I have an adolescent cat that I adopted as a kitten. For some time now I have noticed that he is purring a lot. I know that when giving affection this behavior is normal but my cat seems to start purring whenever I'm in the same room as him or even when he sees me from another room.

I understand that constant purring is a thing to worry about. It happens when cats are sick or in distress. I do not believe he is sick as he recently had a visit to the vet for a checkup and to be neutered. He doesn't seem to be in any discomfort or distress - just a happy go lucky black trouble maker.

My predicament is should I be perplexed by his persistent purring and if not, how much purring is too much purring?

  • 2
    It's like he's tickled by the very prospect of a possible petting...
    – Lix
    Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 14:28
  • 14
    My cat purrs pretty much whenever he sees me, and it sounds like a truck rolling through the room. I would say as long as the cat seems healthy and happy that it's nothing to be worried about and it's just him being happy. Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 16:36
  • @sev - this is my current state of mind - I hope you're right :)
    – Lix
    Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 16:38
  • 1
    Well, you just had him neutered... Cat psychology certainly works different that human one, but I'm pretty sure this had some influence Commented Oct 17, 2013 at 9:50
  • 2
    Related but not a dupe: pets.stackexchange.com/q/914/31 Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 18:35

1 Answer 1

  • Cats purr, as well as meow to communicate. Purring doesn't always mean the cat is happy. It's a type of language for the cat. There has been research into the way cats communicate with their owners and how the different types of meows and purrs evoke reactions in their owners, ultimately helping the cat to communicate her needs and wants and getting them met. The pitch of the sound will evoke certain emotional responses within cat owners to express whether the cat's needs are urgent or a signal of being contented. (1)(2)

  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is also known as the purring disease; is an illness that can be fatal to cats and one of the features is that the cat will continue to purr up until the moment of death or last consciousness before death. The purring may also be more noticeable due to chronic airway congestion. (3)(4)

  • I don't believe that there would be an upper limit in a healthy cat. Some cats will be more inclined to purr more than others, for more reasons than are practical to list here. If your cat is not drooling when she purrs, has bad breath, difficulty breathing or sounds congested, does not have any erratic behavior, it would most likely be safe to say your cat is healthy.

  • Interestingly, there is some research into cat's purring and links to the purrs increasing the pet owners health due to the frequency of a cat's purr resonating with the human body. It suggests a form of entrainment that is similar to the effects of soothing music on the body that is discussed here Does music affect heart-rate?.


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