Do Cats Purr When Sick – Uncovering the Mystery


As you entered your living room, you found your cat lying on the floor, purring softly and looking helpless. You’re aware that cats usually purr when they’re happy, so you start to question whether cats also purr when they’re sick.

When cats are sick, they purr as a way to cope. Purring actually helps strengthen their muscles while they’re not feeling well, and they tend to stay still in a hunched position while purring.

In this article, we will explore why cats purr when they are not feeling well. We will also provide answers to common questions about cats purring.

Now, we’re going to talk about three things that make cats purr when they’re not feeling well.

Reasons Cats Purr When They Are Sick

Animal behavioral scientists all over the world have been very interested in the phenomenon of cats purring.

There appear to be various opinions on why cats purr.

So, now let’s think about the five various explanations why cats purr when they’re not feeling well:

Cats purr to calm themselves

Even though cats usually purr when they are feeling calm and content, researchers have found that cats also purr when they are unwell.

Cats may start purring simply by being taken to the vet’s office, and they also purr when they are experiencing intense pain.

For instance, cats purr when they are in labor or when they are experiencing significant distress.

Moreover, cats are equally prone to purring when they are in discomfort as they are when they snuggle up with their owners.

Cats purr to calm themselves and regulate their breathing. Not all cats purr, and some cats purr more than others.

Relief and Healing

There are some scientists who think that when cats are sick, purring can help them get better quicker. Even though purring uses up energy, lots of cats still do it when they’re not feeling well.

When a cat purrs, it’s like a kid sucking their thumb for comfort.

Studies indicate that the act of purring can assist cats in swiftly recuperating from an illness.

Some people believe that cats purr at a frequency between 20Hz and 150Hz, which is thought to help their bones heal.

Cats purr at a rate of 25-100Hz, and scientists say that bones react to 25-50Hz while skin and soft tissues respond to about 100Hz.

The frequencies used in therapeutic medicine align with the frequency at which cats purr.

When cats purr while they are not feeling well, it’s like they are fixing themselves. The purring helps to keep their bones and tissues healthy while they take a break.

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‘Solicitation purrs’ help your cat ensure their needs are met

Cats purr when they are feeling unwell in order to grab their owners’ attention. Cats also engage in this behavior even when they are not feeling unwell.

Researchers have discovered a unique type of purr in cats called solicitation purr.

Cats use this specific type of purr to get both food and love. Solicitation is like a mix of a meow and a purr.

The sound is similar to the noise we hear from a crying newborn baby, which is a sound that a mother instinctively reacts to.

Do Cats Purr When They Are Dying

Yes, cats purr when they are sick as a way to cope. This helps them strengthen their muscles and release endorphins.

While purring is commonly associated with cats expressing comfort and pleasure, its meaning can be more complex than that.

When a cat is nearing the end of its life, it is often found alone, away from its family members. However, there are also cats that choose to be with their loved ones during this time.

Every cat is unique. Some cats have been known to go back to their preferred beds, blankets, or pillows when they are nearing the end of their lives in order to find comfort.

When a cat is sick and nearing the end of its life, it may exhibit certain signs that indicate its condition. These signs can include:

  • Not using the litter box
  • Refusing to play
  • Mild purring
  • Lack of appetite

Similar to humans, the passing of a cat is always difficult. Recognizing the indications that your cat’s life is coming to an end can help you ensure their comfort.

If your cat is sick and purring, don’t assume that it means your cat is happy.

The way your cat purrs can give you valuable information about their feelings. If your cat is purring while sitting on your lap or snuggling up with you, it indicates that they are content and not experiencing any distress.

Why Does My Cat’s Purr Sound Congested

The reason why your cat’s purr sounds congested is because there is a blockage in their nasal passages or throat.

Normally, cats should breathe quietly and effortlessly. If they are breathing loudly and rapidly, it could indicate various health problems.

If your cat’s purring is louder than usual, it’s important to know why and what signs to look for.

