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What Causes a Cat's Purring?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Now, I know why my cats purr, because they are happy and content. I guess it's like a contented sigh that we humans do. My new kitten's purring early this morning kept me awake. It sounded like a motorboat. In fact, I think she purrs louder than she meows. Her purr is bigger than her body, I think. What I want to know is what is happening inside her body to make that noise. Does anyone know or have any ideas?
post #2 of 12
I'm interested in this one because Sophies only 12 weeks and she sleeps on my pillow above my head where she starts to purr as soon as she lies down, and it's sooo loud

I love it though and i can feel the vibration from her tummy against my head
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Good morning Rosiemac. I am at work havimg my coffee. I guess you are at lunch right now and wondering about that purr sound. A vet in my local newspaper had an "Ask Your Vet" column, and I know he addressed the purring issue, but I forgot what he said. Then again, I wasn't a cat owner and didn't care about the answer then.
post #4 of 12
Good afternoon Caspar!.

Yes i'm due to have my lunch in about 15 minutes and i'm ready for it

I know what you mean, if the subject is of no concern at the time then you just skip by it

Enjoy your coffee!
post #5 of 12
Good question. Found a pretty good explanation here.
post #6 of 12
Thanks for finding that out Stephanie , really interesting.
post #7 of 12
I thought so too!
post #8 of 12
Great explanation.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the site Dawn.
post #10 of 12
It was fun!
post #11 of 12
I grew up in the mountains of Southern California (Lake Arrowhead) and volunteered with a wildlife rescue there, so got to be part of some really fun relationships with wild animals...well, wild turned softies, for the most part

Did you know that racoons purr, too? They sound just like kitties, but a little whinier. It's adorable! Baby racoons are incredibly like kitties and mama cats make very good surrogates for racoons. They purr and kneed their mamas just like kitties do

Also, it used to be believed (and in fact many people still believe this myth) that cats that can roar can't purr, but then they started studying mountain lions and Bengal Tigers and Cheetahs and Snow Leopards...all of whom purr. Logic (and science!) said that if Bengals purr...then other tigers MUST have this capacity. And if Mountain Lions and Snow Leopards purr (they're very very closely related) then so must their brothers, the jaguar and the leopard. Also, Cheetahs purr....LOUDLY. After more observation and study and interviewing people, they discovered that ALL CATS in fact purr. All of them! Even lions! The big difference is that large cats which roar (tigers and lions mainly) only purr on the exhale, instead of the inhale AND exhale, like other cats.

Pretty cool, eh?

P.S. Purring in big cats is NOT "chuffng". Just wanted to make the distinction
post #12 of 12
Great info, DiMa! Thanks!
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