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Why Do Some Cats Purr Louder Than Others

The Loudest Cat Purr On Record

How (And Why) Do Cats Purr?

While you may have heard rumors that this cat purrs at 100 decibels, thats only because this is what the owner initially believed.

Merlin the cat, a rescue kitty from Devon, England is a 13-year old cat that purrs at a measured 67.8 decibels. While cats have a higher range, with Merlin this volume is consistent, and its earned him a spot in the record books. If youd to hear just how loud little Merlin can get, you can check out a video here.

Why Do Some Cats Purr So Loudly

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If there is one thing that pretty much every cat lover on earth cant get enough of, its a cats purr. While its been said that cats simply purr when they are happy, such is not always the case. A cats purr is truly powerful, and can be used by a feline to nurse an injury, or even as a method to keep calm while in labor. We know that cats purr loudly when theyre happy, but why is it that some cats purr louder than others? Lets take a closer look.

First, cats purr for a number of reasons. Some of which include:

  • When they are relaxed and content
  • To help them to relax
  • When they are in labor its used to keep themselves calm
  • When they are excited and know theyre about to be fed or receive a treat
  • To help heal their bodies from injury
  • Mother cats will purr as a means to bond with their kittens

Fun little big cat purr fact for you: A cat which can roar cannot purr, and vice versa. So, there are some big cats in the wild that purr, too, such as cheetahs, bobcats, ocelots, and cougars!

So, why do some cats purr louder than others?

A domestic cats purr has an average frequency 25-50 Hertz. But it has been scientifically proven that this range can go upwards to an impressive 150 Hertz. This range in frequency indicates that some cats do, in fact, purr louder than others.

According to the research I found, it seems that cats which are naturally chatty seem to be the loudest in terms purring.

Image Courtesy of Guinness World Records

What Does This Purring Mean

Cats purr, and some of them purr a lot. Even though people with cats are used to purring, you might wonder: what does it mean, anyway?

You might also wonder what it means when a cat purrs loudly. All of the sounds that animals make have meaning.

However, purring has more meaning than many owners may realize. A common assumption is that a purr always means a sense of contentment.

Even though this is an easy conclusion to draw, being content is only one possibility among many.

What does it mean when a cat purrs loudly? The cat might be feeling content, or might be trying to comfort itself.

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Can Big Cats Purr Too

There has long been a debate about whether the big cats can purr and the belief has been that cats that roar, such as lions and tigers, cannot purr. Although there is no conclusive evidence on this subject, it seems that even cats that roar purr as cubs while suckling.

All mammals have a bone or series of bones in the throat called the hyoid apparatus, which supports the larynx and tongue. In cat species that roar the hyoid apparatus is not entirely made of bone but retains some parts as cartilage, while cat species that purr have a hyoid that is completely bony. This modification may permit roaring, but does not necessarily mean that purring is impossible. It is believed that cheetah, ocelot, margay, serval, and lynx, among other species, can purr, and it is suggested that jaguar, leopard, lion and tiger cannot or if they can theyve kept it secret all these years.

Cat Purring Changes Over Time

Why do Some Cats Purr Louder than Others

Another interesting thing about cat purrs is that they change over time. While the expected changes, such as purring becoming louder and stronger are to be expected, the actual meaning of the purrs will change as well.

When your cat is a kitten after theyve been alive for 2 to 3 days, their purr-box starts working and mom will use it to find them when its time to feed her kittens. They will also purr when they are nervous, such as when exploring a new place or when a human suddenly scoops them up for a quick cuddle.

Mothers also use a deep purr to announce to the kittens that she is available. As cats get older, they will purr for each other during grooming, possibly as a way to say I like this, more please!, and some cats will purr to steady their nerves before a pounce so be sure to watch your kittys body language.

The thing is, while we know a little about purrs, experts like Veterinarian Gary Weitzman of the San Diego Humane Society tell us that were just beginning to understand it.

Weve isolated the trigger, which is a neural oscillator called the infundibulum and it only seems to be related to purring, but beyond this there is still a lot of mystery about cat purrs that we have yet to understand.

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Why Do Cats Purr If Theyre Sick

Cats who are feeling sick might purr somewhat loudly. Purrs as high as 150Hz have a positive effect on muscle stimulation.

When your cat is purring loudly but not moving around much, they are likely trying to heal themselves from their illness.

You might also notice a cat purring even if he or she has become injured. Under these circumstances, their survival instincts will encourage them to stay quiet.

