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Why Does My Cat Purr So Loud? 6 Likely Reasons

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

cat kneading and purring while lying on owner's lap

When your cat crawls into your lap, settles in, and starts purring, they’re happy. However, when that purr is so loud that you have to turn up the volume on the TV to hear the show you’re watching over the purring, many cat owners become concerned.

Cats purr loudly for many reasons. The cat could be purring because it’s happy, because it wants your attention, or even because it’s growing. However, some loud purrs mean that something is wrong with your cat and it’s trying to tell you it needs help.

The 6 Likely Reasons Why Cats Purr so Loud

1. The Cat Is Happy

The number one reason cats purr loudly is that they’re happy and content with their lives and environment. For example, the next time your cat is curled up on your lap asleep, listen closely because the cat might start purring pretty loudly. Your cat may also purr when eating or drinking or when you’re petting them. These loud purrs mean the cat is happy, so you should feel proud.

happy cat outside
Image Credit: islam zarat, Shutterstock

2. The Cat Is Trying to Soothe Others

Newborn kittens can’t see, so their mother will purr loudly to comfort them and alert them of her location. As they grow older, they will purr loudly if they see that one of their brothers or sisters isn’t feeling well to try and make them feel better. A cat will even purr loudly to soothe the people around them.

For example, some pet owners claim they have had migraines, and their cat climbed into their lap and started purring loudly to soothe them. There’s no scientific proof that this works, but it’s a comforting gesture.

3. The Cat Wants Your Attention

Sometimes a cat purring loudly simply means that the cat wants your attention. According to veterinarians, cats purr to express their emotions. In most cases, the cat is trying to get your attention to tell you it’s time to be fed. Cats also purr loudly because they want to be petted or stroked or they want you to play with them. It’s important to note that a cat’s purrs for food are quite different from those you’ll hear when they are happy. The purrs of hunger are much more urgent and louder.

Image Credit: karpova, Shutterstock

4. The Cat Is Growing

You’ve probably heard a kitten purring very loudly before. This means that the kitten is growing. Kittens start purring on their own a few days after they are born. The kitten’s bodies are small, so their purrs are soft and high. The kitten’s purrs will get louder as they grow. If you have a tiny kitten whose purrs are softer than the other kittens in the litter, it could be because they’re still growing. The bigger it gets, the louder the purrs will be.

5. The Cat Is in Distress

Sometimes a cat will purr loudly because it’s in distress. Contrary to popular belief, cats don’t just purr when happy and content. For example, you might have noticed that your cat tends to purr loudly when you take it for a checkup at the vet. This is because the cat is calming itself by purring loudly.

cat purring while being pet by owner
Image Credit: catinrocket, Shutterstock

6. The Cat Is Healing Itself

The cat could also be purring loudly in an attempt to heal itself. If you’re wondering how to tell, the purr of a cat that is in pain will be at a higher pitch than other purrs. Cats use their purrs to help heal themselves when sick or injured. Cats release natural chemicals when they purr that produce endorphins. These endorphins make the cat feel better and work to heal them.

Should I Be Worried?

If your cat is purring loudly and showing other signs of being sick or in pain, it’s time to take the cat to the vet. Your vet can determine the cause of your pet’s ailment and provide effective treatment to resolve the issue.


Whether your cat is trying to tell you that it is happy and content or it’s trying to heal itself from being sick or injured, there are many reasons your cat could be purring loudly. If you see that your pet is in pain or has other troubling signs while purring loudly, it could be time to take the cat to a vet for a diagnosis, just to be safe.

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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