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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've read in various places that, when cats purr, they aren't always blissfully happy. Sometimes they do it when they're sick, agitated, or otherwise trying to comfort themselves.

Mister T isn't the cheeriest of cats all the time. His happiest moments are when he jumps on my bed this morning to bat my nose and wake me up. (I think he takes some sort of evil pleasure out of torturing me awake.) He's not much of a purr-er; it does happen occasionally, say, sometimes when he's chilling on the couch with me watching TV. But generally, he's my grumpster. (he's not UNhappy, but you know what I mean, right?)

So this morning when I was getting ready for work, Mr. T was lazing about in his usual spot, laying down with his head in his paws (normal). I reached down to pet him for a bit, and he was PURRING. Hard. Loudly (for him). He didn't seem agitated - no ear issues, no eyes dilated, no tail-lashing (he's usually BIG on tail-lashing). Just constant purring. Totally not like him.

I know I shouldn't doubt his happiness, but this is the first time in the 3 years I've had him that I can recall him purring for no apparent reason. Should I assume he's not feeling well? Is that crazy of me? Am I being true to my nature and overthinking something I shouldn't? It just distresses me to know that cats purring does NOT always mean they're happy..
 

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cats are strange, strange creatures. It could be something as simple as he found a smell he liked in the carpet! Wicket isn't a huge purr-er unless he's in specific situations and the other day we discovered a really weird thing he likes: he's a huge fan of those "butt smack" type pats --will lay his front feet and face on the floor and push his back end up and the more you pat his back right behind his tail with nice firm smacks the harder and louder he purrs. The first time I thought maybe he was purring because it hurt or because of something else but nope, he loves it.

He also doesn't seem to purr to calm himself or anything like that--he really only purrs when he likes something (in my experience so far with him anyway). The kitten purrs a bit when he's overwhelmed or scared but Wicket never does. Maybe your cat doesn't either?

Either way I wouldnt' worry too much about an isolated incident :D But I know what you mean, it was weird for me to find out they don't only do it when they're happy too!
 

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If the peace of mind is worth it for you, you might take him to the vet anyway just to be sure. I know that with Ariel his purring varies, and the first day I had him he was purring VERY loudly and often. It worried me because I was wondering if he was in pain or scared, however he showed no signs of either. I think he was just enjoying his first day of being able to be cuddled for the majority of the 24 hour period.

So it could be something, or it could be that he was just in a REALLY good mood. I can tell you some morning's during wake-up Ariel will groom me and purr so loud I can feel the bed vibrating. Other times he will barely purr and give me only a handful of headbutts. Who knows what is going on in that kitty-head of his?
 

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I think Mister T is becoming very comfortable with you; you've had him for three years but based on the statistics under your signature, you're not his first owner/master. It may have taken him that long to get use to you.
As my cat mentor told me when I adopted my first ever cat, Ritz (newly socialized, semi-feral), as long as Ritz is peeing, pooping and playing normally ("normal" defined on a cat-by-cat basis), don't worry.
Yeah, I worry anyway.
And, Ritz ONLY purrs audibly (so far....) when she is very anxious or scared. When she is particularly happy, peaceful (usually when I'm massaging her neck), she has a sub-vocal purr (I can feel her larynx vibrate).
I'm co-fostering four stray/dumped cats; we've had them since January 2011. Two are just now meowing and trilling, and then only at feeding time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey - no, it was right after feeding time. So maybe he was feeling warm and fuzzy and happy after his favorite time of day - mealtime! LOL. I'll keep an eye on him when I get home from work today and update here.

Thanks so much, all.. :)
 

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How do you know he was purring before you came up to him? I ask because the same happens with Prince, and I was convinced he purrs because he's happy I came up to him...
 

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I'm glad other people are as confused with their cats' purring as I am!

Lily purrs literally every time we pet her, but it's not loud. She also purrs when we pick her up, which she hates (she meows in protest and eventually squirms)...but still purrs??

Spencer is not a big purrer...but he purrs like a MACHINE at certain, random times, usually when I'm petting him on the bed, and usually at night. Also, when I get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and come back in the bedroom, he always jumps up on the bed and purrs and purrs while I pet him. But during the day, most of the time he doesn't purr at all...except sometimes when he's sucking up and trying to demonstrate to me what a perfect little boy he is because wants food. ;)
 

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I think it was likely realted to food time, as well as petting.

