A Cat’s Purr – Decoding the Meaning Behind It

This cat’s purr is sign of happiness.

Cats purr for a myriad of reasons, from health to happiness. A contented purring cat on your lap will likely boost your mood too. There’s something so satisfying about that whirring propeller sound churning away.

So, if you’re wondering what the meaning behind a cat’s purr is, we’ll tell you all. Grab your popcorn, make sure your feline friend is sitting close by and three, two, one:

Do cats purr when they are happy?

The answer is yes. And no. To make it purr-fectly clear, not always. Yet, it’s not surprising that many of us pet parents think a cat’s purr means they’re happy, because this is true a lot of the time. Like when your cat purrs while sitting in a sunbeam or stretched out on your bed, with a look of pure contentment.

But just like the reasons you’ll find cats sitting on laptops, there are many reasons behind what cats do, including why they purr.

In fact, cats purr with their kittens too. Mum cats purr to their kittens and their kittens purr right back. Kittens are born blind and deaf, so purring helps them locate their mother so they can feed. The magical purr also helps to regulate the kittens’ temperatures.

So, when your cat sits on your lap and purrs, they’re showing they trust and love you. They’re communicating that you’re their special purr-son. 

Find out some of the friendliest cat breeds to welcome to your household.

This mother and kitten are practicing the cat's purr that shows love, security and keeps them together.

Do cats purr when they are scared?

The answer is yes. Given that cats purr from the time they’re kittens, purring helps put them at ease when they’re scared or unsure. It reminds them of the security they once had with their cat mum.

This is why you’ll sometimes find your cat’s purr motor switched on in the most unlikely situations, like when at the vet. Or if you’ve ever noticed your cat purring when a new person visits and picks them up, it may not be instant trust but good ol’ nerves at play.

Do cats purr when they are sick?

Not only can a cat’s purr heal them, it can heal you too! Have you ever noticed how after a long hard day, you just want to walk in and cuddle your cat? There may be more than meets the eye.

The frequencies at which cats purr have been found to heal bone fractures, reduce pain and inflammation and even aid muscle growth and flexibility. This is why sleeping with your cat in your bed can be promote good health.

Do cats purr for other reasons?

Cats purr to talk to us. And as it turns out, cats meows mostly for humans. Nawwww 😊

One of the most important messages cats communicate with a purr is a request. You guessed it, it’s a special request for dinner. Researchers refer to this as a solicitation purr aka “pretty please”.

You’ll recognise this purr as a shorter purr that curls upward in tone toward the end of the sound. Kind of like when humans ask a question. This purr will usually happen around the time of your regular feeding schedule. You’ll also notice your meower doing a dance which can be described as weaving between your ankles.

Pawsome pet insurance

While cats can heal many of their own injuries, there are some health requirements they need us for. Like pawsome cat insurance. That way you can take puss to the vet whenever needed and not have to worry about a big bill.

A cat’s purr – over to you

Tell us if you’ve discovered yet another meaning behind the amazing feline flutter. Let us know all about your cat’s purr in the comments below.

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