Cats being mysterious often do bizarre things. However, as much as cat kneading can seem abnormal, it is a typical activity in almost all cats. It’s obvious you have asked yourself what your kitten is actually doing when kneading.

Well, kneading is an inborn behavior in young and adult cats. Your pet will always find itself kneading rhythmically on soft surfaces such as cushions. Most felines knead happily when being petted. However, at times the kitty will simply knead for no purpose.

Some have also come up with different kneading techniques- most kittens use all four paws, while others never use their claws when kneading. The truth is that there exist numerous assumptions as to why do cats knead?

To have a clear understanding, it’s best to; first of all, have a better understanding of the term cat kneading.

Cat kneading meaning

Feline kneading, commonly known as “making biscuits,” is simply a charming deed in kittens, particularly when the cats are experiencing a great fuss. It’s an activity that resembles a cat kneading dough.

With this in mind, this piece features the most significant explanations of why felines knead.

Simply an Instinctive Demeanor

One of the main reasons for cat kneading, as stated earlier, is that it’s just an instinctive trait congenital from kitten hood. Little kittens usually paw at their mother’s belly when being fed to encourage milk flow.

This is why they sometimes dribble or suckle at soft objects such as blankets or cushions while kneading. They’re simply anticipating what used to come with the flow.

Though it might seem unusual when your cat kneading behavior stills persist even as they grow older, it’s essentially a massive tribute to you, as doing so means that the cat feels happy, consoled, and safe with you—a feeling they had with their mom.

Territorial Marking

Cats are naturally possessive. Marking territory is, therefore, a possible answer as to why kittens knead. The cat’s scents glands usually release pheromones within the paws. By pushing their claws in and out, they can activate their scent glands. While kneading on your lap, your cats are specifically marking you. This acts as a warning to others to simply back off.

Making Nest

Another reason for felines kneading is the assumption that it’s a deed inbred from their wild descendants. Wild cats usually paw at loads of grass to create nests for their young ones to rest and sleep in. Doing so helps them create soft nests- similar to how humans fluff pillows – and identifies predators or dangerous things hiding in the vegetation.

When your cat does this, it’s just an ingrained habit from their past wild history.

Prepared to Mate

Female cats will knead as a sign that they are ready to mate. A practice referred to as Oestrus. Kneading is consequently a sign to male cats that the female is prepared to mate. Nonetheless, they also demonstrate other behaviors along with kneading, like displaying more affection, being overly vocal, and wanting to go outside more often.

Spaying or neutering helps in decreasing oestrus-related behaviors in your cat. Neutering also helps in preventing unwanted cat pregnancies and prevents diseases.

Express Comfort

Happy cats will knead as a sign of showing pleasure. Cats will mostly knead when being petted or when trying to find a napping spot. Conversely, your cat will knead on your leg to demonstrate her satisfaction and love before settling for a nap or pat. For a stressed cat, kneading can be a way of creating a calming and soothing mood.

Stretching Muscles

Cats are naturally born yoga experts. They just love to exercise. Come to think about it- if you have a sore shoulder, it naturally feels great to grab onto something and pull against it. Kneading also offers the same sensation to cats. It’s a unique way through which felines keep themselves limbering till their next sleep.

To get Sleep

Some cats have the habit of purring or kneading at bedtime. As much as it can be a good thing for your cat, it’s advisable to discourage such a behavior. Kneading at you during this time will certainly make you lose your good night’s sleep. In such a scenario, always usher your cat to the end of the bed, away from your pillow or head. Encourage your cat to knead in that location. This way, both of you can welcome your sleep perfectly.

What should I do if my Cat Kneading is hurting me?

Some felines prefer kneading while their claws are out. To you, this can at times feel like they are using your lap as a cushion. However, it’s important to avoid disciplining your kittens for doing so since it’s a natural deed. They are just trying to give back the affection they feel towards you. Punishing them will therefore ignite negative and aggressive responses. This can affect your cat negatively, which is why it’s important to stick to distraction and redirection approaches instead to maintain your cat’s trust.

Nevertheless, there are a few considerations you can put in place to reduce the risk of being scratched.

• If your kitten is sinking the claws deeper, try placing a soft barrier in between something like a blanket or cushion. Also, try to inspire your kitten to relax by laying down and stoking your cat gently onto your lap.

• Alternatively, you can distract your cats with different fun toys. Soon they will forget about kneading on your lap and focus more on the toys.

Final Thoughts

Well, cat kneading is just a normal activity. It’s one of the different ways through which cats get to bond and show affection to their owners. Hopefully, this piece has answered your query on why do cats knead. You now have a complete understanding that you need to take cat kneading as the ideal complement your cat can offer you. It is therefore wise to let your cats be and instead help them by providing the best care and affection.