Header Academy

Why do cats purr?

A cat’s purr is often interpreted as a sign of pleasure, but that’s not always the case. Cats emit this peculiar vibration through very high frequency movements (25 times per second) using the muscles of the larynx, opening and closing the glottis and letting out air in quick pulses, producing a very distinctive sound. Cats of all ages, breeds, size, weight, and sex have the ability to purr, and they share this characteristic with other members of the cat family such as pumas, cheetahs, and ocelots.

Cats use purring as a means of communication among themselves or with humans, especially to keep in touch (there are even ethologists who have described different types of purring: to declare their well-being, to request something, to calm themselves down...). For example, a pleasant situation such as sitting on their owners’ laps, receiving body heat and affection, gives cats pleasure and therefore causes them to emit these sounds to communicate and prolong the situation. They also purr in the presence of other cats to maintain good relationships, for example when they feed their litters or are being fed themselves.

Surprisingly, cats may also purr in situations of pain or stress, so it’s inaccurate to make the generalisation that cats only purr out of pleasure.

More in Sanicat Academy

How to not stress your cat out this holiday season

How to not stress your cat out this holiday season

Go to How to not stress your cat out this holiday season
3 external parasites that can cause trouble for our cats

3 external parasites that can cause trouble for our cats

Discover the 3 main external parasites that can cause trouble for your cat. Even if they spend most of their time inside, they can still get infections! Find out more below.  

Go to 3 external parasites that can cause trouble for our cats
Why do cats love boxes?

Why do cats love boxes?

Go to Why do cats love boxes?