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Why Cats Purr

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Ever wonder why a cat starts purring when you pet it? Or why some cats will start purring before you even pet it? It's not just because the cat is happy. Your cat might even purr when he's dying.

The older a cat gets, the more its purr changes. Newborn kittens purr while they feed. When they get older, some cats purr when they're happy. However, really scared cats purr, sick cats purr and female cats purr while giving birth. Some cats even purr when they are close to death. Scientists believe that stressed cats purr to reassure or comfort themselves - kinda like when we sing.

Most scientists think purring is a vibration of the muscles of the larynx and diaphragm. Others think blood flow to the soft palate at the back of the mouth causes the vibrating noise. Purring happen when nerves are activated within the voice box. Apparently, cats purr only when they want to.

Did you know that lions, leopards, tigers and jaguars can't purr but raccoons can?

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