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Why do cats purr?

ANSWER

Purring is the most common sound cats make. Yet, we know less about it than meowing, chirping, chattering, hissing, and growling.

Yes, cats purr when they're content. When yours is curled up in the sun, you may hear a gentle rumble as he breathes in and out. Touch him, and you feel a little quiver. It's almost as if he's sending out waves of calm.

That said, you shouldn't assume that sound means your cat is in a good mood, or that it's the only time you'll hear it. Cats purr to communicate other emotions and needs, too.

What if you pick your cat up and hold him? Does he purr because he likes it -- or because he's nervous?

Although you'll never know exactly what yours is saying when he purrs, research from animal experts, along with considering the situation, lets you make an informed guess.

From: Why Do Cats Purr? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Library of Congress: "Why and how do cats purr?"

ASPCA: "Cat Vocalizations."

Humane Society of the United States: "Cat Chat: Understanding Feline Language."

National Wildlife Federation: "Do cats purr? And why are there no green mammals?"

McComb, K. , July 14, 2009. Current Biology

Fauna Communications Research Institute: "The Felid Purr: A bio-mechanical healing mechanism."

Reviewed by Amy Flowers on February 09, 2017

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES:

Library of Congress: "Why and how do cats purr?"

ASPCA: "Cat Vocalizations."

Humane Society of the United States: "Cat Chat: Understanding Feline Language."

National Wildlife Federation: "Do cats purr? And why are there no green mammals?"

McComb, K. , July 14, 2009. Current Biology

Fauna Communications Research Institute: "The Felid Purr: A bio-mechanical healing mechanism."

Reviewed by Amy Flowers on February 09, 2017

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.