Do All Cats Purr?

When somethings tastes good, or you feel pleased about something, you might make a sound like “Mmmm-mm!” When a cat wants to express contentment, it purrs!

The purring sound is caused by the vibration of the cat’s vocal cords. When a cat takes air into its lungs, the air passes through the voice box that contains the vocal cords.

If the cat then wants to express its satisfaction about something, it will allow the vocal cords to vibrate as the air passes in and out off the lungs during breathing.


When it chooses not to purr, the passing air does not affect the vocal cords and no purr! Of course when we think of “cat”, we usually mean only the domesticated cat. But there are many other members of the cat family.

Did you know that the lion, tiger, leopard, cougar, jaguar, ocelot, and lynk are also members of the cat family? When it comes to making sounds, our own domesticated cat not only purrs, it can also meow, howl, and scream.

The other kinds of cats make different sounds. The lion and tiger can roar. The jaguar and leopard make a sounds that is described  as a hoarse cough or bark. But and interesting thing about the lion, tiger jaguar, and leopard is that because of a difference in the formation of certain bones in the throat, they cannot purr!

But all cats, large or small, have the same general proportions of the body. If you blew up a picture of a cat to a very large size, you would see that it looks very much like a tiger.

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