When you’re cuddling with your kitty you will often hear a soft rumbling sound from their throat. Sometimes you’ll even feel them vibrating. That’s called a purr, a cat’s most common communication tool. But why do cats purr? People often associate purring with happiness — head rubs, treats, cuddles. But there are other reasons your fluffy feline might be purring. Read on to learn more about this important cat communication.
Is It Ordinary If My Cat Purrs?Purring is a very common way that felines communicate! Kittens start purring at a few days old, so it’s most definitely a normal means of communication and emotional expression for the feline species. You’ll hear — and feel — your cat purring when you pet them! But there are many other reasons cats purr that you may have not been aware of. We’ll go over some of those reasons a bit further down.
Can Felines Control Purring?Scientists believe that an area of the cat’s brain signals to the voice box muscles (known as the laryngeal muscles) to vibrate — producing the purring sound we all know! Cats are able to control their purring, but it could also be a natural reaction to certain actions or emotions, just like how you automatically laugh when you see something funny or smile when you get a hug from a friend.
What is Normal vs. Excessive Purring?All kitties are different. Some might purr a lot while others purr very little. Some felines purr quite loudly while others are almost inaudible at times. Excessive purring is when your cat seems to be purring more than usual. If you notice a change in your cat’s behavior and communication — including purring — something might be wrong.
Why Do Cats Purr?Even though purring is the most common sound a feline makes, there’s surprisingly little research done into this form of feline communication. While there’s still more to be learned about purring, here are some reasons cats purr below:
HappinessWhen felines are content they will often start purring. This is the most commonly known reason cats purr. You’ll notice they start purring when you pet them or when you are cuddling on the bed together. They will purr when they are relaxing on their favorite cat tree or sprawled out in the sun. Cats will also purr when they are asleep as a way to help them de-stress and relax.
FoodWhen cats purr as newborns it’s usually to help their mother find them when it’s time to eat. This sometimes carries into adulthood even when they don’t live with their mother anymore. When a feline asks for food, there are some kitties that will purr in hopes of inspiring you to feed them. Those purrs will be higher pitched, often accompanied with meows.
PainYour cat may be purring in response to pain. It’s believed that a purr’s vibrations can be physically rejuvenating. The vibration range — 20Hz to 150Hz — is said to promote bone growth. Researchers have found that bones to respond to 25 to 50Hz and skin and soft tissue respond to 100Hz, making purring very therapeutic for a cat dealing with discomfort.
Stress and FearFelines will purr when they are being cautious and even when they are startled. A cat may start purring when they are tentatively exploring a new area. They may also purr in response to being chased by a naughty child or hearing a loud noise. Purrs are so powerful, in fact, that a human’s blood pressure can go down and they can feel significantly less stressed if they pet a purring cat.
DeathVeterinarians have reported that felines being euthanized will often start purring. Just like when they are afraid or in pain, purring in these scenarios may help them feel comforted even when faced with something traumatizing or unavoidable.
Should I Go To The Vet For a Purring Cat?Purring is perfectly normal for felines, especially if they are relaxed or getting affection. You should only be concerned if your cat is purring more than usual. This could mean they are stressed or in pain and trying to comfort themselves. If you suspect that your cat is sick or in pain, you should bring them to the vet as soon as possible. A stressed cat will often show other signs that they are anxious. You may notice diarrhea and vomiting. They may also have a runny nose and eyes. Some cats may start excessively grooming themselves.
Can You Remedy Excessive Purring?Do you suspect your cat is fearful or stressed? CBD oil and CBD cat treats promote calmness and relaxation in pets, including felines. CBD is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid found in hemp, meaning it won’t make your cat high! Instead, it reacts with the cannabinoid receptors in your cat’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), helping to balance out their mood and emotions. CBD is a natural way to make your cat feel content and at ease. Try CBD oil for cats on their food each morning or giving them some treats when they appear bothered.
RELATED: CBD For Cat Anxiety - How to Calm with CannabidiolKeep in mind that purring is not only perfectly natural for felines, but helps relieve their stress. You do not have to be concerned when a feline is purring if you know it’s for a good reason!
As a canine behaviourist behaviour is my thing. I have been aware of the different reasons for cats to purr ever since I researched a study that had been done regarding cats and if they were happy living together under one roof as cats, as they are supposed to be solitary, they wore monitors during this to show stress levels.
The results of that study proved that cats were not stressed living with each other but interestingly the study unexpectantly showed that the owners who put there cat in it’s carrier between studies showed no stress at all but the owners that choose to keep there cats with them during the same time, petting and cuddling them showed by there monitor a big increase in stress levels!
So because it also says hear that cats purr when they are stressed to sooth themselves isn’t it possible that the purring when we pet them is soothing them because there stressed about us touching them?
I also think this because cats can all of a sudden attack us while we are handling them or because they anticipate were about to start petting them attack us just for coming close.
Further more because dogs during some interactions with us like when we cuddle them which they just tolerate it to please us, is it not possible that cats do the same that they really don’t like our touch as a whole but rather tolerate it not so much to please us but for there survival being food, water and shelter etc and that is why they purr constantly during our touch?
I think when you put everything together it makes purr-fect sense!