PET TAILS: Why do cats purr?

Why does your cat purr? It might not just be when he's content. Submitted

There are few things as comforting as a purring cat in your lap.

The reason why cats purr may seem obvious. Cats purr because they are happy, right?

This is not necessarily true.

In fact, cats may purr for a variety of different reasons, and we continue to find out more information every day about the function of purring.

Purring is a form of communication. The most common reason cats purr is to let others know that they are content. Mother cats will purr comfortingly by their kittens while nursing, and kittens will purr back. When our cats purr while being stroked, they are telling us that they feel safe and happy.

In addition to purring while pleased, cats will sometimes purr when they are hungry, scared or even hurt. This is important to recognize for the safety of your cat.

If we assume that purring is always a sign of happiness, we may not realize that a cat is actually trying to communicate that she is in pain or under a great deal of stress. We do not know the exact reason for this response, but one theory is that the cat is trying to comfort herself while in a stressful situation.

Another interesting fact about purring is that it has proven to aid in bone regeneration. The vibrations produced by the larynx promote healing in injured bones. For this reason, cats will sometimes lie next to an injured cat and purr. This is sometimes called “purr therapy.”

In this way, purring isn’t only good for cats, it’s also good for people. Being near a purring cat has been shown to reduce blood pressure and lower stress in humans. It can even aid in healing our broken bones.

Purring is a much more complex form of communication than it seems on the surface.

The next time your cat begins to purr, it may be interesting to imagine exactly what she is trying to communicate to you with her interesting ability.

Brown County Humane Society

Pets of the Week

photoSometimes, two is better than one. Two shoes, for example. Two socks. Knitting needles. Chopsticks. Gloves. All better in pairs.

That’s the case with Minerva and Neville Longbottom. They’re a bonded pair, which means they’re meant to be together. Yin and Yang, they balance each other perfectly.

Minerva is outgoing; Neville is more reserved. Minerva is flashy and colorful; Neville is sleek and elegant.

Most of all, the bond they share makes their life better. They would be heartbroken if they were separated. Together they are the best of everything. Together, they can make your life better, too.

We want Minerva and Neville to stay together, so their adoption fee is 2-for-1.

Get Chocolate Walk tickets

The Chocolate Walk in downtown Nashville will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12.

Order tickets online at or call 812-327-3016 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.