Cats have two main types of loud breathing, which are:

  • Noisy inhalation
  • Noisy exhalation
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Cats purr when they have difficulty breathing, which is medically referred to as stertor. Stertor is characterized by a low-pitched congested sound during inhalation.

When a cat makes noise while breathing out, it’s called stridor. This happens when something is blocking the cat’s windpipe.

There are a few common conditions that can cause cats to purr loudly, such as:

  • Asthma
  • Tracheal foreign bodies
  • Respiratory infections that affect the upper part of a cat’s body
  • Fluid accumulation in the lungs (pulmonary edema)

When a cat is unwell, it becomes challenging for them to purr, and their purring sound becomes higher in pitch. If you observe that your cat is having difficulty breathing, it is important to consult your veterinarian for a proper evaluation.

Can Cats Control Their Purring

Even though purring involves automatic responses, cats can still consciously control their purring.

Recent research indicates that when cats purr, it is a combination of both conscious and automatic control.

Scientists propose that the neural oscillator discovered in the brains of cats might be activated by endorphins when they feel both pleasure and pain.

Just like how humans can blink instinctively or choose to blink when they want to, we can think of purring in cats in a similar way.

Experts have proposed another theory that suggests cats produce the purring sound by utilizing their voice box and diaphragm, which is the primary muscle used for breathing.

Purring is the sound that cats make when they breathe in and out, and it happens because the air touches certain muscles and bones in their throat.

However, it is important to note that cats do not purr every time they breathe in. This has somewhat diminished the effectiveness of the theory mentioned above.

Scientists have yet to fully comprehend the reasoning behind why we blink. Further investigation is still required in this area of study.

How Does Purring Affect Cats

Cats purr to cope with different types of discomfort they go through. Purring aids in the healing of wounds and reduces pain and swelling.

According to experts, it is believed that purring helps cats recover faster and feel better. The vibrations from purring have been discovered to have healing benefits for cats.

Some people believe that cats are able to recover from surgery faster than dogs because they purr.

Cats can fall from really high places and not have many problems like dogs do. Purring is thought to play a big part in this.

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The purring sound has many effects on the bond between a kitten and its mother a few days after being born.

When kittens are a few days old, they start to purr. They use purring to talk to their mom and it helps their mom find them easily.

Why Has My Cat Suddenly Stopped Purring

If your cat suddenly stops purring, it could be because of a problem with their vocal cords or respiratory system. This is something you should be worried about.

Cats benefit greatly from purring as it helps to reduce blood pressure and improve the strength of their bones and muscles.

It can be nerve-wracking when your cat suddenly stops purring. You might start worrying that your cat is unhappy or stressed!

However, it’s possible that this isn’t true; your cat might be feeling some discomfort in their vocal cords or simply not interested in purring!

Furthermore, your cat may have discovered alternative methods of communication instead of purring. Some cats choose to communicate with their owners through body language.

If your cat doesn’t purr and isn’t showing any other worrisome signs, there’s no need to be concerned. It’s possible that your cat simply isn’t the purring kind!

What Does It Mean When Your Cat Doesn’t Stop Purring

If your cat is purring, it means they are asking for food or something really important from you. Cats purr and become more clingy when they want your food and your attention.

When a cat is sick or feeling anxious, it might purr to find some comfort. Often, cats purr over and over again to communicate their needs.

In addition to purring nonstop, your cat might also rub her face against you in order to grab your complete attention.

Most of the time, when a cat purrs, it means they are feeling happy and satisfied. However, it’s important to take notice if they continue purring without stopping, as there may be a reason behind it.

If your cat keeps purring repeatedly, it’s a good idea to take him to the vet to make sure everything is alright. Cats purr for different reasons, so it’s important to get a proper assessment.

You can also check this YouTube video about this topic:

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[Wikipedia] [Encyclopedia Britannica] [National Geographic] [cdc.gov] [Purina]

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