In response to the query, why do cats knead, it may be helpful to learn that the reasons for which the felines engage in this action have yet not been ascertained. However, people have a few notions on the probable causes for the domestic cats to engage in such activities.
Cats that are seen pushing inwards and outwards with their paws on soft-textured planes such as beds, blankets, or pillows are said to be kneading. You may notice that during the exercise, they keep alternating leftwards and towards the right; also, they may stomp on your chest, lap or leg. This behavioral pattern of the felines is also referred to as ‘making biscuits’ or ‘kneading dough.’
Another noteworthy observation is that all cats are known to knead in a distinctive manner when compared to others.
Different Kneading Style of Cats
- Some felines use their claws, which other may not use their claws.
- Many people find this rhythmic beating behavior of cats mesmerizing.
Why do Cats Knead?
People have developed various assumptions when it comes to question why do cats knead all the time. Let’s have a look at the assumptions below:
- Some individuals are of the opinion that the felines relate the kneading motion with the comforting feeling of their nursing years. Kittens knead their mother’s nipple for stimulating the blood flow from their mom’s mammary glands.
- During adulthood, the cats might pursue this activity because they may need some comforting. Whatever may be the reason for cats to knead, one thing is for certain that they enjoy kneading.
- Another reason why cats knead is because kittens may have been separated from their mothers at an early stage. But this myth has been debunked because of all cats, notwithstanding their weaning period, find the need to knead.
- Kneading in felines is also associated with them being content. The veterinarians hold this view because the animals are seen purring and shutting their eyes while indulging in the activity.
- They reckon that this rhythmic motion helps the cats to feel calm, relaxed when they are stressful or anxious. Cat fountains may also help here.
- Some experts discern that pet cats keep themselves agile via kneading. Kneading of the felines may be viewed as their need for stretching their body.
- They may want to shrug-off their lethargy or feel energized due to which they may knead using their paws.
- They may knead-down leaves or trees for creating a comfortable place for resting or delivering their off-springs.
- They may knead for assessing the ground to keep intruders away. Therefore, it may be instinctive in cats to follow the routine before settling themselves at a particular place.
- Female cats have an extra reason for their kneading traits; they may do so before the estrus phase – the general phrase being ‘going into heat.’
When do Cat Start Kneading?
Cat owners may also notice that the pets begin to knead while they are perched on your knees, and you are stroking them lovingly.
Your pet may be making efforts to display their affection towards you or expressing their thankfulness for your loving. However, sometimes the felines may dig deeper with their pointed nails, which can be quite painful.
How to Handle Cat’s Kneading?
- Patting them on their belly or back in a gentle manner is the foremost solution.
- Please keep in mind that you do not punish them for this misdemeanor – they are oblivious that they are hurting you.
- Trim their nails or use nail guards to render them unable of causing you pain. By doing so, you can enjoy being around your beloved pet, spend quality time with them, and deepen the relationship bonds.
Furthermore, an interesting observation made by some pet-doctors for a reason behind kneading in cats is that the scent glands of the felines are located in their paws, and the surfaces on which the cat kneads catches the whiff.
Therefore, it has been analyzed that the pet animals, especially felines and canines mark the item or person as their territory with the aroma being emitted from the scent glands, through kneading. Animals, in general, are territorial in nature and this is their way of expressing that peculiarity.
When cats need attention or are trying to convey their needs, it also may be observed that they begin to knead. If you are busy working on the computer or watching television, the pets could feel ignored and may be seen kneading their paws towards the left and right. In addition to kneading, they may also purr as a means of getting you to do the needful.
As a cat-owner, you may seek to discontinue your pet’s kneading habits if they engage in the activity while they are rested on your lap. This may be a result of obsessive behavior on the part of the felines. Moreover, you may get hurt when your cat is kneading at you. Here, you can try laying them in a cozy corner, so they are comforted and appeased.
- It may also be advisable to keep their paws covered using your hands so as to make it difficult for them to continue these acts. Keeping her entertained with the help of a treat or toy is another way of ensuring they settle down.
- It must also be borne in mind that the kneading practice is the natural behavior of cats and they should not be reprimanded for the same. It is important to understand that the pets are only showering their love by way of this mannerism.
- We also advise the use of a thick blanket or towel to place on the lap to protect your legs from their constant kneading.
- Trimming the cat’s nails must also not be missed, so they do not cause any pain or tear the sheets. The use of nail guards for covering their nails is also an option that can be availed.
- The pets can also be moved to a selected corner whenever they are found indulging in the act while on your lap.
Kneading is counted as one of the amusing traits about cats and is a distinctive trait of theirs. We may not have covered all reasons, in the details mentioned above, for which cats perform the kneading-act and us humans may never understand them. For example, your pet cat may knead before bedtime; they may do this out of habit.
Whatever may be the rationale, it should be kept in mind that this rhythmic behavior in felines is instinctual and should not be seen an abnormal. Keep reading our blogs on cats and their behavioral patterns, and more updates. Happy pet parenting!
Last updated on February 20th, 2019