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Cat Does Not Purr: Potential Reasons and Should You Do Something About It?

It is not fully understood why cats purr or even how they do it, but you can generally expect your beloved feline family member to purr when they are feeling content. Purring is typical of cats when they are being petted while cuddling in laps or sunbathing by a window. Some cats purr just because they feel like it. However, cats sometimes purr when they are feeling ill or in pain too.

Therefore, you must pay attention to a cat’s mood and physical behavior to determine why they are purring. What’s more, some cats never purr their whole life, and some cats that once purred stop purring. But why is this? Let us take a look at why your cat may not be purring and discuss whether there is anything you can do about it.


They Just Do Not Feel Like It

Sometimes, cats do not purr because they do not feel like doing it. But just because your cat is not purring, that does not mean they are unhappy. It just means that they do not want to purr. If your cat usually purrs when you pet them but fails to purr occasionally, chances are that they just do not want to at that time. However, if your cat stops purring altogether whenever you pet them, there may be another reason for the silence.

cat being petted
Image Credit: Paul Hanaoka, Unsplash
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They Are Satisfied

Sometimes, cats will not even bother to purr because they are completely satisfied with their current situation. Some cats will purr and show affection until they get what they want, like dinner. Then, when they have achieved their goal of getting what they want, they stop purring and go on about their business as if nothing ever happened.

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They Are Ill or Injured

A cat might purr to help ease stress when they are ill or injured, but more commonly, cats stop purring altogether until they are feeling better. An injury might impact your cat’s ability to purr even if they want to. Injured nails, tooth infections, and even insect bites can cause injuries that affect your feline’s purring. Many types of illness, from basic infections to food poisoning, could result in a cat that does not want to purr.

If your cat is not purring due to an injury or illness, you may notice other signs of discomfort, such as whining, vomiting, and lethargy. You can check for injuries by lightly rubbing your cat’s body to see if any area is sensitive to the touch. Also, inspect their mouth and teeth. Any signs of illness or injury related to a lack of purring should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian immediately.

sleepy cat
Image Credit: sleepy cat, Unsplash
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They Are Simply Getting Old

Sometimes, cats lose the energy and drive to purr when they get old. They prefer using their energy to eat and play instead. Even though they are not purring, old cats can be just as content as younger cats. They just might not have the energy or wherewithal to show you their appreciation and happiness like they used to.

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What to Do About a Lack of Purring

There is not much that you can do about a lack of purring other than supporting your cat, as necessary. If they seem to be under the weather, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to see if there is anything that can be done to make them feel better. They might start purring again once they feel more like themselves. If your cat just does not feel like purring, all you can do is love them and encourage them with petting and cuddling. If they are getting old, you may just have to live with a lack of purring from here on out, but you can still expect the love and attention that you have always gotten.

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Final Thoughts

Everyone loves to hear their cat purr. The sound and feel of purring tend to reinforce the fact that they are happy. But just because your cat is not purring does not mean that you are doing anything wrong or that they are unhappy in any way. Keep an eye out for signs of trouble, but if you do not see any, chances are that your cat just is not interested in purring. How often does your cat purr, and do you ever notice them not purring when you expect them to? Let us know about your experiences by leaving us a comment!

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Featured Image: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek, Shutterstock