My cat stopped purring like usual, is he sick?


May 3

Posted by Barkibu editors

We receive many inquiries about the reasons why a cat stops purring. We understand the concern, a sudden change in attitude may mean that your furry is stressed or he is beginning to suffer some disease.

In this article, we will tell you what to do if your cat stops purring, why he does it, and when ask our online veterinarians to rule out any possible pathology.

My cat is not purring like usual, why?

When a cat purrs, he activates a mechanism in his body that helps him generate serotonin. This hormone regulates happiness or sadness in a living being. If the blood is at low levels of serotonin the animal is more prone to suffer depression. Knowing this, why does a cat decide to 'supply serotonin' to himself? For two reasons.

The first is because he is feeling great, he is happy, and that makes him purr, expressing the joy he feels and how happy he is. This is the most common explanation for making this adorable little noise when you caress him when he climbs on your lap.

But there is another one reason: because the cat is sad, he is suffering, he has received a blow, and he purrs to placate his pain. If your cat is used to be left alone at home and purrs a lot one day when you return, he may have hurt himself and is trying to heal. Knowing this, why would he stop doing this sound at all?

My cat no longer purrs, is it normal?

There are several situations in which your cat can stop purring and they are totally normal situations. The most common is because of age. For you to know, the behavior of a kitten and a furry that is already older have nothing in common. The first one is energetic, curious, and uses the purr to say that he is happy and that he wants your love, or that he is receiving it and he likes it. Those who are already senior cats become calmer and tamer, especially after we castrate them.

This generational change has different ways of communicating. Many times it is not that he stopped purring, it is that he has grown older and no longer does so in a way we can detect. To hear it, you will have to get closer. At other times, your cat has had such a bad time, has taken so many blows, or has suffered in such a way throughout his life, that he understood the purring as a technique to calm his own pain, so he will not purr to express happiness. This is a frequent situation in rescued kittens.

Going now into reasons why you have to worry about your cat not purring, the first one is that he may be stressed, in which case he will not be able to do it because he is not happy.

Signs that your cat is stressed

The main reason why your cat can stress out and stop purring is that he feels he has lost control of his environment, of you, and your attention. A stressed cat is not a happy cat and will not even be able to purr to generate serotonin; he will be aggressive, taciturn, and always alert, as if he was to receive an attack in his own home from which he has to protect himself.

The arrival of a baby in your home, a new partner, or a change in your work that prevents you from doing everything he deserves, will stress him out. He is also affected by loud noises, sudden changes in his diet, or that he is sad. Think that your cat believes that everything that surrounds him has been built by him; he does not feel like a pet, but more like a predator. He's a feline who wants everything around him to revolve around him, because it's his house, not yours.

Of course, each cat is different and this feeling is more developed for some rather than others. To detect that your cat is stressed, check if the disappearance of this purr was sudden, if you have changed his eating habits, if he shuns you, claws you, and if he is in a worse mood. If the stress situation continues over time, he may end up developing some disease, because his immune system will collapse and he will lose hair.

Do cats stop purring when they are dying?

When your cat stops purring suddenly you have to keep track of his health and his attitude. If he only stopped making that cute little noise but his behavior is the same as always; he eats well and does not lose hair, then he just has decided that this way of communicating is no longer a part of him. However, if at the same time he stops purring his mood gets worse, he stops eating, or he is more sleepy than usual, interpret that as a symptom.

In this case, make a query to our online veterinarians; tell us how long he has been without purring, if you have noticed changes in his weight, diet, or behavior, his age, breed, and any data that you consider relevant. Contact us for more information ;).