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My cat does not purr

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Just wondering why my year old cat Sammy does not purr.  He is totally affectionate and does not bite or scratch, but even when being fussed, he does not purr.  I know he can,  because he did a little purring, very softly, when we first got him at 9 months old.  However, now not a sound.

post #2 of 15

Like people, cats express themselves in all different ways. While some humans are more vocal and straightforward than others so are cats. Sammy sounds like he is choosing to express himself in other ways. Perhaps he is a chatterbox? Or is more expressive through his body language? I suppose the point is that just because cats can purr doesn't mean they always choose to. And, purring is not always a sign of contentment or happiness. Cats also purr when they are stressed or scared as a way to comfort themselves. Maybe Sammy associates purring as a calming mechanism only and not as an expression of how happy he is. Regardless of the why it sounds like it's just who he is. 

 

Of course if you notice any unusual behaviors with him in addition to the lack of purring he probably needs to be seen by a vet. If he is otherwise healthy and he has just always been this way perhaps make a mental note to ask your vet about it at your next wellness visit. 

 

The silver lining is that, on the rare occasions that Sammy does purr (and he's not in a stressful situation) you know just how happy he really is! I have one that never turns the motor off (but then again I think she's almost always stressed out) so it's not really a special thing. If you can get him to purr for you then you know you have hit the jackpot! 

post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taxido View Post

Just wondering why my year old cat Sammy does not purr.  He is totally affectionate and does not bite or scratch, but even when being fussed, he does not purr.  I know he can,  because he did a little purring, very softly, when we first got him at 9 months old.  However, now not a sound.

My Cat was like this when I first got her. She'd sit on me, rub against me; all indications of affection but no purring. She does it a lot more now. Not as much as my other Cat does but it's still a step forward. Some Cats just don't do it. Nothing to worry about, though I am sure sooner or later yours will do it more frequently. With mine it was more her getting out of her shell and getting her to trust me more.

post #4 of 15
One of my cats is a total purr box, one purrs occasionally, and one doesn't purr at all. Oddly enough the first and last one I mentioned are littermates!
post #5 of 15
Cats purr for so many different reasons and the volume and intensity can vary greatly. When kittens are first born they cannot see, hear or smell very well so mom cat purrs as a way to communicate with them. Cats also purr when they are feeling anxious, ill, or even when they are in pain or dying and lastly they purr to acknolwedge friendship, pleasure, comfort and when they are enjoying food. My cat Wendall has a very, very soft purr and most times I have to put my ear to his neck to even hear his purr.

If you kitty is acting normal otherwise then I would not worry. The cat's purr certainly is certainly something wondrous to hear though. rub.gifsmile.gif
post #6 of 15
I have not heard one of my cats purr either, but I can feel her purring, when she is really happy, but no audible purring, I think it is because she is bit shy still. Some purr more, some less, one purrs only when at sleep. One purrs so thin that it is almost like deep breathing instead of purring, one used to get cough when purring, but he has been better at it now, none are the same indeed.

Placing ear bit behind front shoulder, about middle in height dimension can also reveal purring that is not heard, as that silent purring one is sometimes hanging from my shoulder while I support her hind legs by hand it is easy to listen internal bits of cat doing their things and cat is not getting spooked like if one would attempt to put ear against in any other situation.
post #7 of 15

My Siamese boy never purred until recently.  He is 10 months old now, and started to purr about a month ago.  It is very soft tho....and I feel it more than I hear it.  The Persian boy purrs if you just look at him....lol, and the Himmie purrs as soon as you touch him.  They are just the opposite when it comes to vocalization.  The Siamese talks loudly and often, the Persian has a moderate meow, and the Himmie has a soft, high pitched, and very "unmanly" meow, which is only heard when he is waiting for his food to arrive in the appointed place.

post #8 of 15

Both my girls are avid purring machines.  My little Tumbles (who's not so little anymore) seldom purrs.  When he does, it's usually very quiet and I feel it more than hear it.  Very, very, very rarely will I actually hear him purr.  Most likely it's because he was born to a feral mom and she taught the babies not to purr.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks all for your replies.  A couple of answers ring true - he was born to a feral mum, so perhaps that is why he does not purr.  Also, he uses a huge amount of body language and facial expressions instead!  My other cat, old Timmy, did not make a sound at all - nada - until we had him for 9 months.  We thought he could not speak!

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taxido View Post

Thanks all for your replies.  A couple of answers ring true - he was born to a feral mum, so perhaps that is why he does not purr.  Also, he uses a huge amount of body language and facial expressions instead!  My other cat, old Timmy, did not make a sound at all - nada - until we had him for 9 months.  We thought he could not speak!

Indeed, stealth is key to survival within feral cat world, body language is then used, but one another thing, smell is used a lot too.

Smell is of course tad difficult one, but one of mine is releasing some smell when he is really happy, he does also purr, but he has certain smell for that, smell is not always present and not everyone has same smell, some smells are probably such that human can't even sense them.

Not sure if that helps at all, but it is good to know that smell is communications device as well.

When he was younger, he did smell bit like parfyme or such, which was bit weird, but these days smell is something I can't really describe, but there is no way to mix that scent to anything else really.
Another one has similar smell, but yet it is bit different, but it is very rare that I can smell him, other ones have had too subtle scent or they prefer not to smell at front of me.
Unique as cats usually are.

Just to clear things up, front part of cat is one, the head, that I have noticed being one smelling, I prefer not to sniff rears of them, no matter how normal it would be in cat world lol2.gif
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

Sammy smells sweet, like perfume.

post #12 of 15

9 year old Yoshi purrs all the time 

my new baby rescue sandy who is a 10 month old kitten  does not purr even when she is happy

she  had kittens at only 6 months old and then was spayed and then i got her from a local cat rescue

 i had a beautiful girl cat  who went to rainbow bridge in april , my empty heart needed a girl cat agin so  3 weeks ago i rescued this precious baby girl  cat 

 i love her  with all my heart and soul but i wish she can purr to express her happiness! 

will she ever purr?

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krista2Cats View Post

9 year old Yoshi purrs all the time 
my new baby rescue sandy who is a 10 month old kitten  does not purr even when she is happy
she  had kittens at only 6 months old and then was spayed and then i got her from a local cat rescue
 i had a beautiful girl cat  who went to rainbow bridge in april , my empty heart needed a girl cat agin so  3 weeks ago i rescued this precious baby girl  cat 
 i love her  with all my heart and soul but i wish she can purr to express her happiness! 
will she ever purr?

Sometimes they purr so quietly that it is not possible to hear it, but one can feel it if placing hand to cat's chest area, there should be very tiny vibration.

It can take long time until they purr so strongly that it can be heard, I think that now all my cats have purred at least once, so that I have heard, but for some it has taken lot longer than a year to get such level.

Not sure if it is because maturing or because gaining stronger trust.
post #14 of 15

I Just got the BEST Christmas gift I could ever get, I picked up my little Sandy from her cat tree for some cuddles and sat in the big rocking chair in the living room, held her up against my chest like I allways do... and she began to purr! Really truely PURR! it felt so wonderfull! What a dream come true I am so happy that she is purring like this now, I know she is super happy with me her new Momma. and her big brother Yoshi. I could not have gotton a better Christmas gift!

post #15 of 15
That is really nice to hear, maybe Sandy got some Christmas spirit, cat's certainly seem to know more than they let us know of! smile.gif
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