Why do cats knead? A fascinating question as many cats do it including mine. He likes to knead on his favorite stuffed animal, on a blanket or on our bed. Kneading seems to be enjoyable and comforting to our feline friends, but why do they do it? We decided to do a little research to find out, since we’re endlessly curious about why our cats act as they do.
Oh, and we’ve also seen cat kneading called ‘making biscuits’, as that action sort of looks similar to that motion. Again, let’s go ahead and find out why they do this!
Why Do Cats Knead?
The most popular theory is that cats knead because they are mimicking behavior they did as kittens. Notice what Dr. Rachel Barrack, a veterinarian at Animal Acupuncture in New York City said to one website regarding this. She said, “Kittens knead on their mothers while nursing. Many cats carry this behavior into adulthood and may knead their owners, other furry siblings or bedding.”
She also says that cats are soothed by kneading and can even enter a “trance like state”. I have definitely seen that with my cat when he kneads his favorite stuffed animal. He just totally chills out, and it seems to be a way to comfort himself.
There are some other theories on why cats knead and PetMD listed a few at their website such as:
Kneading to Stretch Their Muscles – Kneading their paws is one of the many ways cats keep themselves limber until the next nap.
Kneading to Mark What is Theirs – Cats are territorial creatures, and one of the ways they safeguard their turf is to scent-mark their belongings. By kneading their paws on the surface of something (yes, including you), they’re activating the scent glands in their soft paw pads, thereby marking that item as theirs.
Kneading for Possible Mates – Female cats have an additional reason for kneading. They may purr, stretch, and knead the air while lying on their side to tell male cats that they can approach for possible mating.
Whatever the reason our feline friends like to knead, it seems to make them happy. And that’s a good thing because that means more purrs and cuddles for you. So do not be concerned when you see your cat buddy kneading. Instead, think of it as your cat taking their version of a spa day or personal wellness. And we all know how important for all us to do that especially during these times. Stay safe cat lovers.
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