Has your cat ever kneaded you? The kicking or kicking with the paws is just too cute! That’s why.
Cat owners have certainly seen it several times and possibly even experienced it themselves: the adult cat kicks with its paws. That means she kneads the ground with her two front paws like dough. Some call it “kicking”, others “kicking” and yet others call it the “milk kick” of cats.
The feeling is just wonderful! Especially when the cat’s behavior is accompanied by a purr. But what reasons do cats actually have for kicking or kicking milk?
In most cases, kicking is explained as an innate pattern of behavior left over from early childhood.
In the first few weeks, babies are fed through their mother’s teats. In order to get milk faster and, ideally, a little more, the little kittens want to stimulate the flow of milk by kneading their front paws, i.e. by kicking them. They always tread more or less gently on the mother’s stomach and thus ensure a plentiful diet. So Mama’s belly is kneaded and your own is nice and full. Many kittens also purr.
This behavior persists in many cats for life so that they continue to suckle when they are adults, even if there is no longer anything to suckle.
On a loved one’s lap, some pet tigers will begin to kick or kick and even suck on the person’s clothing. Many cats also purr to it. However, this only happens if the cuddly tiger feels completely comfortable.
So when your own puffball starts on your lap, kneading dough like a baker, and shows the milk kick, you can be sure that he is more than happy with the situation at the moment.
Marking of group membership
A completely different reason for the kicking movements when the cat kicks milk is the marking of the underground with its own smell.
A cat has small glands on its paws with which it can excrete pheromones (odor particles). While the house tiger is now sitting on a blanket or your lap and starts kicking, it releases its pheromones so that it can later recognize the blanket or person. With the milk step, your cat also marks the group membership.
Convey willingness to mate
If you own a female cat that hasn’t been spayed, you may have noticed that she kicks more. She seems to love this behavior particularly when she is in heat. Experts assume that she wants to show her male conspecifics that she is willing to mate.
Make the bed
One last explanation will certainly bring a smile to some people’s faces: some findings indicate that the animals use kicking to make their beds in their own way.
And indeed: before lying down on a pillow or blanket, many kitties step on it a little and then make themselves comfortable there.
In addition, this behavior is also seen in pregnant cats that are about to give birth. In nature, they would also look for a level place to be able to give birth to the little kittens safely.
Loved by some, loved by others… not so much
Kicking, i.e. kicking with the paws, can be very gentle and hardly noticeable or very pronounced and even include extending the claws. If you keep scratch marks from kicking or if your cat kicks holes in your clothes, this can also be rather unpleasant. The same applies to the love bite.
However, it is almost impossible to break the habit of kicking or milking cats, so you will have to put up with the fact that your adult velvet paw will retain this behavior from childhood.
However, you can put a blanket on your lap. In this way, you avoid the claws penetrating you and get out of this not an entirely painless act of love unscathed. But that the love expressed by cats sometimes hurts, as cat owners already know from the so-called love bites.
We wish you and your cat cozy hours!