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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.

Purr - Wikipedia

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purr

A purr is a tonal fluttering sound made by some species of felids, and two species of genets. ... (2002) argued that the ability of a cat species to purr is not affected by the anatomy of its hyoid....

Why Do Cats Purr? - Pet WebMD

pets.webmd.com/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  ...

Why do Cats Purr? 3 Reasons Kittens & Cats Purr

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

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

Why and how do cats purr?(Everyday Mysteries: Fun Science Facts ...

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 one of contentment. Our understanding of how a domestic cat purrs is ...

Why Cats Purr - Cat Behavior Associates

www.catbehaviorassociates.com/why-cats-purr/

Sep 26, 2014 ... The one humans are most familiar with is that a purring cat is content and happy but in reality, cats purr for a variety of reasons and not all of ...

Why do cats purr? | MNN - Mother Nature Network

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

Jul 16, 2015 ... It's easy to assume that cats purr because they're content, but research ... This causes the vocal cords to separate when the cat inhales and ...

Why Do Cats Purr? Some of the Reasons Might Surprise You - Catster

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

Mar 21, 2014 ... Cat moms purr when they give birth. In addition to benefitting kittens, purring helps the mothers in a number of ways. The new moms are ...

Why Do Cats Purr? It's Not Just Because They're Happy | WIRED

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 ...

Why do cats purr? - Purina

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 ...