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PURRING

A low-pitched regular sound produced during alternating (pulmonic) egressive and ingressive airstream when the cat is content, hungry, stressed, in pain, gives birth or is dying; probably signals ”I do not pose a threat” or ”Keep on doing what you are doing”. Cat mothers and their kittens often use purring to communicate, as it is a quiet sound difficult for predators to detect. Some wild cats purr too, the most famous one probably being the Cheetah Caine (see video clip below). Sometimes purring is combined or merged with other sounds, like soft trills, squeaks or mews (see video clips below). 

The image to the right shows the phonetic characteristics (waveform, spectrogram and pitch (F0) contour) and gives a short audio example of a domestic cat purr.

DOMESTIC CAT VINCENT PURRS

This video shows the domestic cat Vincent, who is purring calmly.

DOMESTIC CAT DONNA PURRS

This video shows the domestic cat Donna, who is purring calmly.

DOMESTIC CAT ROCKY PURRS

This video clip shows the purring domestic cat Rocky.

DOMESTIC CAT TURBO PURRS

This video clip shows the purring domestic cat Turbo.

THE SOFT SQUEAK EMBEDDED WITHIN THE PURR

The domestic cat Donna often combines or merges soft squeaks and trills with purring when she wants to cuddle.

TURBO SNORES AND PURRS

In this clip the domestic cat Turbo, who is sleeping and snoring, begins to purr as I wake him up.

TURBO MEOWS AND PURRS DEMANDINGLY

The domestic cat Turbo demands my attention and when he finally gets it he starts to purr intensely.

CAINE THE PURRING CHEETAH

and Robert Eklund at the Dell Cheetah Centre, Parys, South Africa. Robert Eklund has devoted an entire website to feline purring (purring.org), with much information about purring.