It is not uncommon to see a cat kneading when they are in their most comfortable and happy places. Affectionately known as, “making biscuits” the alternating movement of paws against a soft surface is a hallmark of feline behavior. Not all cats knead, but all kittens do. It starts while they are nursing on their mother to help stimulate milk production. However, long after the nursing many cats still knead even if no milk is involved. Why is this?
Why Do Cats Knead?
● They feel love and comfort
Cats start kneading at the very beginning of their lives. As kittens, this is their first feeling of love and comfort. While it their sharp claws digging into you may bring a little pain, it’s coming from a place of love. If your cat is laying on your lap and kneading your skin, try using a blanket or pillow as a barrier. They don’t really know that it hurts our skin since they learned to knead on their mothers, who weren’t bothered by their claws. Just remember that your cat is giving you the biggest compliment by kneading on you.
● They are getting ready for bed
Just like dogs turn around in circles, cats often knead before bedding down. Even wild ancestors of domestics cats have been known to show this trait. They love to find a soft comfortable surface to nap on and kneading helps make a comfy spot, much like fluffing a pillow.
● They are spreading their scent
Cat’s paws are also a source of pheromones via the scent glands in their pads. This means that they are often marking their territory. Cats are very territorial creatures and they like to make sure other animals are aware of their turf. So, if you catch them pawing on your or their favorite pillow or blanket, they may just be spreading their smell on what they see as their turf.
● They are stretching
It’s no secret that cats love to stretch. After all, who doesn’t love a good stretch after a nap? And cats nap a lot, so naturally they have to stretch out their muscles afterward. You’ll often see your cat arch their back then lean down for a nice stretch and knead. This loosens and relaxes their muscles. Leaving them limber for a little snack and a little play time before their next snooze.
Does your cat love to make biscuits or your cats knead too much? We’d love to hear about your wacky kitty’s kneading habits! Share your stories in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And of course, if you need an extra lap for your kitty to knead on while you are away, just let us know! Our cat sitters would love to help give your feline friend all the TLC they deserve until you get back home to them. Just give us a call!