Why Do Cats Purr...
Contentment, comfort, security...for many pet owners, the humming purr of a squinting cat is the unmistakable signal that their feline is happy and healthy.
1. In many ways this is true: behaviorists believe the original function of purring was to enable a kitten to tell her mother that "all is well." This often occurs doing nursing. A kitten can't meow and nurse at the same time, but can purr and nurse without any problem. The mother often purrs back, reassuring the kitten using this tactile, resonant communication.
This is why your cat purrs when petted, instinctively giving the signal "all is well," a message you can both feel and hear.
But, this isn't the only message purring may signal:
2. Older cats purr when they play or approach other cats, signaling they are friends and want to come closer.
3. Cats also purr when they are distressed or afraid. Sick and injured cats, and those in veterinary offices often purr. It is thought that this is the cats way of reassurring and calming herself.
Purring is one of several methods of non-verbal communication felines use to convey their moods and needs. Others include squinting or slow blinking, stretching, scratching, facial rubbing and spraying.
So the next time your cat is purring deeply while curled in your lap, try purring back...she'll know what you're saying!
Miss Kitty's Seal Of Approval
*Excerpts taken from Drs. Smith & Foster