why doesn't cat purr?

The only time my little girl purrs is when she is kneading and licking her blankee. Other than that, no purring and does not really care about being pet. It's very sad because I think she's unhappy. :o(

Asked by Member 521390 on Dec 18th 2007 in Other Behavior & Training
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Best Answer

Morgana - forever my soul

Not all cats purr the same loudness. That's not to say your kitty isn't as happy as one who purrs loud enough to be heard across the room. It's simply an individual trait & possibly something inherited. Think of someone with loud booming laughter & then someone who laughs much quieter. Both may be equally amused by something but express it differently.

If you're stroking or cuddling your kitty & she seems happy, place a finger gently under her chin on her neck & see if you can feel her throat vibrating. Many cats purr so quietly, you don't hear it so much as feel it. She's likely one like that.

BTW, cats don't just purr when they're happy but are known to purr when they've been badly hurt too. It's thought that purring releases calming & healing hormones that help a cat feel better. Of course, when they feel very good, they purr. But purring, when injured, also helps heal themselves. Smart little creatures, aren't they?

Morgana - forever my soul answered on Dec 18th.

Other Answers



There's not much left to add to Morgana's answer...

Purring is one of the differences between small cats (like all domestic breeds or lynxes) and the big cats (like lions or tigers). Big cats cannot purr at all. And the small cats purr for different reasons and in different styles. As long as your kitty shows no other signs of unhappiness (like hiding most of the time, hissing, refusing to play with you, seeming apathetic, ...) there's no need to worry.

Beyond being petted is something which some cats love and some cats pay as prize for being fed. Ishtar is one of the last kind. She very rarely seems to enjoy cuddling and then purrs - like Morgana described - "just touchable". In a forum thread a few weeks ago occurred the idea the loudness could also depend on the cat's biography which in Ishtar's case is a feral. Like many other habits the purring habits seem to change with age and environmental circumstances.

Member 482673 answered on 12/18/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I don't purr either! Not even when I was a kitten fresh from the shelter. But I do love to be petted and I "chatter" to my mom all the time. Just be sure to go slow with your kitty when petting her. You can also hold a bit of her favorite food in one hand and pet her slowly with the other. When cats like the touching they're receiving, their body sort of relaxes into it. Be aware that if your kitty's tail thrashes and her ears go back, that means STOP PETTING ME NOW! My mom's daughter has a cat who bites when petted but will rub all over her. Cats like things on their own terms. It's a good sign she kneads and licks and purrs when she is on her blankee - it's what gives her comfort. You can try rubbing your hands on her blankee to get your scent on them and she will begin to associate your scent with her blankee. Remember to go slow, and know your kitty loves you!

Tugger answered on 12/19/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer