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?