That’s Why Your Cat Kneads You With Its Paws

It’s pretty cute – and sometimes painful: Many cats show their affection by moving their paws back and forth on you, a pillow, a blanket, or their fellow cats as if they were kneading some dough. Does your cat knead too? Here’s why she’s doing it.

The first reason your cat kneads you or other soft things is pretty obvious: The kitty just feels good. And when your cat works you of all people with its soft paws, it reflects your close bond.
Because kittens knead their mothers while they are suckled. “Many cats carry this behavior into adulthood and knead their owners, their furry siblings, or their bed,” explains veterinarian Dr. Rachel Barrack across from “The Dodo”.

The reason kittens knead their mothers when they drink: They try to get more milk for themselves by massaging the teats. As fully-grown kitties, of course, they no longer have to knead to get food – we do that for them too.

But kneading has a different purpose: It calms cats immensely. Dr. According to Barrack, this can even put them in a “trance-like state”. Maybe because it reminds her of the well-protected time with her cat mom.

When suckling, many kittens purr out of sheer joy at the meal and being close to their mother. Therefore, even as adult cats, many still purr when they are comfortable. Your cat may even purr and knead at the same time.

Possible Other Reasons for Kneading

In addition to the theory that cats knead, because they are comfortable, there are other possible explanations for the behavior: Some suspect that kneading was used in the wild to flatten an underground so that the wildcats could sleep comfortably there.

In addition, there are glands on the paws that secrete a certain odor. This is how cats mark their territory. So if your kitty kneads you extensively, she might want to make it clear: This person belongs to me. A clear sign of their affection!

Regardless of the reason, your cat kneads on you: It is very likely a gorgeous token of love. So you can take it as a compliment with a clear conscience – and maybe in return pamper your kitty with caresses.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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