Forskning (Norway): why the cat purrs

Cats start to purr when you take them on my lap and stroke. But why are they doing this?

Brustad Bjarne (Bjarne O. Braastad) — Professor, Norwegian University of ecology and biological Sciences. He is an expert on cats and wrote a book about them. It Brostad explains why cats purr.

Purr — the sound of kittens, when they drink the mother’s milk. Thus the kitten makes it clear to mother that she lay quietly while he won’t.

And kittens, and adult cats can purr when they are near people. And then the purring means almost the same thing, explains Brostad. The cat shows that he is good and that he wants to stay in the same place — in close contact with the person.

A sense of security

The researcher Selvig Mikkel (Mikkel Stelvig) answers the same question in an article published on Forskning.

He says that purring creates a sense of security for the kitten and his mother. It is also for them an important way of communication.

But purr and adult males, so it can’t be the only reason, he says.

Most cats purr when feeding.

“This can be interpreted as a signal that the cat is well and he feels safe,” says Selvig.

Intense purring to get food

The louder cat purrs when you Pat him, the more he was pleased, according Brostad.

But there is another kind of purring. It is more persistent and higher in timbre.

“Such intense purring people often not perceived as something calming, on the contrary,” writes Brostad.

Usually the cat makes these sounds when begging for food.

Researchers in the UK studied this intense purr. It can be a bit like a baby crying, that is why we, the people, and react on it. And give the cat the desired treat.

Can purr when sick

Cats often purr when they feel good. But sometimes it happens and when they are sick, tell the vet.

In this case, those sounds mean “I’m in pain. I need care,” says Braastad.

From veterinarians cats purr just like kittens who want to mother take care of them.

And Mikkel Selvig notes that cats may purr to calm yourself in a stressful situation.

When a cat purrs, his body produces hormones of happiness. They help to reduce the pain.

But the disease cannot be called the primary cause of the cat’s purring. In General, they purr almost exclusively during communication, writes Brostad.

Most often the cat simply wants to show that he was well.