They will also demonstrate high pain tolerance, appearing less injured than they are.

Why Your Cat Purrs Then Bites You

As cat owners, we are all too familiar with the situation. You are petting your cat as it purrs and all of a sudden, without warning, it bites you. A lot of people may feel offended by this action, but there is always a cause for this reaction.

1. You switched to a different activity that it doesnt like

It could be that your cat was enjoying the head pats, and you suddenly started to tickle it in a sensitive area such as its tummy. According to cat behaviorists Pam Johnson-Bennet, your cat does not like to be touched in an area where its vital organs are located.

That is why the typical response when its belly is touched is to spring into defensive mode, and scratch or bite you. Its not a hateful action just a natural protection reflex.

2. Your cat is overstimulated

The most common reason for these sudden bites and scratches from your cat is overstimulation. This could mean your play sessions have excited your cat so much, that it has gotten to the point where it feels so good.

The cat may feel that it has had enough, and wants to take a break from the petting. Biting you is a way of telling you to stop.

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Health Plays A Vital Role In The Volume Of A Cats Purr

Respiratory ailments such as coughs or colds alter the cats tone and amplification of their purrs. Researches have been conducted to identify the correlation between the rate of recovery or the health benefits of purring. Purring has also been observed to heal cats bones, diminish pain and swellings, and repair torn tendons. We will debate more about this in the next topic.

Why Do Cats Purr Loudly

Why do cats purr?

Your cat might purr loudly for various reasons. Some cats just naturally purr louder than others, but as your cat gets older, their purr may deepen and get louder. If your cat is truly, deeply happy, they may purr extra enthusiastically and turn up the volume.

The same thing can happen if your cat is deeply stressed or injured. They may purr extra loudly in response as their body tries to soothe itself.

Physical issues also can increase the volume of your cats purr. If your cat is overweight, they may purr more loudly. Cats who have a respiratory infection may also purr more loudly look for further symptoms like a runny nose or watery eyes.

If you notice sudden, distinct changes in how your cat purrs, its a good idea to take them to the vet for a checkup. An abrupt change in purr volume, tone, or intensity might indicate a physical issue that you should rule out, just in case.

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Some cats purr louder than others, but its important to understand why. Its actually because of how we perceive our vocalizations.

A purr is a sound produced when a cat or other animal emits vibrations in the mouth and throat that can be detected by the brain. The vibrations trigger the muscles of the tongue and throat, which cause the air to be expelled from the lungs and out of the nasal cavity. This causes the air to be expelled at a much higher rate, so theres a much greater amount of air to expel at a given time.

The louder the purr, the more sound is produced. The more air we produce, the louder we make it. The more air we make, the louder the purring. This is what a cats purr is telling us: were making a lot more sound, which is producing a lot more air.

Purring is one way cats purr because its the only way cats can communicate. If some cats purr, it means they are making more sound. Purring is an important communication tool for cats because were able to make the sound of the purr through our throats.

There are many different ways to make sound. Purring is one way. The sound made is a purr. Thats why cats purr. But there are other important ways that cats purr. For example, if a cat is playing chase, the cat may purr if its being chased. If a cat is playing chase, it may also purr. Purring is a way cats communicate.

Your Cat May Just Be Swallowing Excess Saliva

Some cat owners observe that their cats are swallowing hard when purring because of the excess saliva in their mouth. This usually happens when the purring is accompanied by kneading. Your cat may swallow hard and with a gulping sound when they knead and drool excessively. If your cat does this, it is not something that you should be worried about.

Cat experts note that kneading is an instinctive trait among felines and they often knead on a blanket, soft surfaces, other cats and humans. Cats find it relaxing and soothing especially because it reminds them of when they were still kittens and they knead their moms tummy when they nurse. It is usually accompanied by purring contentedly while some drift off to sleep.

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Cats Can Purr Loudly And Thats Okay

Knowing the various reasons why some cats have loud purrs is a welcome relief for owners concerned about their pets wellbeing.

A cat whose purrs are louder than you may be used to is rarely a problem, but peace of mind is always helpful.

When you understand the reasons for your cats loud purring, you can make sure that everything is okay.

Having a happy cat is an important goal for any cat owner, and attention to the reasons your kitty purrs will help you identify any issues.

Yes Cats Purr To Get Attention

What Does It Mean When Your Cat Purrs

According to Dr. Joanne Righetti, purring is something that cats learn to do a few days after birth. When kittens need to nurse, they purr to signal their need to the mother cat.

