My Cats Have Five Distinct Purrs


One of my favorite sounds in the whole world is a cat’s happy purr. I know they also purr when they’re under stress, but I’m referring to the joyful, blissed-out ones. I think purrs are magical vibrations of love and healing. Studies have proven that the vibrations of a cat’s purr have been known to lower blood pressure and alleviate depression. Now that’s good medicine!

I’m a fan of any kind of happy-kitty purr, and any medicinal benefit is just gravy on the turkey cutlets. My three cats produce a variety of purrs, and I adore each one them. Here are five of them:

1. The fast and furious purr

In my house, Phoebe’s the primary source of what I call the “fast and furious purr.” It usually happens right after she’s jumped on my lap and I begin scratching or rubbing her. It’s like she can’t purr fast enough — it’s almost a desperate sound. The purrs are loud, fast and they mean business! One of the reasons I enjoy this one is that she glances up at me from time to time with the look of pure love in her eyes. You know that look — completely melt-worthy.

2. The barely there purr

Cosmo offers the widest variety of purrs, and one of them is a soft, barely audible one. Sometimes I put my hand on his throat to make sure he’s really purring. I love to lay my ear against his sleek, soft belly and listen to the gentle rumble. It’s so soothing, and tells me he feels completely relaxed and happy.

3. The purr-meow combo

All my cats do the purr-meow combo purr. It especially sounds funny when Phoebe does it while she’s in the middle of one of her “fast and furious” sessions. They kitties don’t stop the purr, yet they want to tell us something, so the sound that comes out of their mouths sounds like a gravelly meow. When Saffy does it, it makes her sound even more like an old lady.

4. The “greeting” purr

Saffy’s the most subdued of our cats. She spends a good part of her day sleeping on the end of my bed, so I’m used to seeing her there. Sometimes when I walk into the room to retrieve something, I hear Saffy’s rumble rev up to greet me. She can be dead asleep and sense my presence — it’s like she saying, “Hi, I’m glad to see you, but I’m not going to wake up, so here’s my purr.” Her “greeting” purr doesn’t always happen in my bedroom. I remember once entering one of my kids’ rooms and hearing the purr, but not seeing her anywhere. I knew she was in there, but she wasn’t visible! I eventually found her under the bed, but I thought it was humorous that I heard her before I saw her.

5. The drooly purr

Oh, Cosmo. He’s my special boy, and he also drools like a teething baby when he’s purring. If he’s sitting on my lap, I place a napkin or tissue underneath him so my pants don’t get soaked. It may be weird that I say I love this type of purr, but it comes from Cosmo, so it’s special. Plus, the drool means he loves me, and I’ll take that any day!

What kind of purrs are your favorites? Tell us about them in the comments!

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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 (birthed 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.

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