why does my cat purr

Why Does My Cat Purr?

Why Does My Cat Purr?
When I think of purring, I conjure up a happy, content cat. A purring cat meant one who was happy with his or her surroundings, happy with me and happily sharing that joy in one of the ways in which they know how — purring up a storm.

When the Devon Rexes came into the house, the question of “why does my cat purr” has been flipped on its head a bit. Most of the five cats in the house purr when you pet them. They will purr when you pick them up and give soft belly rubs. They purr when they are chomping down their dinner.

Enter Ickis. In all of my life of living with cats, I have never connected as deeply and soulfully as i have with this kitten. He is truly my heart cat. That being said, Ickis and his purrs are hard to understand.

why does my cat purrWhy Does My Cat Purr?


Ickis will purr when:

  1. He is being petted
  2. He is snuggling under the blankets with me
  3. When he is playing fetch
  4. When he is drinking from the bathroom faucet
  5. When he is in his car carrier getting ready for a ride
  6. When I am clipping his nails
  7. When he is sinking his claws into my arm when I haven’t responded quickly enough to his game of fetch
  8. When I am petting him and he is gnawing on my flesh
  9. When I walk through the house and he pounces on my feet and “rabbit kicks” my legs
  10. When he is bumping his head against mine

He is a mercurial and fickle Devon Rex to say the least. His sister, Oblina, purrs all of the time. She is not fickle in her devotion and rarely uses claws or teeth. Hhhmmm is it because I let Ickis “get away with murder” as my family says? Is it because, no matter what he does (sitting on the table while I eat, sitting on my shoulder while I eat, snagging food out of my hand… you see where I am going with this right?) No, the lesson isn’t that I am alway seating and he is always begging even though it may sound like that! The lesson is that he is a spoiled kitten whom I adore with all of my heart. I take his purrs as the highest order of affection… even when his nails are sinking into my pant leg!

According to PetMD:  “A cat’s purr is a complex emotional signal designed to communicate with other cats. They use it to communicate with us as well, but cats really are not all that domesticated. Most of their behaviors are unadulterated by human contact… The science behind the purr is as follows. Purrs occur on both the inhale and exhale at frequencies between 25 and 150 Hz (meaning that the vocal cords are vibrating this many times per second). Good enough, but that doesn’t really help answer the ‘why’ question.”

Does your cat purr often? Can you pinpoint down what’s bringing about that rumbling in their tummy and do you do your utmost to replicate that? If you’re a cat lover of the highest order, like me, I’ll bet you do!



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