When a cat has an owner they have a strong bond with, they may use a louder purr to get attention or food.

This type of louder purr has similarities to a baby crying. Early morning is a common time of day for cats to take part in this type of vocalization.

Many believe that cats see their owners as parents, which motivates them to use purring as a means of getting attention.

Hungry cats will also use this method, out of instinct left over from when they were still nursing and purred to demonstrate satisfaction.

This type of purr is known as a soliciting purr. A cat that makes this type of purring sound very loudly may have gotten rewarded for loud behavior through extra attention or food.

Although there is nothing wrong with soliciting purrs in and of themselves, owners may need to learn to balance their cats needs with their need for sleep.

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Some Cats Purr Without Touch

Purring can be done on purpose or as an involuntary response, often to something thats not readily apparent without taking in the context. For instance, some cats will just sit down somewhere and start to purr without you even touching them.

While we believe that this is likely subconscious or conscious anticipation of being petted, we simply dont have enough data to be 100% sure.

As we mentioned previously, purrs are believed to help with healing and calming your kitty, and as no two kitties are completely in agreement as to what deserves a purr, its an awfully difficult thing to study.

So, your cat could be purring in anticipation of petting, they could be calming anxiety, or even healing an ailment that you arent aware of. For now, those purrs just support the cats reputation for being mysterious and more study is going to be needed to crack the code.

They Have Grown And Gotten Older

A cats purr will change with its size. Kittens tend to start purring a couple of days after being born to communicate with their mother and littermates.

Their vocal cords have not fully developed at this point, and since their bodies are still small, their purrs are going to sound much softer and higher pitched. As the cat grows, they develop the ability and space within themselves to create a louder purr.

Their body will continue to change as they age, so, understandably, their purr would too. This is something you might notice over time unless there has been a considerable about of time between you seeing a cat as a kitten and then as an adult cat.

If your cat gains weight, its purr will likely get a little louder, too, because its size is changing.

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Why Is A Cat’s Purr Soothing

A cat purrs at a frequency that fluctuates between 20 to 140 Hz. This frequency range has been proven to medical therapeutic. A cat’s purr can lower your blood pressure and bring calm to when things get stressful. Cat’s have a way of making us feel better both physically and mentally with the sound of their gentle and purr.

Do Some Cats Purr Louder Than Others


When it comes to genetics, some cats naturally can purr louder than others. And there are even some species that do not purr at all. Siamese, Burmese, Japanese Bobtail, Oriental, and Tonkinese cats usually purr the loudest. Their purring sounds are more distinct than other breeds. In addition to that, older cats tend to purr louder than younger ones. There are, however, some exceptional cases in which younger cats tend to purr louder than senior cats.

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Your Cat May Be Suffering From A Health Condition

Your cat may be harboring a respiratory ailment such as cough or colds which could change the pitch and volume of her purrs. By purring loudly, your cat may also be doing some self-soothing to ease her pain or condition. Some studies attest that their purrs can help heal their bones, ease breathing, lessen pain and swelling, and repair tendons.

Do Males Cats Purr Louder Than Females

There is n clear rule of which sex purrs louder than the other when it comes to cats. Both of them can be very loud, during different times, and due to various reasons. For example, when female cats go into heat, they can be very loud when calling for mates, however, male cats can purr very loudly as well when searching for mates.

For behavioral differences, however, female cats are more well behaved, loving, and calmer than male cats, especially during the mating period. Male cats also purr loud whenever they get into a quarrel, for example, trying to get the attention of female cats.

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Do Cats Have A Favorite Person

The best cat-human relationships are ones in which the human adapts to the cats preferred style of communication. A cats favorite person may be the one who makes them feel comfortable and safe just by being in the same room with them. Over time, you and your cat will learn how to best communicate with each other.

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When Your Cat Purrs Louder Than Normal

Why Does My Cat Purr So Loud?

Do not immediately assume it is about distress or discomfort. Loud purring has other unusual qualities, too that will tell you what your cats really mean.

If they purr louder than normal, they can simply be in an excellent mood.

But, purring followed by the cat keeping her distance, standing aloof, and twitching tails means she is warning you of an impending attack.

The same goes when a purr turns instantly into a growl. This could mean they are in discomfort or distress.

Overall, if your cat purrs loudly but appears relaxed and comfortable, then worrying is not necessary.

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