There’s nothing better than hearing your cats purr, right? The feel and sound of a purr is both comforting and soothing. But is it always a good sign from our cats?

Often cats purr when they are in a relaxed setting and feeling content. Most kitties will purr when they are being petted or brushed by their owner as well. Our little gray kitty, Jack, purrs so loud we call him a little motor boat. The vibration of the purr has also proven to help reduce stress in humans. We can’t, however, assume that everything is fine with our cats when the purr.

Other reasons our kitties will purr

  • They are stressed or afraid. Kitties will also purr when they are fearful of something or someone. The vibration helps calm them down and ease their breathing. It is a way for them to soothe tension.
  • They are in pain. Scientists believe that the purring vibration helps to heal injuries and pain. They see it as a painkiller for kitties, which is why you’ll hear pregnant cats purring while giving birth. It’s not because they love the feeling, it’s to help cope with the pain. This may also be why cats tend to recover from surgeries faster than dogs.
  • They’re hungry. Cats can also purr to get their way by their humans. They call this the solicitation purr and it’s a kitty’s way of getting something they want, like food or affection.

 A statement we hear sometimes from cat parents is that their cats don’t actually purr at all. While I’m sure it’s possible that some cats are unable to do this, many kitties purr in silence and you won’t detect it unless you feel their throat for the vibration. If you have a cat that you think doesn’t purr, try this next time he/she is content and happy.


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