My cat is not purring: should I be worried?

Hearing the purrs of a cat is so endearing and soothing. It can happen that a cat never purrs, in which case you don’t have to worry. If it suddenly stops purring, it’s your job to figure out the causes of this behavioral change. 

Why is your cat purring?

From the first days of their life, kittens are reassured by their mother’s purr. Purring is their way of communicating. Kittens learn to purr first to communicate with their mother, especially to ask them for food. This is the reason why most of our feline friends continue to purr when they are hungry and you are preparing their meal.

Adults, cats continue to purr not only to express positive emotions (well-being, joy, etc.) but also when they experience a negative emotion  (pain, stress, etc.). Indeed, purring has a soothing effect on cats. Thus, when they are stressed or terrified, and even when they are in pain somewhere, they can start purring to calm themselves down and soothe any pain. Purring is therefore not only an indicator of happiness.

A cat that does not purr is not necessarily unhappy

You have probably already noticed that not all cats purr at the same frequency and as loudly as each other. If you think your cat isn’t purring, schedule a good cuddling session and put your ear to their side during this sweet moment. Make sure that you are not disturbed by any noise and concentrate then listen. Some purrs are so faint that they are hardly audible.

Despite your tastes you still can’t hear anything? If your cat seems happy (eating well, playing, cuddling you…), you don’t have to worry! Their mother certainly didn’t teach them the art of purring.

On the other hand, a cat that used to purr and no longer purrs should hold your attention. A sudden cessation of purring accompanied by various signs of discomfort such as loss of appetite, isolation, untimely meowing, dejection… can mean that your cat is bothered by something or is starting to be sick. In this case, you must consult your veterinarian quickly.

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