The act of cats rhythmically kneading a surface with their paws, often referred to as ‘making biscuits,' is a common behavior in felines, claws or no claws involved.
While it is commonly seen in almost all cats, some cat owners might be surprised the first time they witness it.
Well, it is not as peculiar as you think it is. Your furry friend might do strange things around the house all the time. And while some things could pique your curiosity, kneading should not be one of them.
This common practice is normal among cats of all ages. It might take you some time to get used to it if your adult cat suddenly starts kneading. However, you have nothing to worry about!
Please continue reading to learn more about why cats knead surfaces and whether it is a matter of concern!
What Does It Mean When The Cat Kneads?
Let's be honest here. As a cat parent, you are probably already familiar with strange mannerisms that are only common to our feline friends.
Kneading is one of them, and if you are new to this, there's a high chance you're wondering what it means when the cat kneads.
Cats knead when they feel comfortable around their owners. This behavioral characteristic is seen as a positive one among all cats. It comes as an instinct to them and does not need to be taught by their mothers.
Even kittens from a litter knead whenever they feel comfortable as a reflex. Additionally, you will notice that your cat is likely to knead soft places. These places could include blankets, your couch, or even your lap!
This rhythmic pressing of soft surfaces using their paws signifies that your cat feels great around you!
You have absolutely nothing to worry about, as cat kneading is no cause of concern. However, be sure to watch out for your expensive furniture if your cats scratch it up with their paws!
While they are gentle when they knead, sometimes cats don't realize they are using their claws which might scratch your couch. You should also be careful when they are kneading on your lap!
Why Do Cats Knead?
As mentioned earlier, kneading is completely normal for cats. You can find your cat gently massaging a lot of soft surfaces around your house. This means they feel comfortable in the setting.
There could be a lot of answers to why cats knead. As we all know, cats are very territorial in nature. They like to mark their territory the soonest chance they get. Kneading is one way your beloved pet is trying to mark its territory.
Cat pawing might seem vague to new owners. However, it is common for kittens and adults to knead their surroundings for a lot of reasons. Additionally, there is no one way for cats to knead their surroundings.
Every cat adds its unique twist to this activity, so you will notice different kneading techniques, too, if you have multiple cats!
Why Do Cats Knead Their Owners?
A question that most cat owners are tired of asking is ‘Why do cats knead their owners?’.
We have already mentioned that once a cat feels comfortable around you, there are chances that it will rhythmically knead its surroundings. And cat owners are often subject to this pawing too.
The Following Reasons Might Be Why Cats Knead:
Here’s why your cat may be kneading around the house.
1. They are stressed out
A great way to help your cat through such a phase is to gently pet them and make their immediate surroundings quieter and more comfortable. However, it is advised that you consult with your vet if the kneading indicates chronic anxiety in your cat.
2. They are just stretching
We all know how much cats love their stretches. You are likely to catch your cat in a strange stretch at least a few times a day!
They could be kneading as a form of stretches too. Their flexible bodies need constant stretching, and kneading is a great way to stretch out their paws and limbs against a solid surface.
3. You are not giving them enough attention
The notion that all cats are cold is absolutely false. Cats genuinely care about their owners and crave affection, just like dogs.
If you have neglected your cat for a while, your cat will try to get your attention by kneading you. They are likely to purr while kneading you to show you how much they care about you!
4. They want to mark their territory
Cats are extremely territorial by nature, and kneading is one way they mark their territory.
While cats have pheromone glands around their mouth, they also possess special glands in their paws.
Cats knead to release these pheromones and mark their territories. Cats like to mark beds, chairs, couches, etc.
5. They miss their kittenhood
If you have ever had the chance to observe a cat with her litter, you may have noticed kittens kneading their mother’s teats. Kittens do this to stimulate milk flow so that they can feed on it.
Even after your cat is all grown up, they still might reminisce the comfort they felt with their mothers.
So, another reason why your cat is kneading is that they miss their kittenhood and the times they spent with their moms!
6. She is going into heat
Kneading can also signify that your cat is going into heat or has entered her estrus cycle. This cycle signifies that your cat is ready to mate and is looking for a male.
It is common to see cats in heat to lay on their sides, stretch, and knead surfaces to attract males and show them they are ready to mate.
7. They are feeling the love
Cats knead their owners when they like them and feel safe around them. They are kneading you as a gesture of love and affection.
However, you should watch out for their claws because your cat might get carried away and scratch you with its claws unintentionally!
8. They are sleepy
Sleepy cats try to make their surroundings as comfortable as possible before they doze off. Kneading is an excellent way to do that. So, if you see your pet pawing away at your favorite blanket, chances are they are about to take a nap.
How To Stop Cats From Kneading?
Most cat owners initially find kneading strange but eventually come around it and start finding it cute.
So, there are very few reasons why you would want your cat to stop kneading. If you do not find this adorable cat characteristic endearing, here's how to stop cats from kneading around your house.
2. Encourage your cat to sleep on its side so that it stops kneading the surface of your couches.
3. Get special kneading toys to distract your cat.
4. Don't reprimand kneading; slowly phase it out instead. Remember, it is very easy to train cats.
6. Use a blanket to create a barrier between you and your cat if it starts to knead your bare skin!
To Conclude With
Kneading is usually harmless. Just make sure you give your cat all the love and attention you can give so that they don’t end up scratching your fancy furniture out of spite.
A cat’s sharp claws are notorious for scratching up the furniture at home.
Moreover, your cats look especially adorable while doing it. So, instead of frantically Googling what it means, you should be taking cute pictures and videos of your cat kneading!
Frequently asked Questions About cat kneading
Absolutely! Kneading is a part of your cat’s natural behavior, so you have nothing to worry about. Many cat owners find it endearing and adorable too. You have absolutely no reason to stop your cat from kneading unless your pet is doing it out of anxiety.
9/10 times if a cat kneads you, it is trying to show you affection. Kneading is one of the most common ways cats let their owners know they feel comfortable around them. You should feel lucky if your cat kneads you frequently. It only means they love you!
Kneading could also be a sign that your cat is feeling psychological distress. Cats can get chronic mental illnesses like anxiety disorders.
If left untreated or not taken care of early on, it can lead to physical issues like sudden loss or gain of weight, poor coat condition, and weakened immunity.
Their anxious kneading could be a cry for help. You must consult with your vet immediately and talk about the next steps.
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