Cats are known for kneading their paws. Scientists think that this behavior is connected to instinctive behaviors such as cleaning themselves by licking and grooming. Cats also use scratching posts, digging holes, and even chewing on furniture while they’re bored or stressed out in order to take some time away from the world around them.,

The “why do cats knead on their owners” is a question that has been asked for years. There are many different theories about why cats do this, but the most common answer is because they’re bored. They want to keep themselves entertained and engaged with something.

Cats exhibit a wide variety of unusual habits, as all pet owners are aware. For some, cat kneading is the icing on the cake—or, if you’ll pardon the pun, the cake itself. You may wonder why cats knead blankets and… your stomach. When your cat misidentifies you as something soft and doughy, it’s not because they want you to lose weight—they’re simply happy! 

Is it true that all cats knead? Is this typical behavior or anything to be worried about? Continue reading to see why your cat is most likely acting this way.  

Is cat kneading considered normal? 

The good news is that although not all cats knead, it is a perfectly typical activity. Kneading is really an instinctive action for cats. You may be asking why it’s called “kneading.” When your cat does this, he or she is extending his or her legs and paws, sometimes with claws and sometimes without. Stretching is referred to as kneading because it mimics kneading dough. 

Why do cats knead their fur? The following are the top six causes.

calico cat kneading on a blanketUnsplash photo by Curtis Thornton

So, what’s the deal with cats kneading? Your cat may knead for a variety of reasons, including being on a blanket, your sofa, or even you. Let’s take a look at a few of these reasons in more detail. 

In the field of nursing (and the memories of)

Your cat’s kneading is most likely related to his bond with his biological mother. (Insert Sigmund Fur-reud joke here!)

Kneading is more prevalent in cats that were removed from their mothers when they were kittens. Nursing kittens knead on their mothers to increase milk supply. If a kitten is bottle-fed by people from the moment he is born, he is less likely to subsequently “create muffins.”

Don’t worry, your adult cat isn’t kneading on you because he believes you’ll be able to offer him milk as well. Your cat is only attempting to reproduce an ancient, evolutionary reaction between mother and kitten for comfort. In fact, you should consider yourself fortunate to be his dough.

Communication and marking 

Cats are savvier than dogs when it comes to defending their territory. Rub their fragrance on their possessions is one way they mark their territory. Are you aware that your cat’s paw pads include smell glands? Cats activate the smell glands by kneading their paws on items, leaving their distinct aroma behind. This helps to send scent-related signals to other animals, indicating that this is their territory and not to be interfered with. 

Affectionate signs

You could notice that your cat kneads while laying on you or when you’re doing anything else. Your initial response may be to halt and chastise your cat if they are using their claws. Kneading, on the other hand, is a display of affection and love. This is your cat’s way of expressing their love and admiration for you. Avoid shouting or shoving your cat away; they’re only trying to be loving! 

Ancestry from the wild

Some have speculated that, like cats’ proclivity for eating grass, kneading is a learned characteristic of their wild feline ancestors. Wild cats are said to have kneaded down tall grass and leaves to create soft, cozy resting or birthing areas for their young.  

Looking for a companion

If you have a female cat that hasn’t been spayed, she has more motive to knead than her male counterparts. Kneading is a mechanism for female cats to express that they are ready to mate. She is giving a signal to a male cat that they may approach for mating reasons by doing this, coupled with purring and reclining on her back or side. 

Kneading helps to stretch muscles.

Finally, there’s an apparent reason why your cat is kneading: the simple kneading action helps your cat’s legs and paws to stretch out. This is particularly useful after a lengthy cat snooze in their cozy cat tower. 

If my cat is kneading on me, what should I do?

Knieding by cats is perfectly typical, as previously stated. Particularly if your cat is kneading on you, the kneading action is soothing and friendly. To prevent harm to themselves, household items, or you, it may be beneficial to get your cat’s nails clipped on a regular basis. (Those needle-sharp claws piercing your skin may be excruciating!) 

If your cat appears to be destroying particular furniture or belongings, consider diverting his or her kneading to a cat pyramid or silo.

Of course, the aforementioned factors may not be the only ones causing your cat to knead. Consult your veterinarian for advice on how to make your cat more comfortable if there appear to be additional difficulties. It’s important to realize that although not all cats knead, it’s quite natural for yours to do so.   

Cats knead blankets for a variety of reasons.

Kneading blankets is soothing to cats, and it recalls them of when they were kittens and instinctively kneaded their moms to encourage milk production.

What causes cats to knead their owners?

This is often a sign of affection and your cat’s method of expressing their comfort and love for you. 

Is it okay to let your cat knead you?

This is entirely up to you and your degree of comfort. If your cat is clawing at you, try putting them on the ground or covering yourself with a big blanket to teach them to just knead on the blanket. Remember not to reprimand your cat for kneading; it’s an instinctive behavior that isn’t intended to damage you.

Unsplash user Kate Mishchankova provided the cover shot.

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The “why does my cat knead my blanket for a long time” is a question that has been asked many times. The answer to this question is simple: cats do it to mark their territory, and also because they are just very affectionate creatures.

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