Why do Cat's Purr

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.

What’s with this puring thing the felines do?

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.

It’s the other way around, Derleth - cats purr when they want to receive affection. A cat in extreme pain purrs because it needs someone to treat it.

Cats can purr on the inhale and exhale, that’s why it’s a steady sound.

I heard recently that scientists don’t know how cats purr. Is that true?

Zoe: We know. They have a seperate set of vocal cords.

New research indicates that cats may purr as a healing process.

By the way, while looking into the Japan Snow Monkeys question I found an article of research about the sound frequency of kittens being one quarter the frequency of the mother cat.

“A purr can be felt by the kittens and keeps them calm without giving away their position to a predator.”~NOVA

I have many cats. To me, a purr is the same as an Om. There is a reason that Egyptians considered cats to be sacred animals, and that they make such good familiars.

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.

When they are happy, contented–that’s it.

You should come meet my cat.

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.