I was trying to get some sleep tonight when my roommates cat decided to climb iin bed with me and lay down right next to my face.
Then I realize the cat was purring like crazy. I couldn’t help but think what makes them do that. And the rythm of the purring was not at the same pace of his breathing. Then it stopped. Iassumed he had fallen asleep… soemwhat mocking me.
Cats purr whenever they are experiencing a strong emotion. In your roomie’s feline’s case, that emotion was probably contentment (Nothing makes a cat content faster than having a personal heater in the form of some giant ape’s head. :D), but a feline in extreme pain will also purr.
I once read something somewhere that the subsonic vibrations created by purring will help bone knit, but I don’t know if I believe it.
I have heard this “cats purr when they’re in pain” gag for years, and I just don’t buy it. I’ve been around cats all my life and have seen cats sick, scared, in pain (no, not because of me!) and I have never heard them purr under these circumstances.
My 18-year-old tabby invariably purrs when he’s distressed. I believe it may have helped save his life when he had a very serious illness five years ago - there’s something very compelling about a cat who purrs at you while you flush a chest tube, and the emergency vet stayed up all night with him doing just that, despite the cat’s advanced age and slim chances of survival. He purrs when getting injections, too, and our regular vet sometimes has trouble hearing his breath sounds and heartbeat clearly through the purring.
I must admit, this is the only cat we’ve ever had who will always purr when he’s in pain, but I have occasionally seen (heard) it from some of our other cats, too.