Oct 28, 2022

Every cat owner enjoys the feeling when their cat starts to purr. However, there are many more reasons why a cat or kitten may purr than being content or happy. For example, it is believed cats may also purr when they are injured or in pain because the purring creates low-frequency vibrations, which is a natural healing mechanism.

Continue reading to discover the many reasons why cats purr:

What is Purring?

Black and white shot of a cat licking another cat with a blurred background

A cat's purr is an exceptional sound that comes from a unique structure nestled near its voice box. The sound is formed when tissues vibrate, resulting in a loud rumbling noise created as the cath inhales and exhales. Ultimately, purring is another way cats communicate with other cats, animals, and humans.

Why is My Cat/Kitten Purring Constantly?

grey cat staring

If you share a place with a cat, you are most likely aware of their behavior traits and the quirky things they do. For example, purring is one of the common habits cats have and can indicate many things. Details about why cats and kittens purr include the following:

They Are Content and Happy

Gray kitty with monochrome wall behind her

Many times when your cat is content, happy, and relaxing, they start to purr. Purring is common in kittens near their mother, especially after being fed. Sometimes cats will purr when they climb onto your lap and allow you to pet them.

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See Also: How Cats Show Affection: Understand your Feline Emotions and Signs

They Feel Safe

old women petting her black and brown cat

Cats love to feel safe and secure, which can mean they are comfortable in their environment when they purr. Purring could be a sign your cat trusts you and is protected in their home.

They Like You

smiling woman hugging a sphinx cat with no fur

If a cat does not like you, chances are they will most likely avoid interacting with you. On the other hand, cats will purr if they like someone, especially when they are interacting with the person they enjoy spending time with.

Self Reassurance

british shorthair cat on a couch arm looking mad

Sometimes cats need comfort, and they will purr to reassure themselves everything will be okay. For example, when a cat becomes anxious or afraid, purring can help provide comfort and reassurance, which can help calm them down. Ultimately, purring can be a method of self-soothing cats use when stressed.

They Feel Unwell

sleepy cat laying on a fence portrait

Sometimes cats will purr when they feel unwell as a means to help provide them with self-comfort. However, suppose your cat is consistently purring with other signs, such as hiding, eating less, vomiting, or having diarrhea. In that case, your cat purring could be a sign that they are not feeling well and should go to see their veterinarian for treatment.

They Are in Pain

sick black cat laying on stretcher being caressed by vets hand

Sometimes when cats feel the pain, they begin to purr in an attempt to make themselves feel better. Purring, when accompanied by limping, drying, or hunched-over posture, could be a sign your cat is in pain.

They Want Attention

gif of a cat purring when given attention

Sometimes cats will start purring because they want attention. When cats do not get the attention they believe they deserve, they will continuously purr while doing everything possible to get your attention, so you can pet and comfort them.

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Do Male or Female Cats Purr More?

Close up woman caressing her Turkish Angora cat

Male cats tend to develop a stronger bond with humans and other cats, making them more social and affectionate. This behavior in male cats could result in them purring more than female cats, who tend to be more standoffish.

Where Does The Purring Sound in Cats Come From?

Closeup shot of the brown and white face of a cute blue-eyed cat

After continued research, it was determined the purring sound coming from cats is created by their internal laryngeal muscles. These muscles open and close the glottis, the space between vocal cords, resulting in a separation of the chords, which makes the sound. The faster the air goes through these muscles, the louder the purring is.

What Does Excessive Purring Mean?

a cat with yellow eyes licking his snout

Cats purr consistently as a way to communicate their emotions. Excessive purring could signify your cat is ill, in pain, or something is wrong. If the excessive purring is accompanied by a change in your cat's behavior, it might be best to take it to the veterinarian to ensure there is nothing wrong with them.

Excessive purring may also be a sign your cat is very happy. Seeing a veterinarian to ensure there is nothing wrong with your cat can help ease any worries associated with excessive purring.

Is It Usual for a Cat to Purr Constantly?

Closeup of a ginger cat lying on a blanket on a chair

In most cases, when cats purr, it is a good thing; it shows they are content and happy. Constant purring is a good thing; however, when it is accompanied by other signals, such as a change in behavior, it could indicate there is a problem. To best determine if the purring is normal, speak with your veterinarian, who will discuss your cat's routine, lifestyle, and behavior. The vet may conduct a physical examination to see if there are any underlying health issues causing pain or stress.

Why Do Cats Purr and Then Bite You?

little kitten biting a hand

When you pet your cat, it begins to purr and then bite you. Some cat lovers call this a "love bite," and others consider it an act of aggression triggered by you petting them in a way they do not like.

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Does Purring Mean a Cat Is Happy?

Close up owner holding cat like a baby

A soft, gentle purr usually signifies your cat's satisfaction with its life. This audible sound of contentment often means the cat is happy, but sometimes it could be because they are stressed. Watch your cat's behavior to determine the difference between purring for happiness or because they are stressed.

How Do I Know If My Cat is Purring Because They are in Pain?

Close up woman holding a sphynx cat with blue eyes

Cats will vocalize if they want something, are stressed, or are in pain. For example, if your cat is purring more than normal and tends to growl or hiss when someone gets too close, it may be in pain.

Do Cats Purr When They are Scared or Nervous?

bengal cat inside of a shopping bag

Cats may purr when they are scared or nervous. Purring is essentially their way of communicating and must be interpreted based on their behaviors. For example, worried, scared, anxious, or frightened cats may purr. It is believed the sound from the purring helps calm the cats down, reducing the anxiety they feel.

How Do You Make a Cat Stop Purring?

british shorthair Cat laying on shoes

Purring is a natural behavior exhibited by cats used as a form of communication with their humans and other animals. Because it is a natural behavior, it is near impossible to stop. The veterinarian will conduct an exam to determine if there are any other negative things causing your cat to purr. As long as there is nothing medically or physically wrong with your cat, purring is perfectly natural and can be very calming.

Do Humans Benefit From Cats Purring?

In addition to your cat purring to keep themselves calm, humans can benefit greatly from having a purring cat. Being near a cat has many healing benefits, and their purring in the range between 20 and 140 Hz has proven therapeutic medical qualities. Some benefits people experience when near a purring cat include the following:

  • Lower stress levels
  • Improved breathing
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved bone strength
  • Lower risk of heart attack

Cats communicate with their humans and other animals in various ways, including meowing, growling, and purring. When cats purr, they can be trying to express many feelings, including contentment, happiness, sadness, and stress. Monitor your cat's behavior and see how they act to determine why they are consistently purring. If they are behaving abnormally, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to ensure there is nothing wrong with your cat.

It is more likely your cat is happy or trying to get your attention because they feel ignored.

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