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October 01, 2020

As a cat lover, nothing beats the feeling of having your warm and fluffy cat snuggled next to you while hearing it purr. It's one of the most relaxing and loving experiences that us cat lovers wouldn't replace.

You may be a fellow cat lover, or you may just be a person who's always been curious why cats purr, and that's why you're here reading this article.

So why do cats purr? Is it them trying to talk to you? Is it a natural involuntary reaction when they feel comfortable? Keep reading to find out.

When Do Cats Purr

Cats purr in a lot of very different situations, not just when you're cuddling in bed with them. Think of it like how a human reacts to several things, just like how humans make noises like laughing, crying, smiling, grinning, and even sometimes snorting while laughing.

Some things can make you laugh, cry, smile, or grin, but some things don't. It's similar to cats, and there are different stimuli (things that cause reactions) that make cats purr. Different cats react to different situations differently. Some may purr, and some may not when you pat them or when you cuddle with them.

Common Moments When Cats Purr

Despite the fact that cats react differently to situations and that some might not purr in some situations, there are still common moments where cats are bound to purr.

Purring as a Kitten

Most kittens are already able to purr after they are born to let their mother know they are okay. Just like babies, when successfully delivered, the doctor pats the baby on the butt or the back to get a response. and this is also the case for cats.

When they purr as kittens or newly born kittens, their purr is a signal to their mother that they are alright and alive—the first sound they make also services as a bond shared between the mother and the kitten.

When Cats Feel Contented

This is probably the most common occasion when cats purr. If your cat has a favourite spot in the house and is sitting there, chances are it sometimes purrs if it feels relaxed and content with its position.

When Cats Ask for Something

When you've already kept and been with your cats for a while, they'll probably know when feeding time is. If your cats are already accustomed to it and if you feed them during set periods throughout the day, they'll be asking for attention. Also, they'll be purring between your legs or looking for it in one way or another.

When Cats are Anxious

Not all, but some cats purr when they are scared or feeling anxious. Several cat owners have seen this, especially when they are troubled or have a history of being repressed.

Most of the cats who do this are cats who have been exposed to very troubling situations and have not been provided with the right love and care that they need.

When Cats Try to Calm Down

These are probably also common for a lot of cats. They can try to calm themselves down when they are distressed, or they want to relax before sleeping.

Fun fact: Cats are asleep for at least 15 hours a day, and they need an environment conducive for these long hours of rest. Purring helps them calm down, and sometimes they do this along with stretching.

How Do Cats Purr

Now that you know when and why cats purr let's try to understand how they purr. Purring in cats occurs in the respiratory cycle or layman's term when they inhale and exhale.

Purring involves rapid movement of muscles in the larynx. The voice box of cats vibrates combined with movements in the diaphragm.

A lot of species of cats can purr at between 25 - 150 Hz! This frequency and the purrs of cats have undergone a lot of studies because some people claim that it can actually calm down their owners too.


To conclude, if you hear your cats purr without any sign of distress or agitation, this probably means something very positive. It indicates that your cat is content and happy with you, what you're doing, the environment, and what's currently happening around the cat's whereabouts.

What you should watch out for, however, is if your cat seems distressed and shows signs of agitation or is constantly purring at a very alarming rate. It can be a signal that it's more of an anxious purr and you have to get to the roots of it to find out what's causing it and what you can do to get rid of it or alleviate their stress.

So, now that you know the purr signals visit