensations rather than sight or sound, which will be available later in the development. 

playing cat

Purring Is A Way Of Healing

Cats also purr when they are injured or in labor. They purr to help regulate breathing and ease the pain. In addition to being a low-frequency vibration that stimulates healing, similar sounds can be used to stimulate bone growth or boost muscle strength in humans by impacting the body via vibrations and a biophysical mechanism known as mechanotransduction.

cat with owner

They Purr To Great Other Cats

When cats appear to be purring as a response to another cat who also happens to be nearby, it's usually because they are comfortable enough with that individual to show interest and become familiar, perhaps even saying something along the lines of "I'm friendly and would love to say hello, I'm not a threat."


Cats Purr When They Are Anxious 

Purring is often associated with a sign of happiness but sometimes cats also purr when they are feeling stressed or anxious. Commonly cats purr when they visit the vet or groomer. An anxious purr is usually different from a normal one it is high-pitched. Cats purr during stress to calm themselves. 

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Whenever you are near your cat and hear that low hum, that is your cat purring. Purring for cats is a sign of comfort and social bonding. The reason why cats purr is that it helps them to heal, maintain a good mood and keep stress at bay. When a cat is sick, injured, or nervous, the first reaction of a cat is to purr. It is a way for the cat to soothe itself.

Cat teaser Laser

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