cats & critters

Caturday ~ I knead you

“Kneading” is the act of massaging or squeezing one’s hands against something. Kneading is very common yet unexplained behavior in cats. Often, cats will knead a person or soft object such as blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal. They tend to knead when they’re feeling relaxed, sleepy, and content. While kneading, cats will purr, sometimes drool, and even to fall into a trance.

Why do cats knead?

No one knows exactly why for sure. There are a few theories...

  • Mimicking kitten behavior when they had to knead for milk.
  • Associated with their wild ancestors who kneaded to make nests for sleeping.
  • Marking their territory by leaving the scent from their paws.

Positive or negative behavior?

Kneading is positive behavior because it means the cat is cozy and cheerful. It is only negative if the cat has sharp claws and digs too deeply, causing pain or damage. If this is the case, trim your cats nails. You can also discourage them from kneading by yelling or spraying water.


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