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Does Purring Really Mean Your Cat is Happy to See You?

Pink Eye in CatsPurr purr purr, that is the sound of love and happiness in your cat. But did you know that happiness is not the only reason cats purr. They also purr when they are hungry, stressed out, or in pain. Just like in human beings, our reactions can also be a byproduct of conditioning. Think of your friend who giggles when they are nervous. Have you ever pet a unfamiliar cat, who was purring and then swiped at you? A purr is open to interpretation.


Mother cats purr to lead their kittens. Because kittens are blind and deaf when they are born, the purr is a noise that can also be felt. Purring is also a way that kittens can show their mama that they are ok. Some also believe that the purring is a way to help mom and kitten bond.

Some experts believe that the vibration that comes from purring is also self soothing because it likely releases some feel good endorphins. These endorphins promote healing as well as calm the nerves.

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What it comes down to is that not all purrs mean the same thing. If you want to know what your cat is telling you when he is purring, pay attention to his environment, other body language, and what is going on . But this is also good to keep in mind if you are petting a strangers cat or looking to adopt a cat, just because they are purring does not mean they are happy.


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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.