Maine Coon cats are very large cats (the biggest of the domesticated cats!) and so when we see them, we often associate them with large wild cats, especially when they have particularly primal or striking markings.
But the really big cats, like lions and jaguars, don’t actually have the capacity to purr at all – it is strictly the providence of smaller cats like domestic cats and then small wild cats like pumas and bobcats.
So, are Maine Coons closer to the large wild cats than domestic in this sense? Do Maine Coon cats purr?
Short answer: Maine Coons certainly do purr and sometimes loudly! They also purr over just about everything! So, you can definitely expect that your Maine Coon will purr.
How do Maine Coon Cats Purr?
Purring is actually quite a complex form of communication for cats. It starts in the brain which tells the nerves in both the larynx and the diaphragm to oscillate.
This causes tension in the vocal cords and as the cat breaths, the purring noise results due to this tension and relaxation in the vocal cords. The fluttering is a frequency of 25-150 Hz which you can both hear and feel, as can the other cats around the purring one.
Cats can also make other noises while purring, such as chirping, squeaking, and even short meows! (Most of my cats had ‘whirr purrs’ where they would make whirring squeaks while purring).
So, you will probably find that your Maine Coon does more than just rumble away – they may also try to have entire conversations with you while purring!
Why Do Maine Coon Cats Purr?
Purring is a very common vocalization for cats and it’s actually one of the earliest vocalizations they make. Kittens start purring as early as two days old and their mothers will purr back at them. Throughout a cat’s life, you will hear it purring for a number of reasons and Maine Coons are no different.
For a long time, people thought that purring was just a way for cats to communicate or even endear themselves to humans. And it is true that some purring, such as purring with trilling or squeaks, is used to indicate a need for food.
Cats will even use this noise to ‘train’ their owners to feed them before anyone else gets fed! If you have owned a cat for a long time, and it wakes you up with purrs and squeaks, consider how often you feed the cat before you feed yourself.
But now we know that cats purr for a huge number of reasons. The low-frequency vibration has actually been shown to do things like relieve pain and help with healing, so a cat may purr when it is feeling ill, in pain, injured, or in distress.
Cats also purr to relieve anxiety and deal with stress, so you may notice your cat purring, but exhibiting signs of distress.
Kittens purr and their mothers purr back at them to let each other know that they are close at hand. This is important because a kitten cannot see or hear their mother from birth, but they can feel the vibrations of the purring.
It’s also at a frequency that predators cannot easily pick up on (or at all), so purring is a safe form of communication for the cats.
Maine Coon cats also purr because they are extremely vocal animals and purring is another piece of their vocabulary. A melodious or chirping purr usually means they are happy or want some food, whereas a monotonous purr, accompanies by lethargy or malaise generally means that your cat is feeling unwell.
If a cat is butting, kneading, and purring, it means it is very happy!
Do Maine Coon Cats Purr Louder Than Other Cats?
Maine Coons are incredibly vocal, very social, and chatty, so you may assume that they have an incredibly loud purr as well. But, while they purr over just about anything, they do not purr any louder than any other cat. Mind, some of them may have a pretty deep vibration of a purr that you could feel through your furniture!
Purring is a very important part of a cat’s vocabulary. It can be used for a huge range of reasons, from being happy to being in distress and injured.
They use it to bring their kittens safely to their side and to communicate with each other. The frequency of the purr can even help with injuries and pain! Certainly, Maine Coon cats purr, just like any other domestic cat, and even though they are large cats, they don’t purr any louder (or softer) than any other cat.
Pay attention to your cat’s purring as it can tell you all kinds of things about how your cat is feeling and whether they are healthy or not.
How loud does your Maine Coon cat purr? My shorthair cat has such a loud purr you can feel him purring through desks!
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.