Can Cats Purr In Their Sleep?

Can Cats Purr In Their Sleep?

Cats have various vocalizations, the most recognizable being the meow and purr. Cat experts note that when a cat purrs, she is relaxed, happy, and content. It is associated with positive social situations like grooming and nursing. However, it could also communicate other emotions and needs. 

Can cats purr in their sleep?

Yes. Cats purr in their sleep because of the following reasons:

1. They are comfortable. 

Cats are purring in their sleep since they are not stressed or hurt–  they are comfortable. It could mean that they are in a relaxing sleep. However, some cats may look like they are sleeping, but they are not. 

Some cats will just close their eyes and purr while in your lap or in a nice spot. They are not sleeping, just feeling very relaxed.   

2. They could be dreaming. 

Cats dream just like humans. The stage of sleep where dreaming occurs is the REM, or rapid eye movement stage. We cannot determine what cats dream about, but it is likely that they are having good dreams when they purr in their sleep. Your cat could also be dreaming about her visit to the vet. This may make her purr due to anxiety. 

3. She could be snoring. 

Your cat could actually be snoring instead of purring. Cats normally snore; it does not mean there is something unusual. Breeds with short muzzles or flatter faces and overweight cats tend to snore. Some sleeping positions can make cats snore, too. 

If your cat is snoring and has a discharge from the nose or eyes, take it to the vet for a thorough check-up. It could be a sign of upper respiratory infection or another illness. Use a humidifier at home and ensure that your cat has daily exercise and good nutrition. 

Is it normal for a cat to purr while sleeping?

Yes, it is normal for cats to purr while sleeping; it often means they are happy and relaxed. However, it could also mean they are hurt or stressed. According to researchers, cats purr to heal their bodies. A cat’s purr resonates at a frequency range of 20 to 150 Hz; the vibrations can help heal bone and tissue damage. Pain is decreased and stronger muscles are built. Cats purr from deep within the diaphragm and with their laryngeal muscles. This causes their bodies to vibrate and helps regenerate healthy tissue.

Do cats purr involuntarily?

Yes, cats may purr involuntarily to indicate pleasure as well as nervousness and pain.  However, cat experts do agree that cats can purr voluntarily as well. A cat will purr a certain way when she is hungry and wants her owner to feed her. But she can also purr whenever she wants, even though she may not be necessarily relaxed and happy. 

Why do cats purr?

These are the common reasons why cats purr:

  • They want something, such as food. This purr is often accompanied by a sharp meow.
  • It is a form of bonding between kittens and their mothers. 
  • They purr to feel better and to soothe and heal themselves.
  • They feel happy, relaxed, and content.
  • They are in a good mood. 
  • They are expressing affection. 

Why do some cats purr louder than others?

Some cats purr louder than the others because of these reasons:

It is due to their breed.

Some cat breeds are more vocal than others. These include the Siamese, Burmese, Maine Coon, Peterbald, Sphynx, and Oriental Shorthair. 

It could mean they are happier than usual.

Some cats may purr louder than others because they are happier than usual. It could be because of a new toy or because they are given their favorite food.

It could mean they are getting older.

Older cats tend to have louder purrs since they already have well-developed chest cavities and lungs. 

They may be suffering from a health condition. 

Cats that have coughs or colds tend to have louder purrs. They may also purr loudly to self-soothe and ease the pain. 


Cats purr to communicate emotions. They tend to purr in their sleep because they are relaxed, comfortable, and happy. They could also be dreaming or they may just be snoring. Purring may also be their way to self-soothe and ease a pain from injury or other illnesses.

Image: / HT-Pix