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Home Cat FAQ Do Savannah Cats Purr At All?

Do Savannah Cats Purr At All?

by Pierre

Do savannah cats purr?When you see a Savannah cat for the first time, you may wonder if these cats purr like others do. After all, this is a breed like no other and leads those unfamiliar with the breed to wonder about them.

Do Savannah Cats purr? Yes, Savannah cats purr for the same reasons other cats do. Savannah cats purr because they are feeling happy, feeling content, feeling hungry or desiring something, or even as an act of healing. After all, the Serval from which they are descended purrs, too.

Now you know that Savannah cats can purr and do so often, but to truly understand why they purr, the different purrs, and why your Savannah cat purrs but sometimes bites you shortly after that, keep on reading!

How Does A Purr Work?

Cats have a special brain/voice box connection. This connection is between the brain and muscles found in cats' voice box. The “wires” in the voice box vibrate these muscles and create something of a valve for air that flows beyond the vocal box.

This works on both exhalation and inhalation, therefore leading to the continuous purring you hear from cats. The air goes through this valve, which opens and closes in quick succession and thus generates that beautiful purring noise.

Why Do Savannah Cats Purr?

Firstly, happiness is a key reason why you will find your Savannah cat purring. At a rare moment when your Savannah cat is actually relaxed (this breed is known for being very high-energy), you will probably hear those lovely sound owners of all breeds enjoy-the rumble of the purr.

Your Savannah is in a relaxed state and feels at peace.

Hunger is the second reason a Savannah might purr. The clink of the dry food going into the bowl or the pop of a can when wet food is being delivered is a good sound and could make her very happy.

However, the sounds a cat makes out of hunger versus when they are feeling happy are different. You might listen closely to your Savannah during a scheduled mealtime to see if she is purring in a different manner than that of happiness.

Listen also for the sound of a regular purr with that of an unhappy cry. It is somewhat reminiscent of a human infant’s cries. It is thought that cats believe humans will respond more to this sound.

More Reasons Why Savannahs Purr

A mom and baby connection is another reason as to why you might hear a Savannah purr. A Savannah mom and her kittens are a cute sight to behold, and purring is an action that kittens can do after just a few days of life.

It is a way of letting mom know they are feeling alright. Mom cats use it as something of a comfort sound-sort of like a lullaby for a human baby.

Lastly, the act of purring can be a healing action. Certainly, this seems a bit counterintuitive, as the act of purring uses valuable energy that could be used to repair the body. So why do Savannahs and other cats do this?

Much like young children may suck their thumb or index/middle fingers to soothe themselves, cats purr as a means of calming themselves. The low frequency of the purrs triggers some vibrations within the body of the cat that can do some great stuff:

  • Lessens the pain and the swelling
  • Makes breathing easier
  • Promotes muscle-building and tendon repair
  • Promotes the healing of bones as well as wounds

My Savannah Cat Purrs and Then Bites! Why?

Each and every cat out there regardless of the breed is something of a mystery. Cats, even if they are not an exotic breed, do funny and mysterious things that cause us to scratch our heads in wonder. Savannahs are no different.

As we have learned, cats do not purr simply because they are happy-the reasons are varied.

Perhaps you have experienced the following scenario with your Savannah or any other breed: You have been watching television or just relaxing and absentmindedly petting your cat while she relaxes beside you.

You’re not really focused on the cat, just petting her as you enjoy whatever you’re watching.

What you are not seeing as you focus your attention on your phone, TV or other object is the signs that your Savannah is not having any more of these touches. You suddenly feel a bite, and you might even curse or scold your kitty.

Why does this happen? There are some different reasons at play here. You may have touched a spot that the cat did not like, or perhaps the feline is not feeling good.

As an owner, you may have made the mistake that the purrs you heard were for happiness, and not because he was purring as a means of healing himself.

Overstimulation is another reason your cat may have bitten you. Too much of a good thing is real, and the signs can be missed by somebody not paying attention. Look for a cat with flattened ears, a tail flicking upward, or pupil dilation.

The cat may glare at your hand before the bite. She may just walk away, or even lick her paw as a means of redirecting her actions. If you notice any of these signs, give your Savannah a break.Do savannah cats purr like other cat breeds?

More About Aggression In Savannah Cats

Savannahs are known for being good around people and very sociable cats when it comes to their personalities. However, every cat is different, and your Savannah may feel territorial when a new person or pet comes into your home.

They may purr as a means to calm themselves due to the stress they feel about the new person, and we mistake this purring for a pleasurable sound.

A person may reach to pet the seemingly happy cat, and a bite is then had. It could be the owner; it could be the stranger.

The main takeaway here is to keep an eye on your Savannah and how she acts when strangers are present: doing so can help prevent bites for owners and visitors.

Related Questions

Are Savannah Cats Noisy?

Savannah cats are not the noisiest of cats by any means, but they are not the quietest breed, either. They are known for being very loud when it comes to hissing, and you may even hear them “chirp” as their Serval relatives do or “meow” like a domestic cat. They sometimes even mix these sounds.


The how and why Savannah cats purr is really unique and special. What’s even more amazing is the many different reasons why these cats make such a noise.

Just be sure as an owner you pay attention to the reasoning behind your Savannah’s purring-it could save you from a bite!

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