How to Make Your Cat Purr




About: I enjoy visiting the dump to look at, and take, all the free stuff people throw away. It's a lot of fun. I like Xbox live cus it's the best.

In this Purr-fect instructable, I'll show you how too make your kitty-cat purr like a champ! Through strategic rub-down points, and hidden scratching spots, you can have your cat purring for you in no time!

For this instructable, I'll be using my cat, Oliver, as my example to show you how you can make your cat purr.

I love feedback and comments, and positive ratings are appreciated!


Step 1: The Science of a Cat's Purr.

The following information has been obtained from Wikipedia. In no way do I claim ownership over this information, but I am placing it here for scientific and informational purposes.

How felines purr

Despite being a universally recognized phenomenon, the exact mechanism by which the cat purrs has been frustratingly elusive for scientists. This is partly because the cat has no obvious anatomical feature unique to it that would be responsible.

One hypothesis, backed up by electromyographic studies, is that cats produce the purring noise by fast twitching of the muscles in their larynx, which rapidly dilate and constrict the glottis, thus causing vibrations in the air both during inhalation and exhalation. Combined with the steady inhalation and exhalation of air as the cat breathes, a purring noise is produced with strong harmonics.

Why felines purr

Above all, the purr is probably the cat's way of communicating to others (cats and humans) that it is in the mood to be sociable. The purring sound is frequently made at the same time that other 'sociable' signals are made, e.g. erect tail, slightly closed "contented" eyes. People usually interpret the purring of a domestic cat as an expression of some type of positive feeling.

This information has been copied from Wikipedia, the exact source of said information can be found at this web address:


So, if you read the above information from Wikipedia, you would have learned that a cat's purr is produced through the rapid twitching of muscles in the larynx as the cat inhales and exhales. You would have also read that you can tell if a cat is in a purring mood by the way it looks. Does it's tale stand up? Are it's eyes in a half closed drowsy state?
You can also tell if a cat is ready to purr by the way it acts around you. It may weave in and out of your legs, and lean close to you as it walks by.

Now, read on for the how to on making your cat purr.

Step 2: Let Them Choose Where They Lay.

The first step, and most important, is to let your cat choose the environment. Make your lovable friend feel comfortable by allowing him/her to lay wherever they like. This will make them feel more at home and comfortable when you're confronting them for their daily rub-down. My cat, Oliver, enjoys curling up on the beds in my house, right under the pillows, and still on top of the comforter, so I leave him there when I pet him.

If your cat has a favorite sheet, piece of clothing, or pet bed that they like to lie on, let them. You wouldn't want someone telling you that you couldn't mope around on the couch would you?

Step 3: Bring Their Favorite Things.

When confronting your cat, make sure you do it in a non aggressive sort of way. Don't make it look like you want them to play with you, or you're about to chase them out of their spot. If you do this, you might not be their most favorite human for a short while. Do you like your family members to walk towards you like they're about to sucker punch you while you're relaxed and watching TV? I thought not.

What your cat will want most after he/she is in their favorite spot, is to have their favorite treats, toys, or brushes. Oliver likes toy mice filled with catnip, an old purple hair brush, his hair removing brush, and a ceiling fan duster.

When he's laid up in his favorite spot, I'll bring him a treat, and sneak his favorite brushes in with me behind my back.

So, bring your fluffy friend his favorite things, whether it be treats, brushes, toys, or catnip. Cat's usually like stiff brushes to rub their faces against. For example: You could find an old ceiling fan duster (Like I have), or another stiff bristled brush.

Move on to the next step, and learn how to brush your cat the way they like it!

Step 4: Commence Rubbing.

Once you have successfully approached your cat, with some of their favorite things, it's time to start the rubbing/scratching!

I start off by stroking Oliver from his lower neck down to his tail. Once I get to the base of his tail, I grip his tale, and gently slide my hand all the way down it to the end. Do this a couple of times, and then move on to the cats head.

After stroking your cats back, move on to scratching his head. Using four fingers, scratch the back and top of his/her head, and in the little creases where their ears meet their head. You can tell if their digging it when they flatten their ears out to the sides. If they flatten them backwards, you may be getting them annoyed, so, be careful.

My cat enjoys it a lot when I put a thumb in his ear, and grip the outside of his ear with the rest of my hand. I then gently pull all of the hair in his ear vertical. It's like you're massaging their ear, but please, do it gently.

