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Why Do Cats Purr? What Does It Mean!

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Being a cat parent is always thrilling, as cats can be anything but predictable, and that’s why you get to experience new things now and then. Especially when she starts vibrating in your lap! There is something really amazing about the feeling. We know how curious you are to know the reason behind it!

Why do cats purr? There’s no one reason behind it, in fact, there are multiple reasons behind the purring of cats! Let’s find out why and how does a cat purr!

why do cats purr

What Is a Purring Cat?

Have you ever wondered what is the vibrating sound your domestic cats make! When she’s near you or while rubbing against your body. Experts acknowledge that the larynx (voice box), laryngeal muscles, and a neural oscillator are involved in the purring of cats.

The frequency of this purr is usually between 20-30 vibrations per second.

Even kittens learn to purr at an early stage. So we know now that what is a purring cat.

Let’s bounce onto reasons why do cats purr:

1. When Cats Are In a Relaxed Environment

One thing which every cat parent can feel is that purring is somewhere related to a happy cat! You can understand this once you witness your cats making the purring sound, in situations that are clearly merrier for them.

when cats are in a relaxed environment

Any gesture made in such moments can be related to the happiness of your cat.

2. Feeling Happy or Sociable

Your cat is sitting on your lap or on your chest, and you start stroking her with your hands, your cat’s eyes are half-closed, she starts to purr.

cat feeling happy or sociable

This is a sign that your cat is feeling happy and energetic, she trusts her humans and loves to be around them!

3. Purring and Pleasure

As you can see, that our first three reasons for why do cats purr? Are related to the happiness of our cats. Somewhat, it is true! When humans pet cats, they purr, which creates a link between purring and pleasure.

cat purring and pleasure

Observed feline behavior implies they’re trying to solicit further interaction, as if to say, “Please stroke me again.”

4. Your Cat Is In Pain

We don’t want to shock you, but one of the reasons why do cats purr is also when they are in pain! As purring is considered to be a self-soothing behavior. A crazy fact to support our point is, cats purr at the frequency of 26 hertz, this is such a range that promotes tissue regeneration.

your cat is in pain

So if your cat is injured or suffering from some sort of pain, she will purr. Well, this is applicable for both kinds of pain, physical or emotional. As cats purr to soothe themselves, so if they are in any stressful situation, they will purr!

How will you know that the answer behind your cat’s purring is due to happiness or sadness?

Being a cat parent, you got to be an expert in detecting the behavior of your cat, if she is visibly happy and licking you, purring around you, rubbing, etc. You can relate these actions as positive responses from your cat.

In the same way, if she’s, hiding from you, hissing, biting you, then you should know that something’s wrong and needs to be treated.

5. Your Cat Is Healing

Cats are very intelligent creatures, more than you could think! Many cats purr when they are hurt physically or mentally. But why would they do it? As we said before, cats are very intelligent, and they won’t do a thing that is not worth the effort.

your cat is healing

Let’s have a look at what our research suggests on the benefits cats can get from purring:

  1. Healing of bones
  2. Heal wounds
  3. Ease in breathing
  4. Build muscles
  5. Repair tendons
  6. Reduces swelling and pain

One of the reasons why cats survive easily even after falling from high places also has fewer complications after surgeries if compared to dogs.

6. A Lullaby for Kittens by Their Cat Moms

Many habits of cats are considered as learned behaviors from their mother cats, like licking. In the same way, cats also purr as a learned behavior. Low-frequency noises are highly sensitive to cats, confirming that the song serves as a lullaby, lulling the cats to sleep.

a lullaby for kittens by their cat moms

Baby kittens are born deaf and blind, so there’s no other way to exchange any sort of messages, that is why mother cat purring to keep them warm or as a lullaby for her small babies.

Kittens learn to purr only in a couple of days, in return for the gesture of their mothers, kittens purr back, a way of saying that they are fine!

Did you know: A cat’s purr could have advantages for humans, too, A large study revealed that cat owners were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease compared to those who never owned a cat, yes you heard it right! The purring of cats not only feels magical, but it actually is!


I hope you are now satisfied with your question, why do cats purr? Since your cat can purr in both situations, happy or sad. The only way to understand is by decoding her body language. If your cat is purring in your lap or near you, it’s happy purring!

If you can hear the purr of your cat, but can’t find her, she’s hiding from you, which only suggests that she’s sad or in pain. From the periscope tail of a friendly cat purrs in a sociable mood to the wide eyes and bent-back whiskers of a cat in a fight mode purr. You got to decide what is she presenting.


  1. Is My Cat Happy? — PetMD
  2. Pain points — AVMA
  3. Why and how do cats purr? — Library of Congress

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