Why Do Cats Purr And What Does It Mean?

A purring cat on your lap calms you down. It can be the warmth of the cat or the vibration of the purring. Or the fact that you sit as still as possible to make the cat as cozy as possible. Well, whatever the reason is you are calming down, a purring cat is something fascinating. 

Why are they doing this?

When cats purr what does it mean?

A common misconception is that cats purr only when they are happy and relaxed. This is not entirely correct. Cats purr when they are relaxed, but also when they are uncomfortable. For example, a fearful cat or a shedding mother cat purrs. 

Why do cats purr?


One of the more widely supported theories is that the mother cat purrs to help her kittens find her nipples. The sound of purring can only be perceived at a short distance. You can say that this is so as not to attract unwanted attention from predators. It is striking that kittens also purr within a few days. The combination of the purring and the massaging movement with the front legs would stimulate the release of milk.

Communication with other cats

Another theory is that the cat is not purring on your lap for fun. The spin sound is purely intended to prevent unnecessary fights and damage to the body. It is not for nothing that cats only purr when you stroke their head or the upper part of the back. This is the part that the cat cannot reach itself when cleaning, which is why this is done by other cats in the wild. However, cats are unpredictable. By purring, a cat sends a signal, preventing a licking cat from suddenly turning into an enemy.

Communication with people

Purring could also be a way in which a cat communicates with people. For example, by spinning loudly, he asks for attention. This questioning form of purring is, according to scientists, a variant that only arose after the domestication of the cat. A cat that lays or sits on its lap can purr to encourage its owner to pet it or to keep it up.

Medical powers

Yet another theory – one that is supported by few scientists or (alternative) physicians – is that the purring of the cat has a healing or beneficial effect. A cat that has physical injuries or illnesses could heal it himself thanks to the low vibrations of the purring.

Unraveled the mystery?

So there doesn’t seem to be a single reason why cats purr, but we’re not entirely sure. The true reason why cats purr is ultimately a mystery. But say it yourself: does that not just fit very well with cats? They are mysterious, inscrutable animals and that makes them all more fascinating.

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