Why do cats purr?
Why do cats purr? Cats purr for many reasons.
"Because they are happy" may be your first reply to the
question "why do cats purr?" However, it is not that
easy. True, cats purr when humans pet them
or when they are nursing their kittens, or when they
are napping. And one would assume that they purr at those
times because the cats are happy or content.
However, cats also purr when they are stressed, like when being
transported in a cage in a car, or being examined by a veterinarian
or when they are in other unfamiliar situations. Although they purr, they
are certainly not happy at those times.
Our veterinarian said that the scientists do not know exactly why
cats purr, but they have a few theories.
Some say cats purr because it calms them down. It is a way of
relaxing themselves, both when they are happy and when they may be
Others say that because cats spend many hours sleeping and resting
to preserve energy, the purring is a way of stimulating muscles
and bones to keep them healthy without using a lot of energy.
Cats may also use purring as a way of communicating. Like, telling
you it enjoys you petting it, or telling its kittens that they
are safe and can drink milk in peace, or telling the vet that it
does NOT really want to be there.