Move on to find out about secret areas to scratch your furry amigo that they love the most!

Step 5: Moving on to Hidden Areas.

There are a few spots that cats consider gold mines when it comes to scratch time. And they're very easy to locate.

If you ever find your cat nudging your hand with his/her head, they want you to vigorously scratch their kitty cranium. (top of their head)

If your cat randomly puts his head up in the air exposing his chin area, and underside of his neck, consider this an invitation to scratch his chin and neck region.

If your little catzilla suddenly rolls over on their back and stretches themselves into a crescent shape, rub their bellies, under their front and back legs, and especially around their lower stomach where most of their hair turns white.

Cat's also love being scratched at the base of their tail, where tail meets butt, on the top of their back. This is a place where cats cannot reach with their paws, or very well with their tongues. Do them a favor by removing an itch they may have had for a while by scratching there.

Step 6: Purring

After you've hit all of the key areas where cats enjoy scratching, you should eventually get purring from your cat. Keep up the scratching and rubbing, and maybe give them another treat. It is a huge satisfaction to hear your cat purr, because it signifies that there is a special bond between you and them (especially if the cat purrs more for you than anyone else he knows).

Eventually though, little kitty will get tired of purring for you, and will want to run off and chase lizards. Allow them to go and do as they want, never force your animal to stay with you, or accept rubbing and scratching that they do not want at that moment. They need to be free to do things just like you like to.

Continue to make bonds with your kitty amigo, and you will both be the best of friends. Though there are some cats who are able to hide their true feelings for you until you least expect it.

Read on to find out what to do if your cat turns on you!

Step 7: Avoiding Kitty Danger.

If you try to force your cat to play with you, accept scratching or rubbing when they do not want, or put them in aggravating situations, expect the unexpected.

If you find that your cat ever hisses at you, back away. Do not try to be the bigger being in this fight (Though you are). You do not want to break bonds with your cat that you have so painstakingly made.

If your cat wraps itself around your arm and begins clawing and chewing on it, do not fling him into oblivion. Whether it be playfully, or in self defense, cats will bite back. If you find yourself in a situation where your cat is biting playfully, but it is causing you some pain, blow air in their face. They do not seem to like this very much, and will back away.

If your cat is biting you out of aggression, and you cannot get it off, grab it by the scruff of it's neck, like a mother cat would do, and try to ease him/her off of you. Do not hit your animal, unless you know that it could seriously harm you.

I hope you have found this instructable useful, and that it hopes you to get your cat purring. If your fluffy friend ever does attack back though, please follow the directions above, and then call your local hospital, and animal control if the situation gets out of hand.

I hope you have enjoyed this instructable!

I love feedback and comments, and positive ratings are appreciated!

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213 Discussions


3 years ago

We do all this to our boy cat Tui. He's about 7. We adopted him from an ex neighbour who wouldn't let him and his sister inside the house and never took care of them when he moved into the flat. He only comes to me, it took over 18 months for him to fully accept and trust my fiancee. We pet him and rub him and he dribbles but still doesn't purr. I love to hear them purr but he has never purred for us.


3 years ago on Introduction

This article is fabulous. I will start trying to make Smokey purr. He seems happy and he likes to play and be petted. All my other cats purred. It is really strange

not to purr. Hope it works - will let you know. glovideo


4 years ago

I read most of these... I have 4 cats... All very different. My big bear thunder she purrs constantly which is worry when they say purring can be a comfort thing when upset or worrying.. But she seems very happy and content... Lightning thunder's sister hardly ever purrs she is almost mute but if she is in the mood and wants u she won't shut up until u stroak... Then there is smudge very annoying as a baby I bottle fed her she was clingy she would meow at the foot of our bed and cry until I pulled her in bed.. She would sleep between my legs or arm pit or just next to me she did that for 12 months constant puring and random meows.. She isn't this now, she isn't loving at all but every now and then she wants her cuddles so she will claw for attention and soon as you touch her she bites u or walks away, then comes back for more... Finally willow.. Smudges babie.. She is a cute dumpy fat thing who is very she but once she is in that mood ears poking out big blue eyes and she purrs like mad showing everyone her belly..?


4 years ago on Step 2

Love your kitty! He's very much like one of mine ...Yodle...because he makes that sound rather than 'meow'.

