Do cats stop purring when they are sick?

Cats, the furry feline friends we all adore, have a unique way of communicating with us – through their adorable purring. It’s no wonder that this sound can melt anyone’s heart. But have you ever wondered what makes a cat purr? Is it just a sign of contentment or something else entirely? Many cat lovers speculate that cats stop purring when they are sick and in pain. However, is this just a myth or does it hold any truth? Well, the answer is not so straightforward.

Cats are masters at hiding their pain, making it quite challenging to identify whether they are unwell or not. While some cats do stop purring when they are sick, it’s certainly not the case for all. This complex behavior of cats has made it difficult for veterinarians and even cat owners to determine their pet’s condition solely based on their purring. Knowing when your furry friend is feeling off is crucial to get timely veterinary care and help them recover.

In this blog post, we will dive deep into the topic of “Do cats stop purring when they are sick?” We’ll explore the reasons behind this phenomenon and reveal what purring truly means for our feline companions. Additionally, we’ll discuss how you can use your cat’s purring as an indicator of their health status. So let’s get started and uncover the mystery surrounding a cat’s purring when they’re feeling under the weather.

What is Purring?

Purring is a low-pitched rumbling sound that cats make when they’re content, happy, or relaxed. This unique vocalization is exclusive to cats and is often associated with positive emotions. However, did you know that purring can also convey other emotions such as anxiety, fear, or pain?

So, how do cats produce this magical purring sound? When a cat purrs, they use their laryngeal muscles to vibrate their vocal cords and other muscles in their chest and diaphragm. The frequency of the purring sound can range from 25 to 150 Hertz, which happens to be within the range that promotes healing and reduces pain and inflammation.

Purring isn’t just a sign of contentment; it can also have physical benefits for our furry companions. However, if you’re wondering whether your cat stops purring when they’re sick, the answer isn’t always straightforward. Some cats may stop purring when they’re feeling under the weather to conserve energy for healing and recovery. Others may continue to purr despite being unwell because they find comfort in the vibrations of their own purring.

It’s important to note that while purring can indicate contentment and relaxation, it can also be a sign of pain or distress. Therefore, it’s best to observe other symptoms your cat may be experiencing and consult with a veterinarian if you suspect your cat may be sick or injured.

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Why Do Cats Purr?

This low rumbling sound is not just an expression of happiness, but can also indicate pain or stress. Despite years of research, the reason behind why cats purr has remained somewhat of a mystery. However, there are several theories that have emerged to provide some explanation.

One theory suggests that cats purr as a means of self-soothing or self-healing. The vibrations created by the purring sound can have a calming effect on a cat’s body, reducing stress and anxiety. Moreover, studies have shown that the frequency of these vibrations may stimulate healing in bones and tissues, which could explain why cats often purr when they are injured or sick.

Another theory proposes that cats purr as a form of communication with their owners or other felines. Depending on the context, the sound of purring can convey different emotions. For instance, a cat may purr when it wants attention or food, or to signal that it feels threatened or uncomfortable.

While we may never fully understand why cats purr, one thing is certain – it is an integral part of their behavior and communication. By understanding why cats purr, we can better comprehend our pets and provide them with the care and attention they need to remain happy and healthy.

Do Cats Stop Purring When They Are Sick?

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But what happens when a cat stops purring? Specifically, do cats stop purring when they are sick?

Purring is a deep, rumbling sound that cats make by vibrating their vocal cords. It can indicate different emotions such as happiness, contentment, or even pain. When cats are sick or in pain, they may also purr to soothe themselves. Purring releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers that can help reduce discomfort. However, if your cat is seriously ill or in severe pain, they may conserve their energy and stop purring altogether.

It’s also worth noting that certain illnesses or respiratory problems can affect a cat’s ability to purr. In such cases, your furry friend may be in pain or discomfort but unable to communicate through their usual means. However, just because a cat is purring doesn’t necessarily mean they are healthy.

Therefore, it’s essential to pay attention to other signs of illness such as loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea. These symptoms can indicate a range of health issues from minor ailments to severe diseases.

As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to monitor your cat’s behavior and seek veterinary care if you suspect they are sick. While purring can be a helpful indicator of a cat’s emotional state and pain levels, it should not be the only factor considered when assessing their health.

