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Purring is most often associated with contentment or pleasure. Cats have also been found to purr under extreme stress.
If you have concerns about a cat that purrs excessively or not at all, make an appointment with your vet.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purr

A purr is a tonal fluttering sound made by some species of felids, and two species of genets. ... muscles of the larynx to alternately dilate and constrict the glottis rapidly, causing air vibrations during inhalation and exhalation. ... (2002) argued that the ability of a cat species to purr is not affected by the anatomy of its hyoid.

pets.webmd.com/cats/why-do-cats-purr

Your cat's purring can signal happiness, anxiety, or another emotion. ... The low frequency of purrs causes a series of related vibrations within their body that can  ...

www.mnn.com/family/pets/stories/why-do-cats-purr

Jul 16, 2015 ... A cat's purr begins in its brain. A repetitive neural oscillator sends messages to the laryngeal muscles, causing them to twitch at a rate of 25 to ...

www.catbehaviorassociates.com/why-cats-purr

Sep 26, 2014 ... The purr of a cat. It's the most mesmerizing sound. It's the sound that makes you smile and think all is right in his world. That gentle sound ...

www.catster.com/lifestyle/why-do-cats-purr-cat-behavior-health-evolution

Jul 24, 2017 ... A second theory claims that the small hyoid bone is responsible for cat purrs. The hyoid bone is located between the skull and the larynx.

www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?articleid=892

Everyone loves a purring cat? But what is your cat trying to say? Find out now.

www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/catspurr.html

No one knows for sure why a domestic cat purrs, but many people interpret the sound as ... What makes the purr distinctive from other cat vocalizations is that it is ...

www.wired.com/2015/05/why-do-cats-purr

May 8, 2015 ... Such reasons to purr are by no means exclusive. “All behavior depends on history, context and expectation,” says Tony Buffington, a cat expert ...

www.purina.com.au/cats/behaviour/purring

We love to hear our cats purr. There is nothing better than a cat curled up on your lap, satisfied and happy, but have you ever wondered just how cats purr and ...