4 Reasons Why Cats Purr

February 11, 2022

Cats, unlike dogs, are independent beings. They are mostly content with their own company. So when it comes to cats, it's mostly us, the cat parents, who seek their attention and want their loving response to all the petting. 

It's incredibly satisfying to get our pets to show us love and affection by communicating with us in their ways. For most people, it's their cat purring. We always consider the sweet rasp of their purr a heavenly sound, as we associate it with them being content and pleased.

Purring is one of the most satisfying sounds that animals make, but there's a mystery behind it. If you think contentment is the only reason cats purr, you are wrong. Although we’re not exactly sure why cats purr, there certainly are some good guesses and reasons that we'd love to share with you.

Of course, there are exceptions to every scenario, and many cats love to cuddle or enjoy their parents’ never-ending attention, but we need not tell you that it’s a bit rare. Many cats would show their joyous emotions by purring rather than cuddling.

show love to your cat

So, what causes cats to purr?

It's created from the larynx, also known as the soundbox. The purr is a result of the movement of laryngeal muscles. When these muscles move, they constrict and dilate the glottis, part of the larynx. The glottis surrounds the vocal cords, and every time the cat breathes in or out, the air vibrates, making the sound we call a Purr. 

Although scientists are pretty sure of what creates a purr, they are still wondering what leads your cat to purr.

Let's dive in and find out the reasons that make these little felines purr.

Healing, also known as the Purr Therapy

Purring is sometimes voluntary, but other times it's instinctive. Cats make a soft rumbling purr to soothe themselves when they are stressed or injured, similar to the way humans relieve themselves by crying when hurt or stressed.

cat healing

The purr therapy is known to have bone healing and tissue regeneration properties as it is produced at a frequency of 26 hertz, which is the range of vibration that promotes healing. Bones make themselves stronger when they undergo some level of pressure or exercise, and vibrations of the purr work on a similar basis. 

Cats purr as a form of bone stimulation when simply lying around, doing nothing, or waiting to hunt to prevent their bones from becoming weak. 

They also purr to calm themselves down after a crazy episode of being chased by a dog or other stressful episode.

Calling for attention

cat seeking attention

Most animals are born without the ability to see or hear. They only begin to see and hear clearly when they are around two weeks old. This is where purring early on comes in handy for kittens.

Baby kittens use this sound to let their mother know their whereabouts and remind them that it's feeding time and hungry. This is why some cats carry on this behaviour even in adulthood to let their pet parents know that it's meal-time.

Communicating their emotion 

cat in lap

This is one reason that most of you know. It's a cosy day, your cat is curled up on your lap, and you are stroking them softly, and you hear your cat purr constantly. Isn't it the most satisfying feeling? 

They do this because they want you to know that it makes them feel calm and pleasant. Cats may also purr to let you know that they do not want you to stop petting them.

You can also notice a difference in a cat's purr if you pay attention. Their purr is softer and mild when they are just relaxing while you stroke them, but it's less pleasant and more urgent when they are trying to communicate to you that they are hungry.


cat greeting

If you just got back from a long vacation or a long day at work and your cat starts purring at you, moving around, and rubbing itself against your legs, they are greeting you. It's their way of letting you know they are happy to have you back at home.

Just like it's not wise to assume that humans only cry in sadness as we've all shed a happy tear or two on some occasions, it is difficult to assume cats only purr for one reason, and that is for pleasure. You can understand the cause of their purr by being a good observer and figuring out what prompted them to purr.

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