Why Won’t My Cat Purr? Is He Unhappy?

Why Won’t My Cat Purr?  Cats are known for calming purrs, but sometimes our feline friends can go silent on us. If your cat has stopped purring, you may wonder if there’s anything wrong. This article will discuss what might cause a cat not to purr.

Table of Contents

What is Purring?

Purring is an instinctual response that cats use to show contentment and happiness.

A cat’s purr is a way of communicating with humans and other cats. There are different theories about why cats purr, but the one that seems most plausible is that they purr as an emotional response to being petted.

Why Doesn’t My Cat Purr

A purring cat lays on a table next to its owner.

A purring cat lays on a table next to its owner.

If your cat is not purring, there could be several reasons why. 

Different Communication Style

One of the reasons your cat might not purr is that cats have a variety of ways to communicate with humans and other animals. They can meow, hiss, growl, spit, and yowl. Cats also have a variety of facial expressions they can use to convey their moods.

Feral Origins

Another reason is that cats evolved from feral ancestors, so they may not feel as comfortable purring around people. That is particularly true for older cats that may have spent most of their lives outdoors.

Vocal Cord Injury

Cats may injure their vocal cords if they try to meow too loudly or if they try to meow for too long. If your cat is being noisy, it is best to take them to the vet so they can check on the cat’s vocal cords and make sure there is nothing wrong with them.

Stress or Illness

A sick cat is posing on the ground.

A sick cat is posing on the ground.

Another reason your cat may stop purring is that it’s stressed or anxious. Cats can be sensitive to changes in their environment, and a move to a new home or the addition of a new pet can be enough to disrupt their purring habit.

Additionally, your cat might not purr if he is sick or in pain. If your cat is lethargic, not eating, or has any other unusual symptoms, it’s best to take him to the vet to rule out any health issues.

Older Cats

Cats sometimes stop purring when older because their teeth may be too worn down or their throat muscles have weakened.

Some people also believe that older cats might not purr if they are less happy or content with their surroundings. Older cats also have a tough time getting around, making them feel unhappy.

How Can You Encourage Cat Purring?

Touch Your Cat

A happy blonde is petting her cat in the living room.

A happy blonde is petting her cat in the living room.

There are two ways you can do this. The first is stroking your cat. That will make them feel calm and relaxed. The second is rubbing their fur against their skin in a circular motion. That will make them happy and content and start purring.

Create the Right Environment

A fluffy cat is looking at colorful toys on the floor.

A fluffy cat is looking at colorful toys on the floor.

Try to create a safe and relaxing atmosphere for your cat. If your cat doesn’t feel safe, it will not purr. Make sure your cat has plenty of toys to play with, and give it lots of attention. With time and patience, it should start purring again.

Also, place a scratching post in the room where your cat spends most of its time so it has something to scratch on and climb on while it’s playing with you. The scratching post will also provide a place for the cat to hide if they feel threatened, which scares them.


The reasons your cat won’t purr can range from a simple medical condition to something more serious. If you have ruled out any serious health conditions, then it may be time to try some of the other options I have mentioned.