Cats use body language with each other, rarely do they vocalise...they invented that for us because we croon at them...Clever huh?

I've tried doing 'cat talk' with my big pink rescue in the PIC...she hs a mind of her own more than most cars I've had, She was looking at me with half closed eyes and seemed to be smiling. I caught her gaze and just did a "hi" by tipping my head backwards just a little...:how's it going? fashion or "G'Day" ( we're Australians).She snuggled into her blanket and for about 3 minutes we exchanged "hi"s. It was such a nice experience to be able to engage her in 'cat talk'.

I love this 'ible! Much needed! Some of the others here featuring cats, especially about making rhem compliant to our homes' contents by de clawing really made me sick and I felt really offended for the dignity of the Cat. So thanks for teaching people how to treat their cat.


4 years ago on Introduction

Just a comment...cats purr to indicate any wmotion...even fear.


4 years ago

I have three adorable Russian Blues, Mistie, Dove and Ash. And this thing worked wonders on them. Seriously. By the way Dove is for sale, so if anyone is interested pls email me at


5 years ago on Introduction

I've got an unusually colored Tuxedo breed(three of one look one normal o the kittens, the mother looked like mine) he's white with a big black toupee like patch on his head. earlier on I look at him: he purrs. But tonight that changed.
I was on the bed watching Death Note when I heard a lot of loud mewing from the hall and my mom walked in with a KITTEN. So we brought him onto the floor and he started eating a bunch. He kept MEOWING while he was eating and It sounded like a turkey so We might name him Turkey, or Feather,since we found him as a stray and he was really light. He's sitting in my lap as I type this, He's SO CUTE ^^
(I don't need this instructable, this is our 9th cat ever. LOL)
He has a orange pumpkin like belly with leopard spots and a REALLY dark coat with a bunch of lighter stripes and circles on him. He's the funniest cat ever. He's purring and trying to sleep i think. If i sit with my legs crossed or on the edge of something, he'll just lay on my lap or in the gap in my legs just curled up patiently while I do whatever It is I'm trying to do. I've only had him for about an hour and he's already more loving then Blackspot(the white one)((PS: I think I'll just name him turkeyfeather or featherweight :D))

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago

R u a warrior cats fan? Cuz ur future names for your kitten sound like warrior names


4 years ago on Step 7

Since I have a persnickety continually cranky girl kitty who one minute loves your touch and the next is trying to kill you I have learned to watch her ears as I pet her. She can only take so much and then she is done, if you continue to pet her after she is done, she will bite the sh** out of you. So I learn to watch her ears because if they are up and pointing forward I can pet her with the knowledge that my flesh will remain unripped and not bloody. If they go back and down then I know to stop before the kitty carnage begins. She is really loves to be petted but not too much. BTW she has my pit bull terrified. LOL


5 years ago

Very good


5 years ago on Step 5

My cat drools uncontrollably when I pet her. Then she shakes her head and it flies everywhere... It's pretty gross, but I pet her anyway.


5 years ago on Introduction

Your cat is unusual looking, do you know his parents? His color doesn't fit his head features.


5 years ago on Introduction

My cat actually initiates step 7 himself. When shaken off, he comes back for more. I think I need falconry gloves.


5 years ago on Introduction

It actually put my cat to sleep. But I am glad because he kept yawning on me and his breath stank. When he woke he was purring his head of :) At least he didn't bite me...


6 years ago on Introduction

Good instructable. My cats didn't like it if my thumb got too deep into their ear. I just reversed the technique and put my pointer finger knuckle on the inside and gently massage the outer side with my thumb.

Stephanie has turned bathroom time into family time. When I go into the bathroom before I sit down she's there heading for her litterbox. She'll squat even if she doesn't need to do anything.


7 years ago on Introduction

My little kitten is soooo cute! I rub his tummy and sometimes he purrs!


11 years ago on Step 5

I don't itch my cats tail/butt because it turns him on! LOL! XDDDD nice constructive way to make your kitty purrrrrrrrr!

2 replies

Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

No really it doesn't.  It's just some sensitive nerves there that react. Don't know how to really explain it. But it doesn't, trust me.


Reply 7 years ago on Step 5

MY CAT NAMED harry wuvs it so muwch when i pet his fuwwy lil tale