Sometimes the cat does not purr all its life, other times there are cats that suddenly stop purring: the causes and possible problems.
If you have adopted a cat or take care of some street cats, you will surely know the feline purring well: cats use them as a means of communication and often indicate that the cat is happy and well, but not only.
Furthermore, the purr of the cat seems to have a beneficial and therapeutic effect on human beings: it seems that they have a relaxing and anti-stress effect, and even that they are able to soothe some pains such as those caused by arthritis.
But there are also cases in which the cat does not purr: what happens in these cases? What kind of problem may be behind it and when should we worry?
When the cat is not purring: causes and problems
We have said that not all cats purr: there are some examples of domestic felines that do not purr for their entire life, others that stop purring, others that do but are so little noisy as to be almost imperceptible to the human ear.
Yet it is a fundamental tool in feline language: when the cat purrs it expresses its state of mind and communicates how it feels at a given moment. The feline purr, in fact, was originally born as a communication tool between the mother cat and the kittens who tell each other that everything is fine.
This is why it is usually said that the cat purrs when it is happy: but is it always like this?
Reasons why the cat purrs
There are various reasons behind the cat’s purr: usually they represent the means through which the cat communicates its state of mind, but sometimes they are also the mirror of how the animal is physically.
The characteristic sound is caused by the rhythmic contraction of the larynx and diaphragm muscles of the cat, and is accompanied by vibrations that are clearly distinguishable to the touch.
But why is the cat purring? First of all, the feline purring mechanism causes the release of endorphins: this allows you to activate a real pain control system, which the mother cat uses to make pains during childbirth more bearable.
Afterwards, the cat uses the purr to guide the newborn kittens in her direction and to be able to breastfeed them: let’s not forget that at the beginning the kittens are completely blind and deaf, so the purr serves as a tool to help their sense of direction.
While breastfeeding, the mother cat continues to purr to communicate a sense of presence and tranquility to the little ones: the kittens, in turn, learn to purr to tell the mother that everything is fine. This is why, even as an adult, the cat purrs when he is happy or when he needs to relax.
Finally, there are some negative meanings of cat purring: it happens that a cat starts purring when it is very scared or when it feels like it is on the verge of death, to try to relax and be less afraid.
Why doesn’t the cat purr?
In general, if a cat does not purr and has never purred before, don’t worry: most likely, it is a kitten that has been orphaned or that has been detached from its mother too early and therefore the kitten has been artificially fed, without being able to learn how to purr.
Other times, the cat does not purr simply because it has a little expansive character: a bit like people who are not very inclined to physical contact. This does not mean that the cat does not feel affection or that he is not happy, but this is simply not the means of communication that he prefers to use.
If the cat has never purred, then, there is no need to worry – it is simply its nature. The situation is different if a cat that has always had them suddenly stops doing them: in this case, there could be some discomfort or problem to investigate with the help of the veterinarian.