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Decode Why Do Cats Purr

Decode Why Do Cats Purr

And as intelligent as cats are, it is no surprise that they can designate specific sounds to denote a wide range of emotions and develop a specialised ability to converse with their favourite humans! All cats purr and meow, but do you know that these two sounds are retained by adult cats with the sole purpose of communicating with humans?

Most cat parents are unaware of the fact that the meow and the purr are specialised sounds and are associated with a wide range of cat expressions and emotions. And as long as you can identify the purr meaning and differentiate between these sounds, it can help you to better understand your beloved kitty, and be more mindful of its emotions and requirements, earning you extra credit and affection from your furball for your efforts.

Reasons Why Cats Purr?

Wondering why do cats purr? Cats are extremely vocal and expressive beings and can purr for various reasons with different purr meaning. Some of the prominent reasons why is my cat purring are:

  • Telling Us That They are Happy

    The primary purpose behind purring is the expression of contentment and joy. As one of the most common sounds made by cats, it often indicates happiness. Soft, gentle purrs are an audible indication that your furry munchkin is satisfied with its world. Loving cat parents are often privileged by their kitties curling down next to them, purring and kneading, as a sign of affection and satisfaction.

  • Way of Self-Soothing

    All purr meaning do not always indicate happiness. Fur kiddos are private creatures with a strong sense of boundary, so it is no big surprise that they are not very fond of abrupt changes. Prominent changes, such as a change in their locality can prove to be stressful for kitties. So, these furry munchkins often purr to calm themselves down in stressful moments, as the vibrational nature of the purring sound can be relaxing and soothing.

  • Kittens Purr to Communicate with Mothers

    Why do cats purr while they are still kittens? In the initial months of their lives, purring is the primary sound that is made by kittens as a mode of communicating with their mothers. As kittens are completely dependent on their mothers for food and sustenance, purring serves a vital function in their kittenhood. In addition to mother cats purring as a way to soothe their kittens, the purring sound is also an effective way of letting kittens know where their mother is.

  • To Encourage Petting or Stroking

    Although cats are famously introverts who do not enjoy having their personal space invaded, they are also extremely affectionate and expressive and would love nothing more than being cuddled and showered with love by their favourite humans. So, the cat purr meaning is often understood as an invitation to encourage petting or stroking them. Most cats purr as long as they want to be indulged, encouraging their human parent to shower them with love.

  • Letting us Know They Are Hungry or They Want Something

    In addition to their signature meow, the purring sound is also unique to adult cats as it is devised as a mode of conversation with humans. The purring sound is gentle and often creates the impression of being friendly and affectionate. So, most cats use the purring sound when they are hungry and want food, or they want you to play with them.

The Main Purpose of Purring in Cats

  • Communication and Social Bonding

    The primary function served by purring is social bonding. Cats start purring days after being born for bonding with their mother. Most adult cats purr as a sign of trust, love, and friendship. Even while communicating with their favourite humans, cats frequently use the purring noise as an invitation to affection and friendship, as well as a gesture that indicates their happiness, satisfaction, and joy.

  • Self-Soothing and Healing

    Purring is also used to heal and soothe. The sound of cats purring is relaxing and is used by stressed cats to calm themselves. Furthermore, purrs have been scientifically proven to accelerate healing, so, cats often purr when they are hurt or in pain. The low frequency of the sound creates vibrations that encourage the healing of wounded tissues and bones, repair tendons, reduce swelling and pain, and regulate breathing. The cat purring effect on humans is associated with mindfulness and regeneration.

Do All Cats Purr?

The feline community is inclusive of bigger cats, such as lions, tigers, and leopards, but the ability to purr is unique to cats. Unlike what many believe, the purring noise is not issued from a cat’s voice box. So, how do cats purr? Feline furries purr with the help of their hyoid bone, a flexible, small bone located at the base of their neck. Pushing air out through the hyoid bone makes it rattle, thus creating the distinct low rumble, otherwise known as the purr. In contrast to cats, lions, tigers and most other big cats cannot purr and can only roar.


If you often wonder why is my cat purring? Now you know that the purring sound has several cat purr meaning and serves a variety of purposes in the feline community. By interpreting cat sounds and understanding why do cats purr, you can build a healthier and deeper relationship with your furry munchkin. Being able to read cats purr does not just give you a deeper insight into their emotions and requirements, but it also informs you of the state of their mental and physical health. Since cats purr when they are stressed or hurt, watching out for the sound can help you understand if your kitty needs extra attention.


  • What does it mean when a cat is purring?

    While cat parents often wonder why is my cat purring, the purring sound has been noted for its positive associations with joy, pleasure and contentment, and is known to be therapeutic. However, cats also often purr when they are stressed.

  • Why do cats purr when you pet them?

    Newborn kittens purr to express trust and contentment and to form a bond with their mother. Hence, cats purring in adulthood is an expression of joy, affection, and pleasure, similar to kittenhood, usually noticed when they are being petted.

  • How do you tell if a cat likes you?

    If a cat likes you, it will continuously follow you wherever you go, purring and meowing as if to engage you in a conversation and rub itself against you. The cat purr meaning is often associated with affection and happiness.

  • Does a cat trust you if it sleeps next to you?

    Cats are famously introverts and although they value their privacy, if a cat sleeps next to you, it means they trust you completely and want to be around you as much as they possibly can. Co-sleeping in cats means love.

  • Do cats worry about their owners?

    Cats are generally private and reserved, creating the impression that they are unsocial. Contrary to the fact, cats are incredibly gentle, caring, and loving, and continuously worry about the safety and well-being of their human parents when they are away.

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