Why Do Cats Knead? 6 Reasons for This Adorable Behavior

Why Do Cats Knead? 6 Reasons for This Adorable Behavior

  • Cats may knead due to the fact they want to use the scent glands on their paws to mark their territory.
  • It could also be a carryover from kittenhood — kittens knead their mother’s stomach to encourage milk.
  • Kneading is also a method of stretching, and it could be a indicator that your cat likes you.
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more tips.

If you have a cat, possibilities are you’ve found them producing a rhythmic and repetitive motion with their paws on surfaces these kinds of as your pillows, the couch, and even you. This movement is recognized as kneading, which some cat mothers and fathers lovingly refer to as “earning biscuits” given that the motion resembles a person kneading dough.

This behavior is absolutely typical in cats. It is really an inborn habits that kittens carry into their adulthood. And there are various motives they’re going to do it as adults — listed here are 6.

1. To come to feel comforted

New child kittens gently knead their mother’s tummy to assistance promote the stream of milk, Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, a veterinary professional medical advisor for Rover, said.

This is an instinctual habits, and some cats might even dribble when kneading — as if they are drooling above the expectation of milk.

Although developed cats do not want to nurse, the motion of kneading is possible involved with comforting inner thoughts. 

“It really is doable the constructive and pleasurable affiliation will get cemented from kittenhood, prolonged after they have stopped suckling,” Greenstein reported. 

2. To mark their territory 

Cats can be territorial creatures, and they may possibly use kneading to enable them declare their room

Given that cats have scent glands on their paws, kneading can be a way of marking their territory by transferring their scent on to whatever surface they’re kneading, Dr. Jennifer Freeman, a resident veterinarian and pet-care expert at PetSmart, stated.

3. To make the mattress

Though kneading is tied to nursing, there might also be an additional intuition at play. They may knead at a surface area ahead of they get at ease to go to slumber.

“Their feline ancestors necessary to flatten out and pat down resting and sleeping locations to make them much more comfortable and detect any unseen hazards prior to a cat nap, so kneading may possibly also be a throwback from that historical intuition,” Greenstein reported.

4. To clearly show they like you 

In the same way that dogs lick you when they like you, cats can show their enjoy in a one of a kind way, as well. 

“It can be a compliment if a cat kneads on you, as it can signify that they are at ease around you and they want to demonstrate their affection,” Freeman claimed. 

In simple fact, the more your cat likes you, the more challenging they might knead.

5. To stretch

Just as humans need a very good extend from time to time, so do cats. When cats knead, they outstretch their arms. 

“The alternating motion of extending their limbs throughout kneading might also be a feline variation of ‘stretching their legs’ to wake up their muscles and stimulate circulation,” Greenstein reported.

6. To show they’re going into warmth

If your female cat is not spayed, kneading may well be a signal that she is receptive to mating. 

Greenstein states to keep an eye out if your unspayed cat is setting up to act differently — behaviors these as becoming further affectionate, rubbing up in opposition to folks or surfaces, or generating new vocalizations on major of kneading — in particular if prospective mates are all over.

Insider’s takeaway

There are various factors your cat may be kneading, from showing you some appreciate to going into warmth. 

All these causes for cats kneading are no require to fear, so you can sit again and appreciate watching your cat be super cute.