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29 Examples of Animals that Purr (A to Z List & Pictures)

animals that purr

Examples of animals that purr include badgers, foxes, mongooses, bears, bobcats, and cheetahs.

The happiest animal in the world is a purring cat. The feline’s purr is more than just an expression of contentment; it also helps heal bones and muscles, reduces stress, increases blood flow, promotes healing for organs, and relieves pain.

Cats are not the only animals that purr.

Examples of Animals that Purr

1. American Badger

Scientific NameTaxidea taxus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangewest coast to Texas

The American Badger, also known as the Taxidea taxus or common badger, is a North American badger. It lives in Canada and the United States.

While they are not typically found living close to humans, it is possible for one of these animals to take up residence on your property if food sources become scarce in its natural habitat.

This would most likely occur in rural or agricultural areas where food is both plentiful and easy to acquire. If this happens, you will most likely hear the badger purr as it digs its burrow underneath your home’s foundation.

2. Arctic Fox

Arctic Fox
Scientific NameVulpes lagopus
Type of AnimalMammal

The arctic fox has a high-pitched purr that is typically used as an invitation to play. When two arctic foxes meet, they will often greet each other with a series of short purrs.

3. Banded Mongoose

banded Mongoose
Scientific NameMungos mungo
Type of AnimalMammal

The banded mongoose, a small African mammal, also purrs. Mongooses are known for their intelligence and playful nature. They live in social groups of up to 30 animals and communicate with each other through a variety of vocalizations, including purring.

4. Black Bears

black bear
Scientific NameUrsus americanus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America

Did you know that black bears also purr? Black bear mothers use their purrs to soothe and calm their cubs. Researchers believe that the sound of a mother’s purr helps young bears relax and fall asleep.

5. Bobcats

Scientific NameLynx rufus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCanada and the western USA

Bobcats also have a unique way of communicating through their voice box, which allows them to make chirping sounds when they exhale and inhale.

This is how kittens communicate with their mother who cannot hear very well due to her hearing aids. Cats can produce this sound when they are happy, scared, or angry.

6. Caracals

Scientific NameCaracal caracal
Type of AnimalMammal

Like the rest of the small cats, caracals may purr when content and make a variety of other mews, growls, and hisses to express their mood. Caracals are usually silent but can cry out like a leopard if needed. They are reported to purr like domestic cats.

7. Cheetahs

Scientific NameAcinonyx jubatus
Type of AnimalMammal

The cheetah’s purr is the loudest of all land animals. It is so loud that it can be heard from up to a mile away. The cheetah’s purr is used as a way to communicate with other cheetahs, and can mean anything from “I’m hungry” to “I’m scared.”

8. Civets

Scientific NameCivettictis civetta
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica, southern Europe, and Asia

Civets purr when they are nursing their young, and servals purr when they are happy. Some researchers believe that the first animals to purr were not cats but prehistoric mammals called “synapsids.”

These creatures may have begun to purr 30 million years ago in order to communicate with each other in the dark.

9. Cougars

Scientific NamePuma concolor
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCanada south to Patagonia

While purring, the cats vibrate their larynx and that creates a frequency of 25 to 150 hertz. this is too low for humans to hear but it’s perfect for bone conduction which resonates throughout their body.

Cats can control how fast they purr so it seems like one continuous sound. individual muscles in the diaphragm, larynx, and throat control the pitch and volume of the purr.

10. Dwarf Mongoose

Scientific NameHelogale parvula
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeSomalia and Ethiopia

Dwarf Mongooses are small mammals in the mongoose family, Herpestidae. They live in Africa and Asia.

Dwarf Mongooses also purr when they are happy or content, but it does not sound exactly like a cat’s purr; this is because they purr at a different frequency.

11. European Badger

European Badger
Scientific NameMeles meles
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeBritish Isles, Europe, and Scandinavia

European Badger is also described as making “purring” or “crooning” noises while courting sows, while females make a “muttering, warning growl” when trying to restrain over-eager cubs and a much softer whickering noise when calling them out of the sett.

12. Fennec Fox

Fennec Fox
Scientific NameVulpes zerda
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeSahara Desert

Fennecs can be found purring like a cat when they are happy. They are very social animals and live in colonies in the wild of up to 10 other foxes.

13. Genets

Scientific NameGenetta
Type of AnimalMammal

Purring is a common form of feline communication. Cats that are injured or sick will purr as they inhale and exhale, which may be how it reduces pain and heals bones and muscles.

It also seems to make cats feel safe enough to remain still while in the presence of others, an important factor for healing wounds without having to fight off a predator.

14. Grizzly Bears

grizzly bear
Scientific NameUrsus arctos horribilis
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAlaska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho

When a bear is feeling particularly at ease, it makes this pleasant sound. When nursing or eating a special treat, the same purring noises that cats make are produced by bears.

Adults produce this noise with a deeper voice. Cubs purr when they are hungry and want their mother to nurse them.

