Cats meow in different pitches and tones throughout the day. Through this, they communicate when they want food, when they are impatient, when they demand something, and when they just want to give you a friendly greeting. It has been said that cats don’t meow to communicate with each other, but that meowing was created by this age-old creature to chat with their human slaves (we all know we aren’t the boss in a house where a cat is present).
But ever wondered why cats purr? The general impression of a feline’s purr is that they do it whenever they are content. This is actually not true. As a furball owner you shouldn’t always assume that their purr indicates them being in a good mood.
Just like a meow has different tones and pitches, purrs also have different vibrations. Let’s have a closer look at these continuously soft vibrating sounds to analyze what our furry friends are feeling.
Why Do Cats Purr?
In most cases, felines will start purring when they are very calm and relaxed. They’ll usually start purring when they are laying on your lap, chest, or are in complete waves of calm in their own bed. Feline friends will also start purring when they are being stroked and petted.
Cats can also start purring when they feel nervous and anxious. The saying ‘scaredy cat’ wasn’t inspired by these household pets for nothing. There are many situations that can make a cat feel anxious. Check out this video of little furballs purring away: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joilTJ7f8KY.
Interesting Reasons why they Purr
Here are a few interesting reasons why your cat will start purring:
- Thinking About Food
Cats love eating, especially their favorite wet meal filled with their favorite flavors. When it’s mealtime and they are hungry, they will usually combine a meow with a normal purr.
When they make this purring sound, they won’t be laying down. Rather, they’d be walking around their food bowl.
- Happy and Content
When your little feline is curled up in a ball, eyes half closed, and tail laying still, it’s safe to assume that they are happy and content. They will usually start their purring ritual when they are laying safely in your arms or on their favorite sleeping spot in the house.
This is a clear indication that they are relaxed and completely at ease.
- Mother-Child Bonding
Purring starts when a kitten is only a few days old. This is a special communication bond between the female and her kittens, as the mommy will purr to soothe her young. Purring can also be used as a lullaby to allow kittens to softly drift off.
Kittens also resort to purring to let the female cat know that they are okay. This is soothing the mom as well. Click here to learn more about the special bond between the little kittens and their mom.
- Relief and Healing from Pain
As a form to cope with pain or discomfort, a feline will purr to soothe itself. In the same way as a baby will suck their thumb, a kitten or adult cat will purr as a means to soothe itself when in pain.
Researchers on animal behavior have a theory that felines will purr to increase healing when hurt. Apparently, the continuous vibrations at a low frequency will have a healing effect on the body. This will improve the healing of wounds and broken bones. It can also help decrease inflammation and pain caused by an injury.
Because cats can heal themselves through purring, it can be assumed that this is why they can endure high falls without screaming of pain.
Even though you’ll never completely understand what your cat is trying to tell you through meowing and purring, you can guess what they mean by being aware of their behavior. When you consider the situation, you will be able to make an informed decision to either remove your cat from an uncomfortable situation or ensuring them that it’s going to be okay.
Listening to their vibrating sounds have even proven to calm a person’s nerves. So, when your furry friend starts purring, get comfortable and enjoy the sounds. You might fall into a deep slumber yourself.