Chapter contents

21. Why do cats purr?

Cats Purr

The relaxing sound of a contented cat purring away has been used as sound therapy for human beings.

Cats purr for a variety of reasons

1. To communicate their emmotional status to other cats (or owners)

This may be for example to let members of their social group know that all is well & there is nothing to worry about etc. Or to let social groomers know that they are enjoying the contact - a form of positive reinforcement.

2. To reassure themselves or others around them, if there has been or is something unsettling going on.

3. To comfort themselves if they are worried, injured or afraid etc.

4. When they want something & are trying to gain reward (feeding time).

There are a variety of different purrs with different frequencies, depending on the intended communication or reassurance.

We can identify some such as at feeding times, grooming times or relaxation times (perhaps when curled up on a lap).

The true depth & variation of messages will always be a mystery that only another cat could understand.

 

Something else that is not truly understood, is exactly how a cat purrs.

The sound & vibration of a cats purr can appear to originate in their larynx, throat or even their stomachs. Apparently some sort of vibration within muscles, the true origin is not understood.

 

Interesting fact 

The big cats that can purr are Puma's & Cheetahs

 

 

Chapter contents