Why Do Cats Purr?

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Why Do Cats Purr?

While many people assume that cats purr when they feel pleasure, cats actually use purring to display a wide range of emotions. Cats aren't the only felines that express their feelings by purring, bobcats and mountain lions purr as well. Interestingly, cats that roar, such as lions, cannot purr, and cats that purr cannot roar. So, what is all the purring about?

  • Contentment. Cats use purring to let us know when they are feeling good. They may purr because they are happy to see you or when you pet them.

  • Nervous. Cats also purr when they feel anxious or frightened. They don't purr as a sign of aggression, rather a sign of appeasement.

  • Hunger. As a cat owner, you are probably familiar with the slightly insistent purr of your cat when it is ready to eat. This purr is different than a cat's normal purr, and the level of urgency is used to encourage the owner to feed the cat.

Purring is a cat's most efficient way of communicating. In addition to the reasons listed above, cats also purr when they are ill, in pain or near death. Kittens are able to purr soon after birth, and continue to purr for a variety of reasons for the remainder of their life.



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