If you are a cat parent, you must have at one point in life thought this:
‘Why do cats knead?’
‘Why are they making biscuits on me?’
Cat owners often experience their feline friends digging in and out their paws on any soft objects like plush blankets, soft pillows, animals, or even their favorite human beings too.
“Cats making biscuits on me”, “cat is kneading me”, or “cat is kneading dough”, are some other terms referring adorably to this behavior.
What Is Cat Kneading?
According to Inverse, a cat kneading with paws is called making biscuits because it seems like rolling dough rhythmically. You will see this behavior in many cats (but not all cats). They knead several objects, like clothing, cushions, and blankets.
If you are wondering why do cats knead rhythmically? Or why do they often make the dough (of course, not literally!)?
Here is a helpful guide, to debunking all the facts behind your cat kneading habits.
What Does It Mean When Your Cats Knead You? Why Do Cats Knead?
According to Dr. Sara Ochoa, a veterinary consultant at doglab.com,
“Cat kneading- also known as making biscuits- is a behavior that shows their love for you.”
So is it natural that feline kneads you rhythmically with their paws?
Many cats will purr in contentment, simply zone out, start to doze off, or enjoy the motion. It makes them soothing and relaxing.
According to AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association), here are some popular reasons that your cats make biscuits on you.
1. To Show A Loving Touch To The Owner:
The reason which most experts agree is that cats knead to show love and comfort to the owner. If they are stressed, they knead to make themselves calm.
Your cat may exhibit this behavior when you pat her, or she may make biscuits on your lap before settling in for a nap.
It means when feline wants your attention, show you love, or when they are happy, they will make biscuits on your lap (or something soft like cushions).
Maybe it is the remaining behavior of their kittenhood. It is the most agreed-upon reason for the question about why do cats knead.
2. To Make The Resting Spot To Sleep:
The prominent reason cats knead their owners are; it helps them to set a sleeping place for themselves- be it your lap or stomach.
It is similar to the behavior of dogs when they turn around before sleeping. This means these are deeply embedded routines of the domestic animals.
Maybe it is connected to the behavior pattern of their ancestors (the wild felines). They kneaded tall grasses to make a comfortable place to sleep – as the hypothesis mentioned on PetMD.
Why do cats knead? Well, according to Science Focus, a cat behavioral expert, Dr. Lauren Finka,
“Kneading is the indicator that cat is comfortable. But you do not see this behavior pattern in all cats. There is much variability in them. So you do not have to be concerned if you do not see this in your cat.”
3. Memories Of Their Kittenhood:
Mikel Delgado, a cat expert at felineminds.com says about kneading,
“This is the similar behavior as they show in kittenhood. The time when the cats nurse on their mothers.”
According to old theories, adult cats knead when they separate from their mothers in kittenhood. But this theory is not suitable now because evidence and studies show that this is not true. Nearly all cats knead, regardless of age.
“Regardless of what is the most accurate reason for kneading of the felines, one thing is for sure- the kneading cat is a happy cat,” says Virginia Wells from PetPlace.com.
So, if your feline friend is kneading you with their paws, it is part of their personality, or maybe they are telling you: “I like you hooman”.
How To Stop A Cat From Kneading With Claws?
There is no doubt that the kneading of cats is adorable and loving. But some cat owners find it a little offensive, feel uncomfortable, or it may harm them as well.
In a study conducted in 2017, it was found that felines can potentially transmit infections to the owners if they repeatedly knead them, even in covered clothes.
Here are some quick practical tips to prevent the cats from kneading.
- Train her a bit to not knead on the blanket.
- Trim your cat’s nails to prevent the furniture from getting damaged.
- Train her to play with toys to distract her from kneading, like playing with a ball or chasing anything.
- It is not a good idea to punish her for her natural behavior. Because she will lash out negatively. Just distract her from kneading. It will retain her trust in humans, and you will not feel guilty as the loving owner of your furry pal.
- You can pick any specific blanket just for the ‘kneading’ of your cat. So it will signal to knead on that blanket and not elsewhere.
It is a normal behavior of felines. But still, if you want to stop the cat from kneading with claws, you can just put a comfy cushion or a blanket on your lap. Or if it is kneading with its claws out, it can damage the blankets or furniture.
Your Cat Loves You!
Cats are some adorable creatures. They love you a lot and show their love through different gestures. Kneading you with their paw is one of those gestures.
They are usually craving your attention with this action. When you find your catoo friend making biscuits on you, show it some extra love and tenderness!