Why Do Cats Purr?
Cats purr when they are being petted or feeling content. Some cats are also known to purr when they are eating or asking for food. There are reports of cats purring at other times, such as while giving birth or if they are unwell or in pain.
It is thought that purring is a signal to others nearby that it is not a threat. Interestingly, cats do not purr when they are on their own.
The way a cat makes their purring sound isn't yet fully understood because there isn't a specific part of their body that produces the purring sound. It has been suggested that twitching the muscles in their voicebox, the larynx, rapidly dilates and constricts the glottis, causing air vibrations as they breathe in and out.
The Jaguar, Leopard, Lion and Tiger, cats of the Panthera genus, only purr when breathing out.
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Photos courtesy of Buster Collars.