Why do cats knead

Published On: 09/07/2019|By |Categories: Why Do Cats|2 min read|
why do cats knead

Most of us have caught a cat rhythmically pushing with their paws on soft objects, like blankets, pillows, other animals, or even people. Kneading is also known as “making biscuits” because it is like pressing dough. Why do cats knead

Cats start to knead as kittens while nursing their mother. A nursing kitten instinctually kneads to help stimulate the mother’s milk production. But why do they continue to knead past nursing age? Even though kneading a soft surface doesn’t yield milk, adult cats forever associate the motion of kneading with the rewarding comfort of nursing.

Why Do Cats Knead?

If your cat is curled up and kneading your lap while you’re petting him, he’s returning the affection and telling you he loves you right back. Unfortunately, this can be quite painful, since the happier he is, the harder he’ll dig in with his sharp nails. Why do cats knead

Never punish your cat for this behavior as it does not realize it hurts.Try placing a thick, soft barrier between your cat and your lap.

To better ensure the comfort of both you and your cat, make a habit of keeping your cat\’s nails trimmed. Some of the most common reasons why cats knead are the following:

To Stretch Their Muscles.

Cats love to work out all the kinks left over from napping. Just like us. If you have sore shoulders, it feels good to grab onto a surface and pull against it. Kneading their paws is one of the many ways cats keep themselves limber between their naps.


To Mark what belongs to them.

One of the ways cats safeguard their turf is by leaving their scent on their belongings. By kneading their paws on an object, including people, they’re activating the scent glands in their soft paw pads, marking that item as theirs.

To attract possible mates.

Female cats, instead of purring or stretching, can use kneading as an additional sign to tell male cats that they are available for

While these are some of the most common reasons why cats are thought to knead, it certainly does not provide all of the possible reasons. Whatever the reason is, kneading is a natural, instinctual, and common cat behavior.

Photo: Liliya Grek & Timo Volz

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