Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Why Won't My Cat Purr?

Since adopting my cat, Callie, she has purred maybe twice. The purrs were very soft and faint. They were also short-lived, but she seemed content while purring. Now, I find myself asking why won't my cat purr? Does she hate me?


I know she wasn't neglected or mistreated at her previous home. I don't know much about her life as a kitten, however. And the same can be said for many cats who were adopted as adults from shelters or rescues. It's hard to know what their life was like when they were young.

All the cats I've ever had as pets purred, so this is something new to me. I decided to do some research about why some cats might not purr.

Some sources say that being separated from a cat's mother at a young age could potentially play a role in the reason why some cats don't purr. Cats are social and some of their behaviors are learned from other cats, like their mother.

Cats purr for a number of different reasons.

  • Cats purr when they are happy. Like when they are being petted or given food. It can mean they are content. 
  • Cats might purr to tell you they want something from you. 
  • Some cats purr when they are in a stressful situation. I've witnessed this many times when working with cats at a veterinary clinic. 
  • It is thought that purring may release endorphins which help relieve stress and calm a cat. 
  • Mother cats purr so that their kittens can find her easier to nurse. Since kittens are born blind and deaf, the vibrations from purring help the baby cats find their Mom. 
I know my cat doesn't hate me. She has her own unique personality, however. She's quite an independent character. She doesn't sit in my lap often or act extra lovey-dovey like some cats do. At the same time, she's still sweet. 


She rubs her head and body against my legs. (Mostly when she wants something, like food.) She visits me in the bathroom. She talks to me when I talk to her. She allows me to carry her around and pick her up like a baby. She likes to play with me. I'm pretty sure she doesn't hate me. 

So while Callie may not purr very often like many cats do, she has her own unique style and way of getting her point across to her humans. And if she chooses not to purr, so be it. The same goes for other cats too. 

If your cat doesn't purr, there may not be any need for alarm. Unless of course your cat has always purred and then suddenly stops. In that case, it may be worth it to bring it up with your veterinarian. 

The science of purring is still not completely understood, and there are many different theories about purring. Either way, I still love my cat even if she doesn't purr! 

What makes your cat purr? 

Sources:

41 comments:

  1. Very informative! Yes, I've actually heard some cats purr when they get hurt as a way to calm themselves.

    Although my cat, Missy isn't very loud, she's quite vocal. She lets out these little meows when she wants food and purrs when she's cuddled up with me. We think she started to purr louder when we fostered a kitten, as he would always purr very very loudly. We don't think she was mistreated when she was a kitten as she was rescued quite young. We don't know what her mother was like either because her litter was rescued from a flood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! And interesting that she started to purr louder with another kitten around. My cat had a kitten friend at one point in her life. I know they got along well, so I wonder if that would have any effect on her. Hmmm...

      Delete
  2. Aww Callie is such a sweet kitty. Our childhood kitty didn't purr much either, but she certainly kneaded everything all the time. And like Callie she'd rub against you & talk back :) Now I really do wonder why some cats purr so much and others don't, great question.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She doesn't knead too often either, but I have caught her doing that more than purring.

      Delete
  3. Purring is one of my favorite sounds :) We have a range or purrers over here -- Sophie purrs extremely loudly, ALL the time. Sassy is also a big purrer. Caster and Samson rarely purr, and Delilah purrs but it's very quiet. It all depends on the cat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love it too! But I can live if Callie doesn't want to do it.

      Delete
  4. She is adorable! Just like people, every kitty is different and shows love their own way. I do love a nice purr though.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I purr lots, and so do my sisters, but purring is actually optioinal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha - I like that Brian ;) optional!

      Delete
  6. My kitties are purring machines! LOL!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't think I've ever had a cat that didn't purr, but I've certainly had ones that purred more often or more loudly than others. I don't think our old guy Conrad purred much in his last months though but he didn't snuggle much either.
    Sam always purrs when we give her attention, but we mostly have to seek her out. She has certain places she likes to hang out but she pretty much only comes to us when she wants food!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha - yes, Callie does seem sweeter when she's hungry. They sure do know how to get what they want effectively!

      Delete
    2. My cat Patty is all nice and charming when she's hungry but as soon as you feed her it's like a switch is flipped. Right back to Ms. Cranky Pants lol

      Delete
  8. Bobby Flay O'Fish likes to knead a certain blanket on a chair, and when he does (even if he's by himself in the room), he purrs so loudly it can be heard all over a quiet house. Bertie will purr if you simply make eye contact with him. Then there's Maddox. He purrs, sometimes, and loudly, but none of us can really figure out what triggers it. They are all so different.

    And, no. Callie certainly doesn't hate you! :))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need Bobby to come over here and purr it up!

      Delete
  9. Mom says it is a personality thing. Some cats just purr all the time and some purr extremely loudly, others purr selectively, or real quietly. Our current set doesn't purr a whole lot and when they do, it is real quiet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with what your mom says Emma. She is a smart lady!

      Delete
  10. Zorro purrs louder when he makes biscuits, and only when he makes biscuits, otherwise he doesn't purr so often, and very softly. Purrs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Making biscuits must be relaxing :)

      Delete
  11. callie....ya gotta haz one oh thoz things de doc putz in hiz earz...ta listen ta yur inn sidez.... ta heer me purr itz that kinda low... may be ewe shuld tern yur purr volume up one ore two notches for yur mom....what cha think !! ♥♥♥

    boomer =^..^=

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha - well her purr sounds kind of like yours Boomer. One of the purrs she did I only noticed because I felt her throat vibrating. I didn't actually hear it.