Out of our four our biggest purrer is Muffin. He purrs when he's happy (which is most of the time), sleeping (he loves to purr himself to sleep...very sweet), playful, naughty (when he's played a joke on me or one of his siblings), when he thinks something is funny, when he's teasing his dad, pretty much the whole day. We say 'You started his purr-er!" and sometimes you can just look at him and he'll start going. Or sit next to him, without touching...or poke him. Lol really anything gets him going.

On the other side of the scale is Jitzu. She never purred at all for the first 2-3 years I had her. Then she'd purr if we were snuggling for a while, but not too close, and she was content. Then when I got hom, but not if I touched her. Now she'll purr when she's sitting with me, or when I pick her up when I just get home. But her purrs are different from Muffin's. Anything stops them, like if I say "Oh! You're purring!" She stops, lol. She only purrs for me, no one else. They're also so quiet I have to hold my head right next to her to actually hear them, or feel the vibrations through my hand.
Muffin you can hear from another room! He's so loud when he purrs.

Doran and Torri are fairly 'normal' purrers, in the middle. Not too loud, not too soft. Not so often that it isn't special, and not so few that you really have to work for it. All four of ours drool when they purr. Muffin the most, then Doran and Torri tied, then Jitzu (but only the tiniest amoutn and she death-glares you if you mention it).
 

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I'm learning much from this thread.

I have a related question.

Tonight, my little guy came to live with me.

I'm letting him stay in my bathroom and just check on him every now and then.

He is enjoying his bed (but I think it's just more of a security (warm, soft, etc.)).

However, when I go to pet him, he stretches, and kneads the air. He does purr quite loudly.

Seeing as I'm new to him, I'm doubting it's because he's happy to see me... so I can only guess it's because he's stressed or nervous. :( (Although the kneading the air is promising, I'm not getting my hopes up! ;) )
 

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Ted, That sounds almost exactly like Ariel! Only difference is that he kneaded the bed instead of the air. :lol: Honestly, I think you will be able to tell in a couple of days. Ariel would purposefully seek me out for cuddles and do this, and he is a very well-adjusted cat, so I think for him it was a case of 'I'M FREEEEEEEEEEEE AND HOOOOOOOOOOME! And I get cuddles WHENEVER I WANT!'

Lets face it, as soon as he does this you give him pets, right? So of course he will keep on doing it. If he is feeling nervous you are probably comforting to him with petting and such.

Of course, you won't really know until after a couple days have passed and he gets more comfortable. Then you will see the rest of his personality and will be able to judge from there.
 

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Thanks for the reassurance, Rebbie. :)

Yes, this morning he purred while I pet him and then shortly he started seeking out my hand and actually putting his front paws on my lap.

Of course, I couldn't resist and picked him up....and that didn't go over too well. He didn't scratch or bite, but just wanted to get back to his bed (sanctuary). LOL

I think he'll be okay. (praying) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
How do you know he was purring before you came up to him? I ask because the same happens with Prince, and I was convinced he purrs because he's happy I came up to him...
Hey, you know, you're right. I don't actually know he was purring before I came up to him. So maybe he does like me. He really likes me! Haha. I didn't get any slow eye-blinks, but I did get a relaxed gaze. So that's good.

I think Mister T is becoming very comfortable with you; you've had him for three years but based on the statistics under your signature, you're not his first owner/master. It may have taken him that long to get use to you.
Wow, three years? That sounds like a long time to get used to me. I'm insulted, Mr. T! :cool But yes, I am his second owner; his first owner (who had him since kittenhood) had him as an only cat (so it took a while for him to get used to Lumen when I brought her home a year ago) ..she had to get rid of him due to, guess what, kids had allergies.

Today, T is still doing well - no more purring, but head-butts when I got home, usual antics at dinner time and breakfast time..

And more good news! I weighed him this morning - he's 18.5 lbs! He lost a pound and a half! Woohoo!!! :kittyturn
 

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A couple hours ago I came back from work and Prince was purring around me. I think he doesn't need to be petted to purr, it's just when he's happy. Princess does the same, she can just purr because I came up to her and surrounded her with my body so she's not afraid of Prince.
 

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Blondie, head butts are fine and good. So is when the cat meanders around you feet and legs.
It took Ritz 18 months to get comfortable enough with me to let me rub her belly. Ritz and her litter mates were abandoned by an in-human owner and lived several months on the streets before being rescued and resocialized. I helped socialize them, and agreed to foster Ritz, never having had a pet--much less a cat--before. Ritz had me with her first meow.
Ritz will for a long time have issues with sudden noises and movement. On the other hand, one of the four cats I am co-fostering in a cattery (long story), will just now eat a Greenie from my hand, but does not move even when I step over him.
My point being: sometimes it depends on the background of the cat; it's them not you.
 
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