15. Guinea Pig

Guinea Pig
Scientific NameCavia porcellus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeSouth American continent

The purring of a guinea pig is usually a sign that the animal is happy and content. However, there are times when a guinea pig will purr for other reasons.

For example, if the guinea pig is injured or sick, it may purr as a way of self-comforting. Purring can also be a way for guinea pigs to communicate with each other.

16. Honey Badger

honey badger
Scientific NameMellivora capensis
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesub-Saharan Africa, Saudi Arabia, Iran

Honey Badgers are one of the most adaptable animals in the world. They live in a wide variety of habitats and have learned to thrive in many different climates.

Their purr may be an expression of joy or contentment, or it could serve as a form of communication with other members of their species.

17. House Cat

Scientific NameFelis catus
Type of AnimalMammal

Cats’ purrs have benefits for both the cats themselves as well as those who listen to them. A felid’s laryngeal muscles allow it to control each vibrational frequency independently, allowing some parts of the body (e.g. the paws) to rest while other parts are in use (e.g. the mouth, involved in eating).

Cats purr even when they are giving birth or sick with fever or injury, which means that only healthy cats can make this sound due to its frequency range of 25-150 Hz being within the physiological vocal range.

18. Lynx

Scientific NameLynx
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAlaska and Canada

Lynx are not immune to the benefits of a cat’s purr; in fact, they share this ability with all cats. The sound produced by lynxes is so low it can’t be heard by humans.

19. Ocelots

fishing cat
Scientific NameLeopardus pardalis
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesouthwest United States

Purring happens when a cat breathes in and out. The purr is an intrinsic part of the cat, not something it can turn on or off at will.

Otherwise, cats would be constantly purring! Cats don’t use their mouths to create this happy sound; instead, they vibrate air through their throats by contracting muscles attached to their vocal cords.

20. Polar Bears

polar bear
Scientific NameUrsus maritimus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethe Arctic

7The purr of a polar bear is different than that of a house cat, however. It is much deeper and slower in frequency.

Scientists believe that the purring of polar bears may serve as communication among family members or with other bears.

21. Rabbits

Scientific NameOryctolagus cuniculus
Type of AnimalMammal

A rabbit making a clucking sound indicates that it is pleased with whatever it is munching on. Purring for a rabbit is similar to purring for a cat in that they both indicate “pleased and content.”

22. Red Fox

red fox
Scientific NameVulpes vulpes
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeUnited States from Alaska to Florida

The red fox is a carnivorous mammal that can be found all over the world. It’s not only one of the most widespread mammals, but also one of the few to have adapted well to human environments.

The animal’s purr has been known for generations as it was first described by Aristotle more than two-thousand years ago.

23. Ring Tailed Lemurs

ring tailed lemur
Scientific NameLemur catta
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesouthwestern Madagascar

The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is a strepsirrhine primate and the most common species of lemur. It is endemic to Madagascar.

Like all lemurs, it is haplorhine (dry nose), and therefore its nostrils are open. The name “lemur” means “ghost” in Latin, and “catta” means “tail” in Malagasy.

24. Servals

Scientific NameLeptailurus serval
Type of AnimalMammal

Purring is sometimes associated with a cat’s sense of security, but the sound itself may have evolved as an anti-predator mechanism.

When wild cats are eating meat or are distressed they emit ultrasonic sounds to avoid detection by predators.

Kittens purr while nursing and when scared; it’s thought this behavior helps make them appear smaller and less likely to be noticed by predators.

25. Silver Back Gorillas

Silver Back Gorilla
Scientific NameGorilla beringei beringei
Type of AnimalMammal

Gorillas purr while eating, when they are nervous, and when they are happy.

26. Spotted Hyena

Scientific NameCrocuta crocuta
Type of AnimalMammal

The spotted hyena has an unusual purring sound that is produced by the larynx and pharynx muscles. It is not known why they do this, but it may be related to communication or dominance.

27. Squirrels

Scientific NameSciuridae
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangeevery continent except in Australia and Antarctica

Purring Squirrels are not only adorable, but they also have an interesting secret that is shared by other animals. Most people know about purring cats and can probably make out the sound of one even in a noisy environment.

The mechanism that produces the sound is surprisingly simple. Mammals have a unique vocal organ, called the larynx, which contains two small muscles: the thyroarytenoid and cricothyroid.

When these muscles contract, they squeeze the air out of the lungs in a pulsating manner and create the purring sound. The muscles can also relax and produce a continuous purring noise, similar to the cat’s trademark ‘purrfect’ sound that many people find soothing and relaxing.

28. Striped Hyena

Scientific NameHyaena hyaena
Type of AnimalMammal

Striped Hyena’s purr is very different from a cat’s. It is a low, moaning sound that lasts for several seconds.

Researchers are not sure why they purr, but it may be used to show submission or as a way to communicate with others.

29. Tapirs

Scientific NameTapirus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeSouth America

The Malayan tapir is the largest of all four tapir species. These solitary animals live in dense rain forests and feed on leaves, fruit, and shoots.

Tapirs are one of the few mammals that can purr.

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