Why Do Cats Purr? Explained For Cat Lovers

Why Do Cats Purr? Explained For Cat Lovers

Mar 1, 2024

Cats are one of Earth’s most fascinating creatures. They are both charming and enigmatic at the same time. This push-and-pull personality creates a sense of wonder that keeps our hearts magnetized to their little, furry paws.

But the multi-million dollar question is, why do cats purr? This soft and soothing sound comprises the adorable nature of the cats. It’s incredibly soothing but at the same time leaves us wondering why cats purr. But it’s a lot more complicated than just the sound a cat makes. But to keep it short, cats purr to communicate a wide variety of different emotions and feelings from negative to positive ones. It’s a complex vocalization that tells us how they are feeling at the moment.

Why Do Cats Purr

Why Do Cats Purr

Cats purr for a multitude of reasons. These range from communication to emotional expression. While it’s very satisfying to be in the presence of a majestic purr, knowing the reasons why they do so is essential to understanding their emotions and feelings. Here are some of the reasons why your cat purrs:


Cats use purring as a means of communicating with you and other cats. When used on humans, purring acts as a signal of the cat’s emotions and feelings in the moment. The meaning can have lots of possibilities depending on the situation. It can even mean that the cat wants you to continue or stop doing a certain action. 

It’s also often helpful to correlate a cat’s purring and its body language to get a grasp on what it wants to say. Cats usually combine body language and purring to interact with you. For example, a cat’s purr usually translates to a greeting whenever their tail is held up straight.

Comfort and Relaxation

One of the best feelings in the world is when your cat feels comfortable and relaxed around you. When your cat purrs during moments like these, it could be possible that it feels comfortable hanging out with you. Whether it’s curled up on your lap or lying down beside you, a cat’s purr may signal a state of relaxation, comfort, and happiness.

Usually, a contented cat may purr loudly. A cat purring during times like these may be accompanied by supporting body language that indicates that the cat loves being around you. This includes a relaxed posture, kneading, and slowly blinking. Be sure to take note of the body language present to see if your cat really is relaxed and comfortable with you by its side.

Self-Soothing Mechanism

Cats purr not only when there’s pleasure in its current situation, but also when they need to catch a breather. These usually happen whenever they are stressed, anxious, or in pain. They may walk around the house and display body language showing anxiety while purring continuously. By purring, cats can release the stress and anxiety they are feeling which ultimately helps them calm down.

Although it is not usually easy to spot the reasons why your cat is stressed, careful observation of its body language as well as an assessment of the current situation can help you understand your cat. 

Therapeutic Healing

It has been carefully studied that cats’ purring has some sort of therapeutic properties for them. Having a frequency of 25 to 150 Hertz, the frequency of a cat’s purring produces vibrations that could be a big help in healing from inflammation, wounds, and injuries. Along with healing, purring has also been shown to have a part in pain relief. Cats have their little hospital.

Social Interaction

While purring can be used to communicate with their owners, cats also purr to interact with other cats. This is most apparent in a mother-and-child situation. A mother cat may constantly purr while attending to her kittens. This helps create a strong sense of love, care, and security that comforts the young ones. Kittens don’t get to see and hear anything right after birth but can feel. A mother cat’s purr creates vibrations that the kittens can feel, letting them feel safe knowing their mother is right by their side.

Cats also use purring to interact and bond with other cats. This strengthens their social bonds and helps create friendships. Here’s a fun little activity for you: The next time you see a clowder of cats, observe their body language whenever they purr. It’ll let you know if they get along or not. 

How Do Cats Purr

Understanding how cats purr can be first explained by knowing which organs and parts are used. Cats purr by utilizing their larynx, glottis (which consists of the vocal cords and the opening between), and hyoid bone (a bone that supports the tongue and larynx) to make the sound. The process starts during breathing as the glottis compresses and dilates rapidly. As the air passes through and vibrates from the rapidly moving muscles in the larynx, the purring sound is produced.

What Are The Benefits Of Cat Purring

What Are The Benefits Of Purring

As we care for our cats as their loving owners, cats also give something back in return for our love. A cat’s purr goes a long way in giving benefits to humans. It just goes to show how much our cat loves us.

Reduced Stress

The most obvious note of a cat’s purr is its calming and soothing nature. No wonder these small vibrations easily soothe the deepest parts of our messy and clouded minds. A cat’s purr has been proven to aid in reducing stress and anxiety for us owners. The sound provides comfort and encourages feelings of happiness and relaxation through the release of hormones such as oxytocin, endorphin, and serotonin.


The frequency of the vibrations produced during a cat’s purring proves to be a big factor in aiding the regeneration of bones and muscles in humans. A cat’s purr can help heal injuries in soft tissues such as sprains while promoting the strengthening of bones by stimulating the cells involved. The increase in activity helps bones become more durable and have a higher bone density, effectively gaining a greater resistance to fractures and having faster recoveries from bone-related injuries. 

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Having a cat as your companion reduces your risk of heart disease. The stress-relieving capabilities of a cat’s purr place owners in a much better position to avoid this fatal disease. Similarly, purring can lower blood pressure in humans. The rhythmic sounds produced by a purring cat create a soft and soothing sensation, helping humans feel calm and relieved.

How To Respond When Cats Purr

When cats purr, they are trying to communicate their feelings and emotions to you. Purring allows them to reach out to you and show their need for your love and care. Understanding the reasons why they purr and how to respond to these is crucial for maintaining effective communication with your best friend. Here are some tips on how to respond when cats purr:

  1. Interpreting Purring Patterns

As your cat’s caretaker and guardian, it’s important to understand the patterns that come with your cat’s purring. It also allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your cat’s personality. Take a look around the scene whenever your cat purrs. It may be hungry, needy, sleepy, stressed, or maybe it got into a fight with the neighboring cats. It is advisable to examine your cat and its surroundings in order to get a better view of what the situation really is. 

Also, take note of the volume of your cat’s purr. If it purrs loudly, it is possible that it is happy with its current situation. Changes might make it stressed and disturbed. It is important to consider a variety of scenarios in order to fully grasp your cat’s feelings. 

  1. Responding to Your Cat's Purrs

Once you get a grasp of what the situation really is, take action to come to your cat’s aid. Responding can give your cat the feeling that you care. It strengthens the bond you share and makes your cat feel more comfortable with you. For example, when a cat purrs when you pet it, it usually means that it enjoys the petting and wants more. Try to see if the hypothesis is true by continue petting it more. Take action depending on the result. It’s important to be flexible at times like these.

  1. Enjoying the Purr

When you get it right, the time has come to finally enjoy and enhance the purring experience. Purring benefits both you and your cat. Enjoying the time you spend with each other gives meaningful memories for your cats due to their excellent long-term memory


A cat’s purr is certainly one full of wonder and questions, but it’s certainly worth the exploration. Purring is your cat’s way of reaching out to you. As the owner and caretaker of your cat, it falls upon you to heed its call and show it the love it deserves. Understanding the benefits and reasons cats purr helps you create a deeper connection with your best friend. 

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because they’re family.

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© 2024 Noble Veterinary Clinic | Website by ARENA

Unique care for your best friends,

because they’re family.

Pay Now

© 2024 Noble Veterinary Clinic | Website by ARENA

Unique care for your best friends,

because they’re family.

Pay Now

Website by ARENA

© 2024 Noble Veterinary Clinic