Why Doesn’t My Cat Purr?

Why Doesn't My Cat Purr?

Cats and purring go together like peanut butter and jelly. This unique-to-feline vibration is produced when the animal is content, happy or even when the cat is nervous or in pain. However, even though it is a common behavior, there are some cats that simply don’t purr. If this describes your best furry friend, we have gathered some information that may help you understand this lack-of-purry response.

Why Cats Purr

Before we claw our way into the why-nots, let’s explore why cats purr. According to ‘Your Cat’  this common behavior may be a result of a few reasons;

  • Newborn kittens are born blind and deaf, so the vibrations of the mother’s purr helps her kittens find their way to her for nursing, care and warmth.
  • Cats that are ill or stressed will purr to help relieve their pain and anxiety. In fact, science has discovered that cat’s release feel-good endorphins when purring that helps the animal feel better.
  • Cats purr to elicit a positive response from their pet parent such as being petted, talked to or fed.
  • Cats purr when they are content and feel safe.

Cat Purr Fact: Did you know the purr of a cat can reach from 25 to 150 vibrations-per-second?

Why Doesn’t My Cat Purr?

Some pet parents fear that the lack of purring from their beloved cat may mean that Kitty is unhappy or “hates” them. If a cat dislikes a person he will exhibit actions like running away and hiding, shrinking back from being petted, hissing, growling, swiping with his paws or even biting.

Here are some issues that may be affecting your cat’s motor or lack thereof;

  • Separated from litter too soon. Some cats may not purr because they were taken away from their mother and littermates when they were not ready to do so. Since kittens learn many behaviors from their feline family, this could be the issue.
  • Cats that have a sore throat may be reluctant to produce a purr since it stems from the throat region.
  • Although, cats will purr to relieve their anxiety, it can also cause them to stop purring.
  • Check your cat over for any type of injury to see if this could be the culprit.
  • Some kittens will purr up a storm, but as they age, the purring may decrease or even cease altogether.
  • Cats that are very frightened will run away and hide and yes, stop purring. In the wild when a cat is in hiding it has to be very silent, so your cat may be just exhibiting innate signs of the species.

Cat Purr Fact: Did you know science believes the purr is produced by blood flowing through a large vein in the feline’s chest cavity? The purr sound is actually amplified by the air in the windpipe passing through two folded membranes known as ‘false vocal cords.’

How to Make a Cat Purr

Why Doesn't My Cat Purr
Image: istockphoto.com / demaerre

If you’ve check your cat over for health or emotional issues without finding any, then you may have to work at getting your furry pal to purr. Here are some ways to get Kitty’s motor running.

  1. Favorite Treats. Every cat has a favorite treat whether it be a bit of cooked chicken or a processed nibble. To get your cat to purr give him a super tasty morsel. Happy and content cats may just purr to get more of what they desire.
  2. Gentle Grooming Sessions. Does your cat love to be brushed? Then engage her in daily grooming sessions to bring out that happy purr.
  3. Chin Rubs. Most felines can’t resist the under-the-chin scritch. If your cat loves this action, do so when she is relaxed and more apt to appreciate the attention.
  4. Soft Blankets/Beds. Cats love to lie in the sun on a soft blanket or bed. If your kitty doesn’t have a special place to call her own, then visit your local pet retailer to find the perfect item for her to nap her days away on. Who knows? She may just be so pleased she’ll purr and knead her away into bliss.
  5. A Warm Lap. If your cat crawls up onto your lap, gently stroke her fur and allow her to relax. She may find your gentle touch and soothing words is all she needs to give you a purry response.

To Purr or Not to Purr

If your cat has never purred then you most likely don’t have anything to be concerned over. However, if your cat has purred in the past and then suddenly stopped, check him over for any signs of illness, injury or stress-related issues. If you haven’t been able to locate a clear problem, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your veterinarian.

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