The mechanism of purring is still very misunderstood but one thing that is not misunderstood is how we as humans feel when we hear and feel the purr. But what does that soft vibration mean? Most people think that when a cat is happy and content they purr, and that is one of the many situations you will hear purring. Did you know there are several other situations in which your feline friend will purr?
If your cat is in a stressful situation you might hear purring. Think of this situation as "having to put your big girl panties on". In this situation, cats will often purr loud as a reassurance to themselves that everything is going to be ok. This reassurance then helps them calm their nerves.
Many people don't realize another situation in which cats purr is when they are hurt, in pain or just sick. It is believed that the vibrations of the purr actually has healing properties. I've heard that the gentle vibrations at a frequency of upto 150 Hz can actually stimulate bone and muscle without ever happening to move. This allows for faster healing. There is also research out there that a cats purring can help humans with high blood pressure.
A situation that I'm sure all cat owners know. Purring for food. When our felines want something they know how to manipulate us to get what they want. That loud purr while sitting on my kitchen counter (I've finally given up on the no cats on the counter thing) is a guarentee that I will break down and give food or a small treat. Yes my cats have me right where they want me.
The purr is another way our cats can communicate with us. It is up to us to determine what they are trying to tell us. More often than not the purr is telling us they are happy, content and just happy they have us. But if your cat is acting a little different and still purring don't mistaken it as everything is ok. They are still trying to tell us something.
Hear Coco purr. This is the first time I heard him purr when he was a baby (sorry the video quality isn't very good)