      Delete
  12. Interesting. Zoey rarely purrs. But then we don't know much about her early life except that it was a rough one.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Pierrot rarely purrs and that is interesting what you read about kitties not purring if they were separated from their mother early.

    Annie purrs, but like Callie, she's not a lap kitty but still sweet. I used to be upset that she's not lovey-dovey, but so many have told me of their kitties that aren't either. They're individuals and show their love in different ways. I'm totally fine with it now and I adore Annie as she is. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Callie seems lovey-dovey in her own sort of way. I guess it's not the same way as other cats, but that's OK.

      Delete
    2. This helped me to understand why he doesn't purr. Thanks.

      Delete
  14. Moosey, Gracie and Zoe are all pretty good purrers. But it's true, some cats don't purr a lot. We've found that with some of the kitties at the shelter.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm a ourr machine! Lexy doesn't purr as much as I do, but she does purr when she's happy, like when she gives mommy head bonks.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm a purr machine! Lexy doesn't purr as much as I do, but she does purr when she's happy, like when she gives mommy head bonks.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have to agree that all cats are different and some will purr and some will not. Many will purr at the vets just from nerves. Some purr when they want something or just when they are having a nice time. Anyway, good subject. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  19. We think every cat is different and has their own style of showing and seeking affection. Katie and Waffles are total opposites. Waffles purrs way more than Katie, but that doesn't mean she loves us any less. Waffles purrs at the vet too... which we're pretty sure is not an indicator he's in the mood for cuddling!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I have seen many, many cats purr while at the vet!

      Delete
  20. Everything. Everything makes Kisa purr, even Bain sometimes. She has a very unique personality. I love kitties.

    ReplyDelete
  21. That's interesting. I haven't heard of many cats who don't purr much. I guess that makes it even more special when she does purr.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ppl fail too realize yes cats who don't purr doesn't mean they hate you some cats just don't doesn't mean there not happy in fact it's more common too have a cat tht doesn't 53% of. Cats are thought not too purr....also being removed from there mother too early may also play a role in this.

    ReplyDelete
  23. My cat's always purring! She's very loud when she purrs and it shows me that she's very happy and content! She's also a very loud and quite vocal cat!! She meows constantly for attention and gets louder when she's not getting what she wants. lol She's a lovebug, but oddly doesn't want to be held. Doesn't like that trapped feeling! She lays on laps when she wants to and can be shy at first when meeting new people. But, if she likes who's visiting, she becomes a social butterfly...a very friendly kitty!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. My cat never purrs, she will only purr when she's sucking on a small throw rug I have or I've caught her a couple times purring when she's playing when no one is around and then one time when she was a kitten i approached her when she was asleep and when I pet her she purred for me and then stopped after a minute. I've had many cats in the past, and none ever gave me a problem when it came to purring. I will pet my cat and she'll get all into it like she's about to purr but she just won't! Its frustrating cuz I love hearing a cat purr, it's soothing to me as well. I wish I could get her to purr, but I guess some cats are just stubborn. I believe that my cat was taken from her mother too soon as well. The girl i got her from didn't know how old she was, from my experience with cats and kittens I believed her to be between 4 or 5 weeks, she was just barely eating solids, I fed her kitten milk until she finally approached the regular food dish. I had to take her though cuz she wasn't in a good home, it was just her and her twin brother (the mother only had the 2)..the mother was being taken to a new home and the kittens weren't allowed to go with her, then the day after I had taken her, her brother had passed away and no one knew why. I believe the children in the home suffocated the poor thing, so I got my Grayce out before she was hurt. I just have a ton of guilt for not taking her brother too. But enough of the sad part of the story..my Grayce has now been with us for what will be 6 months on the 8th of February. I just hope as she grows into an adult cat after a year or so, that she will eventually start purring like normal kitties do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had my cat for 5 months when I wrote this. Now, I've almost had her for 1 year and she purrs MUCH more often. On a daily basis now, I'd say.

      Delete
  25. This is so interesting. My cat Lucky never purred, ever! I got her when she was 3 weeks old from her mom due to her poor living conditions and had until she passed away at 13 years old. Thank you for this information it has taught me so much.

    ReplyDelete
  26. So, I got a kitten alittle over a year ago. He doesn't purr much, and when he does I usually have to put my ear close to him to even notice that he's purring! He was about 2 months old when I got him, and he had been living with 5+ adult cats. The lady I got him from was very loving to her cats and the cats were all very sweet and healthy. So I'm just confused as to why my cat doesn't purr! It kind of stresses me out because I feel like I'm doing something wrong haha but he also doesn't let me hold him, and he seems mad 24/7 even though I allow him to be a free range cat. My aunt recently rescued a kitten in very very poor condition and her kitty seems to purr even with the smallest of contact. I understand that every cat is different, but idk, I worry for my little guy haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as you are taking care of him, I might not worry too too much. He sounds similar to my Callie. Also, since I wrote this she does purr more often.

      Delete

Thank you for your comments!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...