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Why Is My Cat Shaking When It Purrs? 4 Vet-Reviewed Reasons

Written by: Cassidy Sutton

Last Updated on April 29, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat purring

Why Is My Cat Shaking When It Purrs? 4 Vet-Reviewed Reasons


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg DVM Photo


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Purring is the most common sound we hear from cats. No matter their size, all cats purr. Even kittens start purring when they’re only a few days old! And yet, we still don’t understand much about this infamous cat sound. Cats are a mystery, and it seems they prefer to keep it that way.

Cats usually don’t shake when they purr, but it’s not uncommon for this to be seen in some cats. Shaking may also be a clinical sign of some underlying medical problem, and it can be hard to determine its cause without diagnostic testing.

Nevertheless, there are various possible explanations worth discussing. Today, we’re listing four reasons why your cat is shaking and what you can do about it.

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The 4 Reasons Your Cat Is Shaking While They Purr

1. Your Cat Is Happy

white cat purring
Image Credit By: AleksDaria, Shutterstock

Despite the risk of anthropomorphizing, it is very common for a content cat (with no discernible reason to be stressed) to purr and shake his or her body simultaneously..

What to Do

There’s nothing you need to do if this is the case. If your cat is happy and shakes when it purrs, you may need not worry about it.

2. Your Cat Is Cold

Believe it or not, cats get cold. Cats love seeking warm places to rest and often become extra cuddly to absorb some body heat when cold. If your cat sleeps near or on direct heat sources, this is a good indicator that your cat is cold. This is especially true with hairless cats since they don’t have an extra layer of protection.

What to Do

With hairless cats and senior cats, you have to provide additional heat sources for them, especially in the winter. Cat sweaters, heating pads, and extra heaters are all good ideas.

Sometimes, feeding your cat more during the winter is best since cats burn more calories to stay warm. A nice treat to warm the body is providing warm wet food or chicken broth (just make sure the broth is sodium-free). You can also try elevating your cat’s bed off the cold floor or moving it away from a drafty area.

If your cat is cold constantly, it’s wise to check its temperature. An average cat temperature ranges from 99.5°F–102.5°F. A body temperature below 99.5°F warrants a call to the vet.

3. Your Cat Is Stressed

adorable cat get pampered by owner
Image Credit By: Fabrizio Misson, Shutterstock

We know that cats purr for different reasons. Most of the time, when our house cats purr, it’s because they’re content. But cats will also purr if they’re stressed or scared to help soothe themselves.

What to Do

If your cat is stressed, the best thing you can do is provide a safe space. Give your cat a room or corner of the house that’s for your kitty and no one else. Ensure it’s warm, free of problematic pets, and has a cat tree or bed just for your cat.

Cats love routines, so put your cat on a strict daily routine with planned meals and playtime. This gives your cat something to look forward to.

You can also try diffusing Feliway, a synthetic cat pheromone designed to soothe a stressed cat. This is a drug-free option to help restore harmony to your home. It doesn’t work for every cat. But many cat owners speak highly of it.

4. Your Cat Is in Pain

Another reason your cat is shaking could be due to pain. We don’t like to think of our pets in pain, but it happens. Since cats are great at hiding their discomfort, you may only notice the pain when your cat purrs.

What to Do

If you believe your cat is in pain, it’s best to make an appointment with your vet. Don’t let your cat wait any longer than it needs to. In the meantime, you can implement our suggestions for the above reasons to provide extra comfort for your kitty.

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Wrapping It Up

The nice thing about cats is they like consistency. So, when they do something out of the ordinary, it causes an alarm to ring in our heads that says it’s time to make adjustments.

Dealing with cats is tough because finding the answer to their problems is like finding a needle in a haystack. It takes time, effort, and maybe a few tears. But the answer is out there. Hopefully, this post has given you some guidance for helping your cat and giving you some relief. At the end of the day, it’s always best to call your vet if you’re not sure.

Featured Image Credit: Amandad, Pixabay

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