Have you ever found your cat making biscuits against your sofa, blankets, or other soft objects? This is called kneading and while not all cats do it, it’s a great way to tell that your furry friend is actually pretty happy. But, why do cats knead? Is it just because they’re happy or is there something else going on behind the scenes?
In this article, we’re going to tell you what cat kneading is as well as share some of the few reasons you may find your companion digging their nails into you or your furniture.
Cat Kneading Explained
Cat kneading is extremely common and should never be a cause for concern, unless, it’s destroying your furniture! You guessed it, a kneading cat looks like they are getting pizza dough ready with their paws. But, the truth is, all cats do it differently.
Some cats will purr frantically while they slowly push their paws back and forth. Others will dig in their claws as they knead. You may even find that your furry friend uses all four paws to express themselves. When they enter this trance-like state, it typically means that they’re really happy.
Why Do Cats Knead? Top 4 Reasons Cats Knead
A kneading cat is a happy cat. Some even dribble slightly or nibble on the object they’re kneading. This may seem strange but, the truth is, it is a trait that they learn during kittenhood. Cats kneading against their mother’s belly is extremely common. It is their way of pushing milk from the teat.
So, why do cats knead as they grow up? Let’s take a look at four of the most common reasons:
1. Marking Their Territory
Cats are territorial creatures and when they want to mark what’s theirs, they use the scent glands in their paws to release pheromones. A cat making biscuits is actually activating its scent glands to make sure any other animals know that they’re in its spot.
2. Returning the Affection
If you’re cuddled up on the sofa stroking your cat and they knead you in return, they’re simply telling you they love you. Unfortunately for you, the happier they are, the harder they will knead which can become quite painful. Whatever you do, don’t get angry at them as they are only trying to show you affection and don’t realize that their claws actually hurt.
3. Stretching Their Muscles
Your cat will spend an average of 15 hours of its day sleeping. If you slept that much, you’d probably want to get up for a little stretch here and there too, right? Well, a cat kneading could just be them stretching their muscles to work out any kinks before heading straight back for a nap.
4. Finding a Mate
If your female cat is lying on her back, purring, and kneading the air for no particular reason, she may be in heat. This will be her way of telling any male cat that may be lingering that they can come and say hello before potentially mating.
Keeping Claws at Bay!
Why do cats knead? Well, it’s normally just because they love you! But, we know better than most that a kneading cat can really hurt. If your cat likes to knead you, try adding a soft object between you and them. You can also trim your cat’s nails or buy nail guards.
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