If you live with your feline friends, you probably know their behavioral traits and funny little ways. Maybe your feline companion likes to drink from a dripping tap, or likes to stalk the end of your pant leg to practice hunting.
One endearing behavior of most cats is purring. But what does it mean when your cat purrs? Is it possible that they are purring too much? Let’s find out.
What is a grunt?
Purring is a special sound cats make that comes from a unique structure near their voice box in their throat (also known as the larynx). Grunts are formed by the vibration of tissue, making a quiet (or sometimes very loud!) rumbling sound during inhalation and exhalation.
Like many cat behaviors, it is a more complex form of communication than it appears. Interestingly, not only domestic cats purr, but also wild cats such as cheetahs and tigers!
Why do cats purr?
Many cat owners interpret a cat’s purring as something positive. Usually this is the case. But it’s important to remember that purring is a much more complex behavior than you might think. This can be a good thing, but it can also indicate a health problem or anxiety.
Here are some reasons why your cat may be purring:
they are satisfied
This is perhaps the most basic explanation for grunts, but it’s often the case. Kittens purr a lot when they are with their mother, especially after feeding. When your cat feels equally happy and content, they purr.
If your cat purrs during their favorite time, it could mean they’re enjoying that moment in their lives. Maybe they’re fussing, sitting comfortably in your lap, or playing with you.
Also read: 8 perfect games you can play with your cat
they feel safe
Cats like to feel safe and secure. If they feel threatened or vulnerable, they become anxious. If they purr, it could mean they feel safe in their environment. If you’re around, it probably means they trust you or know you’ll protect them.
This could also explain why cats purr when grooming, as they only groom when they are sure they are not threatened.
Also read: Is It Safe to Feed Your Cat a Vegan Diet?
they like you
Your cat purring in your company is usually a nice compliment. This could mean that your cat feels comfortable and safe in your presence and is a sign of affection. If your cat purrs a lot around you, it’s a sign that they’re deeply attached to you, which might make you their new favorite!
Of course, cats don’t just enjoy human company; they may also purr when snuggled up with their best feline pals or even other household pets, if they get along well.
ALSO READ: 5 Ways to Build a Stronger Relationship with Your Cat
they are comforting themselves
On the other hand, just because cats purr in a particular situation doesn’t mean they’re comfortable or content. Sometimes, when cats are anxious or frightened, they purr as a calming measure to reassure themselves.
They may also purr when they are recovering from an injury or recovering from a traumatic experience. While this may not mean much to you, it’s your kitty’s way of comforting herself.
they feel sick
Another negative reason for purring is that your cat may be feeling unwell. Grunting, especially when combined with other signs such as withdrawing or hiding, eating less, vomiting or diarrhea, can be a sign of an underlying health problem. It’s just another way your cat is trying to make herself feel better.
Also read: Do Cats Know When You’re Sick?
they are in pain
If your cat is in pain, they may also purr. They usually take themselves to a quiet place and may be lethargic and less interactive. You may also notice other signs that they are in pain, such as limping, drooling, crying, or a hunched, curled up appearance. If you examine them closely, you may find signs of cuts, bruises, or bleeding.
Also read: What Pain Relief Medication Can You Give Your Cat? 6 Veterinarian-Recommended Options
Is it normal for a cat to purr incessantly?
When a cat purrs a lot, it’s usually a good thing, so constant purring may not be a sign of a problem. For example, if your cat purrs when you enter the room or pet them, they are probably happy.
In fact, purring is normal for many cats and is just a sign that they are feeling well. However, if your cat has a sudden change in the frequency of purring, or if there are other signs that they may be unwell or anxious, you should take them to the veterinarian for an examination.
The veterinarian will ask questions about their daily routine and lifestyle, and examine them to make sure there are no underlying health problems, such as pain or stress.
A cat purring is generally considered a good thing. But, now you know it can also signify illness, pain or anxiety. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should worry every time your cat purrs.
However, if your cat’s behavior changes or they seem unwell in any way, it’s worth having them checked by a veterinarian. That way, you can be sure your cat is purring for the right reasons.
frequently asked questions
Why is my cat purring incessantly?
Cats purr for many reasons, but it’s usually a sign they’re feeling good! However, it can also mean they are stressed or in pain. It’s normal for some cats to purr more than others, so if your cat purrs a lot all the time, it’s probably nothing to worry about.
However, if the purring pattern changes or your cat doesn’t seem quite right, to be on the safe side, seek expert advice from your veterinarian.
How do you know if a cat is purring in pain?
If your cat is purring in pain, they probably don’t want to spend time with you. You may also see other signs of pain, such as shortness of breath, mouth clawing, limp, or drooling.
They may also meow more than usual, and their body language may indicate that they are in distress. If you suspect your cat may be purring in pain, consult your veterinarian.
Why is my cat purring and kneading?
Purring and kneading are behaviors that suggest happiness and security. By kneading, your cat is marking the scent and letting others know you belong to them. They also surround themselves with their own scent to help them feel safe so they can relax and let their guard down.
How do I get my cat to stop purring?
Purring is a natural cat behavior and a form of cat communication, so trying to stop it is unfair. After all, no one is trying to stop us from laughing, talking or smiling. However, if your veterinarian needs to listen to your cat’s heart or lungs with a stethoscope, they may need them to stop purring temporarily.
Sometimes, nurses need to put a strong-smelling substance under their noses to stop them temporarily from purring. However, you should never do this at home, in case this substance does harm to your cat.
For example, if your cat’s purring bothers you because it keeps you up at night, try keeping your cat out of the house. That way, your contented cat won’t bother you with her happy voice.
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Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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