Let's Talk
Share this image

Do Your Cats Have Distinct Purring Styles?

Mine do: One needs chin scritches, the other my lap, and the third, well, just a nice box.

Angie Bailey  |  Mar 2nd 2015


I love the sound of a cat purring. It’s soothing and calms me even during my most anxious moments. Sometimes when one of my kitties is purring, I either press their nose against my ear or lay my head softly on their belly. It’s completely meditative. My three cats are not short on purrs, but each have their own style when it comes to revving up the old motor. Here’s how they differ.

1. Saffy


The happiest greeting ever.

I think Saffy was purring when she popped out of her mama. She’s the shyest of my three cats, but the one who most easily turns on the purr. Often when I walk into a room, I hear her before even I see her. Even if she’s sleeping, she senses my presence and starts rumbling. When she’s hiding, it’s like a game of Marco Polo to try and find her. Even if she’s not purring right away, she starts when I place a hand on her fuzzy belly. It’s really just the sweetest.


“All I need is this box.”

Saffy also purrs when she’s found a spot she’s especially fond of … like a box or basket. She simply can’t contain her pleasure. If you feel it, sister, let it out!

2. Cosmo


“Mom!”

Cosmo almost exclusively purrs only when he’s curled up in someone’s lap — usually that someone is me. He’s not one who randomly passes out purrs, and I kind of respect that about him. He saves it them for when he really wants to express himself in a big way. And “big” for him means lots of kneading and buckets of drool. He throws his whole body into it. Sometimes his hips even start twitching, which I’m not especially fond of. It just feels awkward. 


“Mom!”

He’d stay in my lap all day long if I’d let him, and he’d probably purr for most of his stay. Of course no laptime with Cosmo is complete without a box of tissues nearby to wipe the excessive drool droplets from his mouth. He’s kind of gross, but I adore him.

3. Phoebe


Happy Phoebe face.

Oh, sweet Phoebe. She purrs less than the other two, but her rumbles are louder than both of theirs put together! I swear sometimes I think her throat will explode from pure happiness. Like Cosmo, she only purrs when interacting with a human. She spends a good part of her day in a basket on my desk. I call it her “cubicle.” I like leaning over to rub her chin, which makes her go nuts. She’s a total freak for chin scritches. She leans her head into my hand and her eyelids get heavy. If there were a way to keep my hand inside that basket with her, she’d make it happen. 


Purrito.

When she wants a break from the “cubicle,” she wanders across the desk and steps onto my lap. That’s when the massive purrs happen. I like to place my hand on her belly and watch it move up and down while she working on those monster purrs. I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard a cat purr so hard and fast. And she’s so little, which makes the giant sound even more amusing. She’s not normally a lap cat, so I definitely take advantage of those moments in my day to absorb her roaring kitty rumbles. 

Does your cat have a distinct style of purring? Tell us about it in the comments! 

Read more by Angie Bailey:

About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.