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Does Your Cat Purr When You're Not Around?


There's nothing more wonderful than a cat cuddling up next to you purring. But are they doing this because they love you, or for a different reason..?

We humans love it when our cats purr around us. It always seems to be when they're happy: they come to snuggle at our sides and emit this comforting, wonderful sound, or when we arrive at home after work they rub our legs contentedly, purring all the while.

But is happiness really the only reason they make this sound? And do they ever do it when we're not around?

The answers are no and yes, respectively. Unfortunately for our human egos, there are, in fact, other factors that can cause our felines to purr! And, because of that, they definitely do it when we're nowhere within hearing range.

Cats first begin to purr when they are nursing, before they have ever developed an affectionate bond with any human. This sound is to beg for food from their mother, and it's actually a bit different from the gentler, soothing purr that adult cats give off when they are bonding with us.

As cat owners probably know, cats are capable of so much more than just one sound! The pleasant tone that we love to hear from them is generally a sign of happiness or satisfaction, but it doesn't have to be directed towards a human at all.

Other possible things that could make your cat purr? Bonding with other cats or animals, playing with a toy, grooming, or enjoying their food. While it's normally linked to some kind of shared social interaction, it's very possible that your cat will do this when they're completely alone too.


Strangely, scientists have also noted that cats might make this sound when in pain or in their final moments. The reason for this is less clear, but it could be a way of asking for help or a defense in the wild, a way of feigning strength against any potential predators.

This unique circumstance is a reminder that a feline's purr still holds some mysteries for us. However, in most cases, it's safe to assume that your cat is in a state of contentment – though not necessarily because of you!


Another thing your cat might do while purring is knead you, your sofa, or whatever it might be standing on. Curious what makes them do this? Find out why!


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