Why Does Your Cat Knead You?
2 February, 2017
Our cats have so many fun and interesting behavioral traits from purring to kneading. We love when our cats purr and kneading is great too (if their nails aren’t too sharp!). But, why do cats knead? As it turns out, not all cats knead, but when they do, it’s a fun but curious action. There are many reasons why (or theories) our cat kneads or as some cat enthusiasts call it “making biscuits”.
Cats start to knead when they are kittens
Cats start to knead as kittens before they’re even able to get around on their own, while nursing from their mother. A nursing kitten instinctually kneads to help stimulate the mother’s milk production. Why do they continue to knead past kittenhood? Even though kneading doesn’t produce milk anymore, the adult cat associates the motion of kneading with that memory which brings them joy.
Cats will knead as a way of showing their affection
If your cat is curled up and kneads your lap while you’re petting your kitty, 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! Try placing a thick, soft barrier between the cat and your lap, or gently place him on his back and pet his belly if it gets too intense because we still love the kneading.
Cast love to stretch and kneading is just another way to do so
Cats are natural born stretchers and love to work out all the kinks left over from napping. Kneading is just another way to stretch out those long arms and paws. Until the next nap!
Kneading is your kitty’s way of marking you as her territory
Your kitty has scent glands in her paws, so when she’s kneading you she’s also marking you as her own territory. Yes, she does love your scent and wants you all to herself. (just as they love our scent on our clothes!)
Cats knead as way to make room for a comfortable bed
Cats in the wilds liked to lay down on soft, comfortable surfaces to either sleep or give birth. By kneading down tall grass or leaves, cats were able to fashion a comfy spot to lay down on and also clear off the surface for unwanted pests under the foliage. You might see you kitty kneading on her bed or your bed before lying down for yet another nap!