Cat purring?

I am currently writing with a cat sitting on my lap. He is purring, but I am not sure why? Why and for what reason do cats purr? Do they purr when they are upset and in pain?

Cats purr when:
in pain
giving birth

All cats purr. At the local zoo I heard the big cats purr It sounded like a soft chain saw at idle. I like cats. As for why? Cats need no reason.

I have recently done a tad of research on cats, and their behaviour,

I have learnt they cannot control their purring, merely, their mother purred when she was feeding them, the kittens had to touch the mother in order to feed, otherwise bluh. it couldnt happen. Anyway, cats respond to touch and purr as their mother did when they were feeding


I once read that the latest theory about purring went something like this: The mother cat, in a dark burrow with her young’uns, purrs to give them a fix on her location so they can get milk from her, or something like that.

I’m gonna go look for some references.

Dang it IMATION, you beat me to it between previewing and whatnot. Still, I will find references!

The Master speaks.

OK, here’s some links:

Apparently, purrs appear to be a cat language we just don’t get yet. I’ve taken care of severely injured cats before, and they didn’t purr until they were well on their way to healing, but YMMV.

::hangs his head in shame::

Thanks Monfort, I should have realized the master would have already written about this.

Glad I looked up the title before I started a thread.

My sweet female cat was sitting there on my bed and looked oh so sweet, so I snuggled up to her and put my head lightly on her body. I started to scratch her neck and her purring got louder. I started to wonder, not why she purrs but what is the mechanism behind her purr.

Now, I read Cecil’s answer before even finding this thread on the “hows” but I tend to disagree . I noticed the same with my male cat as my female cat, who’s purr was very difficult to hear but if I placed my head on his abdomen, his purr was extremelly noticable.

It seems to me there’s got to be something within the “trunk” of their bodies that creates this purring sound. And yes, the vibration seems to be more noticable in the stomach region.

I have heard theories that it could be a blood related thing. I wish I had a cite, but I believe it was on a PBS program about 10 years ago.

Anyhow, if the purr originates within the abdomen area, this makes the most sense if part of the reason is the mother uses it as a means to show her deaf and blind kittens that she is near.

Hmmmmmm, oh the secrets that cats keep.

I think this is the definitive answer for ALL “Why do cats…?” questions.