Cat Behaviour

Why do cats knead? A Quirky Cat Behaviour

Posted by Rahul
Cat kneading a blanket

If you are surprised by the cat behaviour of kneading on blankets, another cat, on humans then you are at right place. So Why do cats knead? According to Catster cats are interesting creatures that have different traits and behaviours and they are recognised by their unique feline-like behaviour, for instance, the manner in which they curl up to take a nap, their grooming ritual post-meal.

Cat kneading is another common feline behaviour. What is a cat kneading? Kneading is a motion made by a cat while pushing their paws in and out, and alternating it between right and left. Cats knead in different ways. some cats knead with their claws pulled back, while others knead with their claws pushed in and pull back with their claws retracted. So why do cats knead ?

Answer to this question will require to read different theories. But it is for sure that this is an indistinct behavior. One theory is that newborn kittens knead their mother as they move close to their mother’s belly and it is thought that this motion stimulates flow of milk through her nipples. Cats knead for their own comfort as well.

Kneading can also be referred back to the period when wild cats used to pat down tall grass and soft leaves to make a soft bed to sleep or before giving birth. Another theory mentioned in Catster, is that cats have scent glands in soft pads which are located under their paws and when they knead any surface it leaves the smell in that surface. This serves as a purpose of making their category so that unfamiliar cats don’t come near and try to acclaim it. So as a cat parent if cat stars to knead on your body then it means that cat not only makes itself comfortable but also they are claiming you as their own. Some female cats knead on male cats to get their attention to signal them that they want to mate.

Cat kneads due to different reasons, if you feel uncomfortable because of cats paws, then you can place a piece of towel on your lap.

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