Why do cats purr

Me: Silk I like your purr.

Silk: it's hypnotic isn't it?

Me: very.

Silk: You're getting sleepy! You want to let me outside!


Ever wondered why your cat purrs? According to my research, a cat purrs for a number of reasons:

  • Hunger
  • Injured
  • Healing
  • Happy
  • Kitten mother bonding
  • Scared
  • Dying

Let's take a look at these individually and the next time you hear your cat purring you’ll be able to know why your cat is purring, or you’ll at least have an idea.

Hunger: Cats will purr when food is on their minds. You will sometimes hear a meow, or mew, coming out at the same time as they are purring. This I dub the Meurrr, for its distinctive meow and purring sound at the same time.

Cute Kitten

Injured: No one wants to see a cat hurt, but what if your cat is hurt and you don’t see any obvious signs of trauma? Well purring is another indicator that your cat is unwell. This type of purring is akin to a human child that will suck their thumb when not feeling well.   

Happy: It seems obvious that when a cat is happy they are going to purr. The way to tell whether your cat is happy is they are relaxed, eyes half closed and tail mostly still, a little tail movement is fine.

Kitten mother bonding: Like human parents, cat parents use the purr as a lullaby. This soothes the kitten and allows the kitten to sleep peacefully. Kittens can also start purring after just a few days old. This let's mom know where they are and that they are ok.

Cat Staring on Chair

Scared: Like humans, cats can become stressed out. One of the ways they show their fear is through purring. Ever take your cat to the vet in their kennel, and you hear them purring? Chances are good it is due to their fear of being in the kennel.

Dying: Dying is of course a part of life, and no one really wants to die alone. Not even your cat. When a cats time comes, they will usually seek out the ones they love to be near them in their final moments. And purring is a cats way of saying thank you for being with me.

My own experience with this was when my male cat at the age of 19 died beside me in bed. He was not actually in my bed with me, but on the floor b side my bed. I can still hear him purring as he died through the night.   

As always,

Thank you for reading this post.

For your cat shirt and cat needs, please check out silks cat store.


Cited work:

The Nest



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