Why Cats Purr and the Secrets Behind Silent Cats - Montecore PawPrints

Why Cats Purr and the Secrets Behind Silent Cats

Why Do Cats Purr?

The reasons behind a cat's purring, ranging from expressing comfort and affection to aiding in their healing process.


  • Communication from an Early Age: 

Purring begins in kittens shortly after birth. It is a mode of communication between the mother and her kittens. The gentle vibrations of purring signal comfort and contentment, helping to strengthen the bond between them. For kittens born blind and deaf, the vibration of their mother’s purr acts as a beacon, guiding them to safety and warmth.

  • Expression of Contentment and Affection: 

As cats grow, purring is a primary way to express contentment and well-being. A cat might purr when being petted, relaxing, or in the company of a beloved human or fellow pet, indicating a state of relaxation and trust.

  • Self-Soothing Mechanism: 

Purring can also be a self-soothing behavior for cats during stress or discomfort. It's akin to a person humming a tune to calm themselves. In such situations, purring may help the cat relax and ease anxiety.

  • Healing Properties:

One of the most intriguing aspects of cat purring is its potential healing properties. Research suggests that the frequency at which cats purr, typically between 25 and 140 Hz, may have therapeutic benefits, not just for the cat but also for humans. These frequencies are beneficial in promoting healing, particularly bone growth and repair. Purring can explain why cats often recover more quickly from injuries and surgeries.

  • Pain Relief and Recovery:

Purring may also serve as a mechanism for pain relief and recovery. The low-frequency vibrations can be a natural healing mechanism, reducing pain and inflammation and promoting bone strength and repair. So, purring could be particularly beneficial for elderly cats or those with chronic injuries or illnesses.

  • Sign of Distress:

It's important to note that not all purring is due to positive experiences. Sometimes, cats may purr when they are in pain, anxious, or unwell. This kind of purring is considered a comforting mechanism during distress and is an aspect that cat owners should be aware of to understand their pet’s health better.

They understand why cats purr requires a multifaceted approach, considering their physical and emotional states. It’s a behavior deeply embedded in their nature, serving multiple purposes, from communication and healing to expressing contentment and affection. For cat owners and lovers, recognizing the different contexts in which a cat purrs can deepen the understanding and bond between them and their feline companions.

For more detailed information and research findings on why cats purr, you should consult veterinary science journals or cat behaviorist blogs, which often delve into the nuances of feline behavior.

How Come My Cat Doesn’t Purr?

The question of why a cat may not purr is intriguing and can be due to various behavioral and physiological factors. Let's explore some possible reasons:

  • Individual Behavioral Traits: 

Just like humans, cats have individual personalities. Some cats may naturally purr less than others or express their contentment differently, such as through kneading or nuzzling. Your cat doesn't feel the need to express itself through purring.

  • Early Life Experiences:

A cat's upbringing and experiences as a kitten can influence its behavior. Cats raised in an environment where they felt secure and content might not have developed a solid purring response. Conversely, cats that didn't receive much affection early on might not associate purring with positive interactions.

  • Health-Related Issues:

Sometimes, a cat not purring could indicate health concerns. Throat or respiratory issues, for instance, could physically inhibit a cat's ability to purr. If you notice other changes in behavior, eating habits, or overall health, it's advisable to consult a veterinarian.

  • Stress or Anxiety:

Cats under stress or anxiety may not purr. If your cat is experiencing changes in its environment, new pets in the household, or other stressors, it may not feel relaxed enough to purr. Ensuring a peaceful environment and providing your cat with safe, comfortable spaces can help.

  • Age-Related Changes:

As cats age, they may purr less frequently. Due to a general decrease in activity and energy levels, older cats might prefer to express contentment through less physically demanding means.

  • Communication Preferences:

Purring is a form of communication. Some cats might choose other ways to communicate with their human companions or may not feel the need to share in the same way as other cats.


It's important to remember that not purring does not necessarily indicate unhappiness or illness. Cats express themselves uniquely; purring is just one of many. However, if you're concerned about a change in your cat's behavior or other signs of distress accompanying the lack of purring, it's always best to seek advice from a veterinarian. They can rule out medical reasons and guide your cat's needs and behaviors.

A veterinarian is best able to assess concerns about your pet's health. Please call poison control or an emergency vet if you need immediate assistance.


Veterinary Blog Resources on this topic: 

Animal Medical Clinic Blog


East Dallas Vet Clinic



Green Cross Vets




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