What exactly is cat kneading?
Kneading is a repetitive action a cat makes; a rhythmic motion where they push their paws into a soft surface, alternating from one paw to the other.
During this activity, they push in and out of the soft surface with their paws. In some cases, they extend their claws before settling down as they push on the surface and retract them while pulling back.
Kneading is adorable to watch, but why do cats and kittens knead their owners? Despite its beauty, kneading can become uncomfortable at times.
When cats knead on your lap, their extended claws which may cause some pain at times.
Why do cats knead things with their paws? Well, some cats only use the forepaws, while others utilize all four paws.
This results in a fascinating dance that gets cats so relaxed that at times even causes them to drool. While kneading, cats may push upon a person, a soft pillow, soft carpeting, or a couch.
This is a practice performed by most cats, whose motions make the cat look as though it’s kneading dough.
When your cat begins to knead, you can gently guide it into a position where it is lying on its side. In this position, the cat can relax and even fall asleep. On the other
So What makes cats knead?
Kneading is instinctive in cats. it is a practice that kittens perform shortly after they are born.There are a few reasons why they do this:
- Indicating relaxation
- Stimulate the production of milk from the mammary glands
- Relaxing themselves after going through stressful situations
- Marking their human owners. Cats are territorial creatures. Therefore, they will knead on their humans so as to mark them with sweat from glands in their paws.
One theory is that the behavior of kneading began with wild cats that built places to nest using grass and leaves.
They built these nests as places to give birth in and rest afterward. This is also where they spent their time resting after a day of hunting.
Today, you can observe cats kneading right before they settle down to sleep. Also, it has been observed that female cats knead more often as they go into heat.
Why Do Cats Knead Their Owners?
Remember a cat’s favorite place is your lap. Therefore, you are very likely to feel cat kneading up close and personal. Some cats are quite territorial of their owners, so
You may find your cat kneading on you when you are wearing a sweatshirt, a woolen shawl, or any other soft and supple fabric.
This is because these types of materials make great sleeping surfaces. Just as you and I fluff up our pillows and blankets just before sleeping, cats knead surfaces to make them more comfortable to sleep on.
When Cats are kneading and biting their owners, they are basically saying that they really love you! . It is their way of flattering you.
Despite the pain caused by claws scratching your lap, you should know that your cat simply enjoys your company. Some cats don’t extend their claws while kneading.
However, if yours does, try to trim its nails so they won’t hurt you as the cat kneads on your lap.
An alternative to this is placing a thick blanket or towel on your lap before your cat jumps on their favorite lap to sleep on. This way, it can show you affection without causing you discomfort or ripping up your clothes.
Some cats knead on their owner to reminisce on its glorious days as a kitten. It is well known that kittens knead their mother’s bellies so that she can produce more milk.
This behavior can extend well into adulthood. Your lap is just as warm as their mother’s belly was.
Therefore, one that is kneading on you is simply reliving experiences of its happy kittenhood. Another observation that has been made is that female cats will knead to indicate that they are ready to mate.
kneading can become bothersome. If your cat loves it just a bit too much, it can become a hassle.
Do try to gently pick up the cat and place it on another surface such as the sofa . do not punish your cat for kneading. It is an instinctive practice that it thoroughly enjoys.
Therefore, let your cat knead in peace and enjoy it.