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Why Do Cats Knead and What to Do About it

If you’ve asked the question, “Why do cats knead?” it’s time to get the answers.  Learn more about this feline behavior and how to handle it.    

As much as you love your cat, you don’t always understand your feline’s habits.  Kneading might be one of those puzzling behaviors you just don’t get.  But you can learn more about it by reading this blog post.

Photo by Valeriia Miller from Unsplash

Why Do Cats Knead?

What causes your cat to knead?  That’s an excellent question.  

It turns out, there’s more than one reason for this behavior.  We’ve listed some of those reasons below.  

Kneading Comforts Your Cat

While nursing, kittens knead in order to stimulate their mother’s milk production.  This causes cats to associate kneading with comfort.

This association continues through a cat’s entire life, prompting your puss to knead whenever comfort is desired.  

Your Cat Kneads to Show Affection

If your cat starts kneading you, take it as a compliment.  It’s your kitty’s way of showing affection.  Although we have to admit, it doesn’t always feel so good to us.  Those claws are sharp!  

Photo by Srinivasan Venkataraman from Unsplash

Kneading Gives Your Cat a Good Stretch    

Anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers are often used to provide relief.  However, cat parents must be aware oJust like people, cats can get stiff. But kneading is a great way for your feline to loosen up.  

Your Cat Kneads to Prepare a Sleeping Spot

Supposedly, cats like to knead their bed to make it softer and more comfortable.  The theory is, this instinct was passed down from wild cats. 

But kneading before bed might just be your kitty’s way to wind down and relax.  Remember, cats associate kneading with comfort, and that comfort may help them fall into a peaceful slumber.

Your Cat Kneads to Claim Ownership 

Cats also knead to let other animals know what belongs to them.  As they knead, the scent glands in their paws release their scent.  That scent is a clear indication of ownership and can be used to claim a certain area, object, or person.

What You Should Do About Kneading

Kneading is normal feline behavior. So don’t try to keep your fur baby from gratifying this instinct.  

But that doesn’t mean you have to let your furniture and clothes get ripped to shreds.  Nor do your legs have to get scratched up.    

Here’s what you can do to keep your possessions (and yourself!) safe while still letting your cat knead. 

  • Keep your cat’s claws short by trimming its nails on a regular basis.  And just so you know, we would never recommend declawing your cat!     
  • Give your kitty a cat scratcher. Direct your pet to knead this object instead of your own belongings.  
  • If your cat starts kneading an item you want to keep nice, distract your furry friend with something more interesting, like a favorite toy.   
  • When sitting with your cat, keep a blanket in your lap.  If your kitty starts kneading you, this blanket will shield your lap from being clawed.   

Now that you’ve finished reading this blog post, you’ve learned a few reasons why cats knead.  You’ve also learned how to handle this feline behavior.  

This new knowledge will give you a better understanding of your cat.  And that will help you develop a closer bond with your four-legged buddy.