Why Do Cats Knead?

Kneading is a common habits seen in domestic cats, in which the feline pushes in and out with its front paws, rotating in between left and right. Cats often perform this motion– in some cases called “kneading dough” or “making biscuits” – on soft surface areas, consisting of pillows, blankets, other animals and even people.


In adulthood, a cat apparently will knead when it’s feeling happy or content since it associates the motion with the conveniences of nursing and its mother. Including additional weight to the explanation: Some cats even nurse on the surface they’re kneading.

Preparation for Settling

Another hypothesis proposes that kneading return a time before domestication, when wild cats supposedly patted down foliage to make a soft surface for sleeping or giving birth. The behavior might now be an instinctual part of settling down. On the other hand, kneading may just be another way for cats to scent and declare an area – cats have scent glands in the pads of their paws.

Kneading Owners

Keep in mind a cat’s favorite place is your lap. For that reason, you are highly likely to feel cat kneading up close and personal. Some cats are rather territorial of their owners, so You might find your cat kneading on you when you are using a sweatshirt, a woolen shawl, or other soft and supple fabric. This is due to the fact that these types of products make excellent sleeping surfaces. Just as you and I fluff up our pillows and blankets just before sleeping, cats knead surfaces to make them more comfy to sleep on.

Showing Love

When cats are kneading and biting their owners, they are basically stating that they actually like you! It is their method of flattering you. In spite of the pain brought on by claws scratching your lap, you must know that your cat merely enjoys your company. Some cats don’t extend their claws while kneading. However, if yours does, attempt to trim its nails so they will not hurt you as the cat kneads on your lap. An option to this is positioning a thick blanket or towel on your lap prior to your cat jumps on their preferred lap to sleep on. This way, it can show you love without causing you pain or ripping up your clothes.

Playing Like a Kitten

The most oft-repeated explanation states that kneading is a remaining behavior from kittenhood. During nursing, a kittycat will knead the area around its mother’s teat to promote the circulation of milk.

Some cats knead on their owner to recollect on its glorious days as a kittycat. It is popular that kitties knead their mom’s bellies so that she can produce more milk. This habits can extend well into adulthood. Your lap is simply as warm as their mother’s belly was. For that reason, one that is kneading on you is merely reliving experiences of its happy kittenhood. Another observation that has been made is that female cats will knead to show that they are prepared to mate.

Reyus Mammadli/ author of the article

I have had pets since childhood: cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, geese, chickens, ducks, parrots, aquarium fish and dogs (in the yard). Of course, I constantly encountered diseases of pets and treated them. Glad to be able to share my skills and experience, as well as advice on caring for and adapting these critters and birds.

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