What is a Purr? By Christina Applebaum What is better than the sound of a purring cat? If you asked me my answer would be - Nothing! I love laying my ear against my cat and listening to him purr. I ask him "Are you going to sing me a song?" That's what it is to me - a cat song. Honestly the only thing I can think of that's better than a purring cat is a purring kitten! Yes, I am a "Crazy Cat Lady" if you haven't figured it out yet. How Do Cats Purr? Basically it's a separation of the vocal cords, during both inhalation and exhalation which makes the sound seem constant. It results in the purr as they breathe in and out. Purring Is Not Just For Cats Cats that can't roar purr. Example: house cats, bobcats, even mountain lions. And cats that can roar can't purr. Example: tigers and lions. But you don't have to be a cat to purr. Squirrels, skunks, raccoon, and guinea pigs also purr. Why Do They Purr? Purring is a sign of ultimate contentment. Cats will purr when eating, getting petted, and when generally just happy. A cat will purr to soothe itself too and because of this cats will also purr when in pain. Female cats have been observed purring during labor. Whatever their reason i'm just glad they do. I hate to think of a world without purring.