Reasons Behind Stopping to Purr When Sick

Cats are known for their soothing purring sounds, which often give us a sense of comfort and reassurance. However, when our feline friends stop purring, it can be a cause for concern, especially if they are sick. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why cats may stop purring when they are unwell.

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Physical Discomfort

When cats are sick or injured, they may experience pain or discomfort in their throat or chest area, which can make it challenging for them to breathe properly and purr at the same time. Purring requires the activation of muscles in the larynx and diaphragm, which can be affected by illness or injury. Therefore, if your cat is not purring as much as usual, it could be due to physical discomfort.

Emotional State

Cats are creatures of habit and routine, and when they are unwell, they may become withdrawn and less interested in socializing with humans or other pets. This change in behavior can lead to a decrease in purring as well. If your cat is not showing interest in cuddles or playtime, it could be a sign that they are feeling under the weather.

Loss of Appetite or Dehydration

Cats need to consume enough fluids to keep their bodies hydrated and healthy. However, when they are sick, they may lose their appetite or have difficulty eating due to physical discomfort. This can lead to dehydration, which can impact your cat’s overall health and well-being and affect their ability to purr.

Respiratory Issues

Respiratory infections or other respiratory issues can make it difficult for cats to breathe properly, which can affect their ability to purr. If your cat is experiencing breathing difficulties or coughing, it could be a sign of a respiratory issue that requires medical attention.

Medication Side Effects

Lastly, some medications can cause side effects that impact a cat’s ability to purr. For example, pain medications can make cats drowsy or lethargic, which can affect their vocalizations.

Reasons Behind Still Purring When Sick

You may be surprised to learn that cats can still purr even when they’re not feeling their best. As an expert in this field, I have researched and compiled five subtopics that explain why cats may still purr when they are sick.

Saving Energy

When a cat is ill or injured, they may become lethargic and spend most of their time sleeping. Purring requires energy, and if a cat is not feeling well, they may stop purring to save energy. However, some cats may continue to purr even when they’re sick, indicating that they’re not conserving their energy as much as others.

Self-Soothing Mechanism

One reason why cats may continue to purr even when they’re sick is because purring can serve as a self-soothing mechanism. When a cat is feeling stressed or anxious, their purring can help them feel more calm and relaxed. This can be especially important if the cat is feeling unwell, as it can help to ease some of their discomfort and make them feel more comfortable.


Cats are known for communicating through various means such as body language, vocalizations, and scent marking. Purring can be a way of signaling to their owner or other cats that they are in need of attention or comfort. In fact, some cats may even increase the volume or frequency of their purring when they’re sick to grab your attention.

Coping Mechanism

Some researchers suggest that cats may also purr when they are sick as a form of coping mechanism to deal with their discomfort. When cats are in pain or feeling unwell, generating vibrations through their body via purring may distract them from their symptoms and provide some relief.

Healing Properties

Lastly, purring can have healing properties on the body. The vibrations created by a cat’s purring have been shown to promote healing and reduce inflammation, which can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with illness. In fact, some studies have even suggested that the frequency of a cat’s purring falls within the range that has been shown to enhance bone density and promote healing in humans.

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In summary, the question of whether cats stop purring when they’re sick doesn’t have a black and white answer. While some felines may halt their purring to conserve energy for healing purposes, others might continue to do so as it brings them comfort. Purring is a low-pitched rumbling sound that cats emit when they feel content, happy, or relaxed. However, it can also indicate pain or distress.

Understanding why cats purr can help us better understand our furry friends and provide them with the care and attention they need to remain healthy and joyful. Some reasons why cats may stop purring when unwell include physical discomfort, emotional state, loss of appetite or dehydration, respiratory problems, and medication side effects. Conversely, reasons why cats may still purr when sick include saving energy, self-soothing mechanism, communication, coping mechanism, and healing properties.

As responsible pet owners, it’s crucial to pay attention to other signs of illness such as loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting or diarrhea. These symptoms can indicate various health issues from minor ailments to severe diseases. If you suspect your cat might be unwell or injured in any way possible, don’t hesitate to consult with a veterinarian. By doing so promptly, you can ensure your feline friend receives timely medical care and gets back on their paws in no time.

In conclusion: Whether your cat stops purring when they’re feeling under the weather or continues to do so regardless of their condition varies from one feline to another. Nonetheless, keeping an eye out for other signs of sickness and seeking professional help if needed is vital in ensuring your pet’s wellbeing.