Pet cat kneading is a usual feline practice. We typically see it as the rhythmic pressing of their paws alternately. Many people believe that it resembles their massaging dough, which is why it's also adorably known as 'making biscuits.' Felines like to do this on soft areas like cozy blankets, squishy cushions, or even on your belly and lap.
You might have that question in your head, why do cats knead? This is why we have created this post so you can find out the truth behind your feline friend's kneading habits.
What Is Feline Kneading?
Most felines will massage, but not all will do it in the same way. While the movement of their paws generally remains the same, the accompanying actions may vary. Some will purr loudly, where others may do it silently. Some cats do the kneading with just their front paws, whereas some will put their all into it and use all four. Most felines, at the very least, act like the 'making biscuits' activity. Furthermore, while pet cats knead, it's not unusual for them to appear to be in a trance-like state and look nearly glazed over. This indicates that they're in a state of relaxation.
Why Do Felines Knead?
There are numerous reasons pet cats knead, but the primary one is that it's an automatic habit that they acquire from kittenhood. When kittens feed on their mother, they will paw at their moms' bellies to urge milk circulation from their teats. This is why sometimes cats might drool while doing it or could suckle at soft things such as a blanket or cushion. It is partly because they're anticipating the flow of milk that comes with the activity.
While it might seem uncommon that pet cat kneading still happens as they age. It is, in fact, immense praise for you. When cats do this, especially adult cats, they feel safe and comfortable with you. This is like much how they love their mothers!
To Make a Nest
Another theory for pet cats kneading is that it's a feline practice passed down from their ancestors. Wild felines will paw at heaps of fallen to produce a 'nest' on their own. By doing this, they're not only building a soft nest--similarly to how we fluffy pillows--but they're also surveying for predators, prey, or dangerous things concealed in the foliage. So when your domestic pet cat does this to your lap, it may be an ingrained behavior from their tumultuous past!
To Stretch Their Muscles
Felines are all-natural yoga exercise masters and like to work out all their muscles from taking a short nap. Think of it like when you have sore shoulders, it feels nice to pull against it. Kneading their paws is among the many ways felines keep themselves limber up until the next nap.
To Mark A Territory
Another possible reason pet cats knead is that they're trying to mark their area because scent glands launch pheromones in their paws. By pressing their feet in and out, they turn on these scent glands. They might be doing this on your lap to mark you as their own and to warn other felines to back off. Isn't that sweet?
Going Into Heat
Female cats might also knead when they go into heat. When they do this, it signals male cats that they're ready to mate. They may show other behaviors, such as vocalizing, being clingy, and pleading to go outside.
Spaying may reduce these practices if they relate to estrus. And naturally, neutering can help prevent unwanted pregnancies as well as avoid some illnesses.
What To Do If It Hurts Every Time Your Cat Kneads You?
Some felines could knead with their claws out, and in some cases, feel as though they're using your lap as a pin cushion! You must never punish your cat them doing it. It is an automatic action, and they're only returning the love they feel from you. However, there are ways to reduce the risk of scratches on your body.
Suppose your cat is sinking its claws in a little way too much. You can put a thin barrier between you like a cushion or a blanket. You can likewise encourage your pet cat to stop by stroking and then gently pushing them away. Conversely, you can also sidetrack your feline with a fun toy so they'll quickly quit sinking their claws into your lap.