When cats purr, people have a habit of automatically thinking that means they’re happy. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. In reality, cats purr for a lot of different reasons and it isn’t always to express Joy or contentment. As a matter of fact, there are all sorts of reasons why a cat might be purring. It really comes down to you knowing your cat and what type of behavior is normal for him. That’s when you can spot a purring cat that might be making that noise for all the wrong reasons as opposed to expressing happiness.
First and foremost, it’s important to explore the different reasons why cats purr. The most obvious reason is that they’re happy or content. Yes, cats do purr when they are content. This type of purring usually accompanies a relaxed body posture and is a soft sound that’s very relaxing to the ear. Your cat might purr while she plays with her favorite toy or while she is grooming herself. She might even purr while she’s just sitting there, doing absolutely nothing because she’s content just to be in your presence.
Another reason that cats routinely purr has everything to do with motherhood. Are you aware of the fact that cats make this noise in order to keep track of each other? The mother cat will usually make a purring sound and then expect the kittens to respond so that she can more easily keep track of where everyone is. It’s something that goes back thousands of years and it’s designed to ensure that the kittens stay safe and don’t get too far away. This is something that cats are hardwired to do, so if your cat has just given birth, expect her to purr more frequently than she normally does.
If your cat spends a lot of time sitting next to you staring at you or sitting on the floor looking up toward you and purring, it’s probably because she wants you to pay attention to her. This is one of the ways that cats use to get the attention of humans. If she’s looking at you but you’re busy doing something else, it only makes sense that she makes some type of audible noise in order to get you to look at her. If she’s sitting there purring constantly, it’s probably because she either wants you to pet her or she wants to be in your lap. Of course, she might continue to purr out of sheer contentment once you do start paying attention to her.
Of course, there are also other reasons that cats purr and some of these reasons can be a little more unnerving. Sometimes, your cat will purr when he’s under stress. If the purring sounds different than normal or if he’s doing it incessantly, it might be because something in his environment has changed and it’s causing him to feel stress. This type of purring is usually far more consistent and much louder. As a matter of fact, cats that purr out of stress or physical pain will purr almost non-stop and they have a tendency to get louder and louder as time goes on. If you notice your cat purring like this and it’s not the type of sound that you’re accustomed to hearing, it’s imperative that you get your cat to a veterinarian as quickly as possible.
While this type of purring might happen because of a change in the environment, it can also be because your cat is in pain due to some type of disease process or injury. Cats have a way of being fine one minute and extremely sick the next, so it’s important that you don’t wait when you start to notice this type of behavior. Even if you suspect that it’s due to a change in the environment, go ahead and take your cat to the veterinarian so you can rule out any physical problems first. Once you get the all-clear there, you can start to hone in on specific environmental changes that might be causing some type of mental stress for your cat.
What should you take away from all of this? It’s perfectly normal for cats to purr but if you start to notice that it doesn’t sound like the purring you’re accustomed to hearing, it’s time to pay attention. The first thing you should do in that type of situation is get your cat to the veterinarian as quickly as you can and then the two of you can start to work together to rule things out from that point forward.