Why do cats purr?

Cats purr - most people think that cats purr to show pleasure or contentment. Purring is a kind of low continous rattling hum but it is nothing to do with a cat's real voice for the vibration frequency is far lower than that of the vocal chords. In fact a mother cat uses purring to call her kittens to feed. At birth kittens cannot see hear or smell but they can feel the purring of their mother as a vibratory movement and so come towards it to nurse. Once the kittens are feeding, the mother stops purring. So it would seem that purring began as a kind of homing device and your cat may simply be reminding you that he is there so that you will continue to stroke him. On the other hand he is quite likely to give a sudden playful bite even when he is purring.

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