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Home > Cats > Can a Male Cat Purr? Vet Approved Facts & FAQs (With Infographic)

Can a Male Cat Purr? Vet Approved Facts & FAQs (With Infographic)

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Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Male cats, like female cats, can purr for various reasons. Male cats will purr almost automatically, purring softly or loudly with the inhale and exhale of their breath. The way male cats purr is interesting, as are the reasons why they purr.


How Does a Male Cat Purr?

Cats purr by vibrating the larynx in their throats, drawing air over it in inhaling and exhaling breaths and causing the sound to resonate through their chests and throughout their bodies. This gives purring a comforting, pleasant sound and feel for the most part, and both cats and humans benefit from the good vibrations.

How do Cat Purr, voice box anatomy
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What Does It Mean if a Male Cat Purrs?

Male cats purr for a few reasons. While the cat’s purr is usually associated with a happy creature lounging on a soft couch, the reality is different. Cats purr when they’re content but also purr when they’re in pain, frightened, injured, or even (for female cats) in labor.


Cats sometimes purr when they are in pain. This is thought to be because of the purr’s specific frequency (in domesticated cats, this is around 25Hz and 50Hz, respectively). This has been shown in studies to promote bone and tissue healing and potentially relieve pain.

To Self-Soothe

If they’re feeling anxious, afraid, or stressed, cats will purr to soothe themselves, much like a child sucks its thumb. This purring can help to regulate their breathing and reduce their heart rate and is often a comforting experience for the cat.

To Express Happiness

Cats, like people, love to share moments with their families. Your cat might be purring because he wants to share that feeling of contentment and happiness with you, even sleeping or sitting up next to you so you can feel the vibrations.

male lilac british shorthair cat outdoor
Image By: outdoor_Rutina, Shutterstock

How Do You Make a Male Cat Purr?

Male cats will respond to the same tender loving care as female cats would, including stroking, chin-rubs, and gentle conversations. This is because cats love their humans, and new studies have discovered that cats attach to their caregivers (their families) in the same way babies and dogs do. This means that just being around your cat and interacting with him can make him purr happily.

Getting food or a treat out can also elicit a rumbling purr from your feline friend. However, the purr may be slightly different and more insistent. Cats who really want something sneak a cry into their purr purely to convince you to give them what they desire.

Why Is My Male Cat Purring So Loudly?

Cats sometimes purr louder or softer depending on their anatomy or the message they want to convey. If your male cat is purring loudly when you’re feeding him, it could be because he really wants his food. Loud purring often comes with anticipation, so your cat might be purring loudly to let you know that they can’t wait any longer to eat!

Because cats are very in tune with their owners, they might be able to sense that something isn’t right with you and that you need some comfort. Your cat might know that you’re unwell or upset. Research shows that purring not only heals cats but may also improve people’s health. If cats instinctively know this, your cat might be loudly purring to share this healing with you, too.

female cat spraing in the garden
Image By: Sergey Zaykov, Shutterstock

Why Does my Male Cat Purr So Much When I Pet Him?

Cats purr when being pet because they enjoy the attention and affection from you. Your male cat might purr up a storm when you’re bonding because he loves you and wants to show you that, or he might be unable to help it!


Final Thoughts

Male cats can purr just like female cats, and they will purr for the same reasons. For example, your male cat might purr loudly or softly, and he could be purring because he’s happy to see you, he wants his dinner, or, unfortunately, if he’s in pain. Ultimately, knowing that your tomcat can express himself with a purr will help you decipher his behavior better.

Featured Image Credit: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek, Shutterstock

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