My cat is not purring

Why Is My Cat Not Purring? Is She Sad?

We all know that cats are known for their purring. But do you also wonder why your cat is not purring? Is she unhappy? It’s a good chance it does not have as much to do with mood as we think. But there could be other reasons why she’s not purring. So let us explore the possibilities and find out together!

Why is my cat not purring

Why is my cat not purring? - Cat looking intensely

As with humans, each cat is unique, and purring may just not be your cat’s method of communication. Here are some reasons why your cat may not be purring since birth.

  1. They are too soft it’s hard to hear
  2. They just do not enjoy it and therefore do not do it
  3. If they have a problem with their respiratory system or vocal cords, they may not be able to purr

Do not worry, a cat that does not purr and does not show any other negative symptoms is not necessarily in pain or unhappy. She may not feel the need to vocalize when she is content, hungry, or seeking affection.

However, if your cat purrs from a young age and then suddenly stops purring, then you should consult your veterinarian.

Why do cats purr

The average cat purrs when she is in a relaxed environment, sending out waves of calm. She may also purr when you pet her. When this is the case, your feline friend feels happy or friendly.

But you should know that cats also purr to express other emotions and needs. For example, when you pick your cat up, she purrs either because she likes it or because she is nervous.

This purring is thought to be caused by rapid contractions of the vocal cords in conjunction with inhaling and exhaling.

However, not every cat purrs. We will discuss this in the following sections.

Why does my cat stop purring

If your cat has always been a purring machine and one day decided to stop purring for good, you should definitely get to the bottom of it. Here are a few reasons why they stop purring.

Stress or anxiety 

It could be that something new is being introduced that is causing stress and anxiety in your cats. This can cause them to stop purring. In this case, find out the cause of the stress and fix it. For a start, try catnip or pheromones to calm your cats down.

If your cat is showing other signs of stress or exhibiting destructive behavior, you should see a veterinarian.

Pain or illness 

Your cat might be uncomfortable due to physical problems such as arthritis, dental problems, etc. In this case, she would most likely stop purring. Look out for other signs of illness, such as:

  • Lethargy
  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Urinating more or less than normal 
  • Hiding 

In these cases, you need to take your cat to a veterinarian immediately.

Vocal cord diseases

Several diseases related to the vocal cords can cause a cat to lose her ability to purr.

  • Laryngitis is a condition that can affect any cat, but it is most common in older cats. Symptoms of laryngeal inflammation include pain when coughing or exhaling, or difficulty making sounds with the voice box. Purring is not possible in this case.
  • A cat with tumors or polyps in the vocal cords is unable to vocalize. They block the nose and reduce the flow of air through the nose. Because of this blockage, a cat may have difficulty breathing or purring.

Benefits of purrs

Why is cat not purring - Adorable angry cat

Purring can be beneficial to cats in several ways:

Stress relief – Purring helps relieve any stress your kitty may be feeling.

Faster healing – Experts say that purring can positively affect a cat’s ability to heal itself. Research shows that the particular wavelength of this sound can speed up the healing of their bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.

Improves sleep quality – Cats sometimes tend to purr themselves to sleep. 

Why is your cat purring?

Although you can never know exactly what your furry friend is trying to tell you with her purrs, you can make a guess by considering the situation.

Your cat might be purring because:

She’s happy – A relaxed cat with half-closed eyes and a calm tail is most likely in a good mood.

She’s hungry – Cats may purr when it’s mealtime and they are hungry. When they purr for food, they combine their usual purr with a “meow”.

Bonding between kittens and mother – Kittens that are only a few days old may purr to let their mother know where they are or that they are OK. It also helps the bond between kitten and mother, as mother cats sometimes use purring as a lullaby.

Pain or stress relief – many cats purr when they are injured or in pain. It is a way for the cat to soothe itself, much like a human child sucks their thumb to feel better.

Why does my cat purr so quietly?

Scientists know a lot about the different vocalizations cats make and what they mean. However, the silent purr where the cat opens her mouth but no sound comes out is kind of an outlier.

So we have to ask ourselves: is the purring really silent? It could be that your cat is not purring silently, but is simply too quiet for you to hear.

Cats can hear frequencies that are outside the range of human hearing. Therefore, it is safe to say that a cat can hear a high-pitched purr that is far above what a human can hear.

So, there is a possibility that she is purring but does not know that you cannot hear it as well as she can.

How to make my cat purr?

Orange tabby cat on gray blanket

For those of you who can not stand a cat that does not purr and want to hear it purr again, here are some valuable tips on how to do it right.

  • Give them lots of petting and rubbing. Our cats purr when they want to be petted. Pick a time each day for a “petting session” and give them rubs on the belly, head and neck. If they like it, they will start purring.
  • Find their favorite spot. Some cats love rubs on the neck. Some cats love pats on their bottom, near their tail. If you know where their favorite spot is, they are more likely to purr during the petting.
  • Cuddle them. If your cats like to be held, cuddle them often and keep them close. They will love it and it may encourage them to purr.
  • Let them knead. Hooli needs to knead every day before bed. I am not sure if there’s anything wrong with that, but he definitely purrs every time he kneads. If you do not mind, let them do it and watch them purr.

The important thing is that you do not force your cat to do anything she does not like. If rubbing is not a pleasure for your cat, take it slow. You do not need a purring cat to prove that she is happy.

Other sounds cats make 

Cats have a wide range of vocalizations. Because of their anatomy, your cat is capable of making many different sounds, with many nuanced variations of each.

Some of these sounds signal contentment and serenity, while others reflect worry, fear, or even anger.


This is perhaps the most common. An adult cat’s meow is almost exclusively for communication with humans, not other cats. Cats meow at a young age when they need their mother.

This juvenile vocalization fades as feral cats become adults. Domestic cats, however, tend to think of themselves as their offspring and maintain this endearing vocalization throughout their lives.


A cat may chatter her teeth while staring longingly out the window at a sparrow or squirrel in a tree. This sound may be followed by a chirp, squeak, or soft cry.

The chattering indicates the cat’s predatory excitement and stress over not reaching the prey.

Experts say that the chatter is an imitated bird or rodent call. This is anecdotal at best, since cats’ hunting ability depends on silence and stealth.


We all know the meaning of a cat’s hiss. It means your cat feels threatened and is ready to fight if need be.

Chirps, trills and chirrups

These sounds are used by kittens and are slightly more meaningful than a meow. Chirps are sometimes used by mothers to tell their kittens to pay attention and follow her.

Your cat may chirp to get you to pay attention to her or to get you to look at something she thinks is important. On the other hand, chirrups and squeaky little trills can also occur when a cat is excited and happy.

Other sounds include mewls, caterwauls, and yowls.


If a cat is not purring, it does not mean she’s sick. It just means that she may not be in the mood, or that her purr is just a little hard to hear. However, if they suddenly stop purring, a visit to the vet is in order. Other than that, there’s nothing to worry about.

All you need to do is make sure your cat is comfortable, safe and healthy, and the rest will take care of itself.

Want to learn more about cat body language? Read the ultimate guide to cat behavior

Continue reading: Why does my cat headbutt me (and Other Things) 

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