7 Reasons why a cat enjoys kneading

Have you ever witnessed your cat kneading on blankets or pillows?
Kind of making biscuits?

Yes, you must have!
Cats love making cookies, they knead like there’s no tomorrow. 😃😃

In this blog post, I will be sharing my personal experience of my cat kneading, why our cat likes to knead and a little more on this cat behaviour.

What is kneading?

Kneading is an action or an activity of pressing, massaging and working with hands-on some material like while preparing dough with hands.

Cat kneading is a friendly gesture of a cat where they push and pull out with their front paws, alternating between the right and left hands. It is also referred to as making biscuits. read more

Cat Kneading – Quick facts

  • cat kneading is an expression of being happy
  • cat often purr while they are kneading
  • might be a form of communication between humans and cat: as a maternal connection to mother
  • cats like kneading on soft objects like blankets, pillows, rugs and sometimes even on the human body
  • generally seen during kittens which can be also carried onto later adult life

How does a cat knead?

They put their little paws upwards and start punching in the air gently at times. They sometimes tend to knead towards their human’s arm softly. That is so relaxing to observe. 😌

Before cats start kneading, have u noticed how your furbaby reaches his/ her paw out to you?

First, let me start with my story.

How I noticed our kitten kneading first

I saw Eleven (our cat) doing this a few weeks after she was adopted. She was 4 months old at that time. She would do this briefly during mornings when she cozily slept with me or her dad. Oh, those winter mornings!😍

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After this short background story, let me take you to the main context.

Why does my cat knead?

Is it the first time you noticed your cat’s kneading activity?

If you are noticing your cat kneading for the first time, there is no reason to worry or panic. This is absolutely normal and a good sign that your cat is enjoying your company. 🙂

7 Reasons your cat is kneading

Out of the several possible reasons for cats pressing and massaging, here below I have listed you the main reasons:

  • Sign of relaxation and comfort
    Cats knead when they are extremely relaxed and comfortable around their owners.

  • Carried on from mother
    Kittens learn kneading while sucking milk from their mom.

  • Symbolising owners as a parental figure
    Kneading while with owners also means they view you motherly or a parental figure, a haven to rest on. Cute.

  • Expression of being happy and cozy
    Cats love the comfort and being cozy. They like to be warm.
    And they start kneading whenever they are at their best in their comfort zone.
    Amazing isn’t it?

  • Feline thankfulness
    Kneading on owners can also mean as feline flattery!
    But many times Eleven sheaths her sharp claws while kneading on my arm. Ouch! That hurts! That’s completely unintentional as they are appreciating how happy they are with us.

    So its best to trim their nails short so that those sharp nails don’t hurt us. 😌

  • A form of communication
    Kneading likewise means that your cat is appreciating your love and is telling that s/he loves you back! That’s how kitties show their love to us!

  • Stretching the body
    cat knead to stretch their body like we do humans like stretching our body

By reaching his/ her paw out, your cat is trying to grab your attention. They love seeking attention by any means and always look for their owner’s company 😻

I used to be surprised when Eleven did that to me every time she sat with me. After I learnt that it is her affection, I was more than happy and felt loved.

This is a moment of pride. Isn’t it?

Happy Meows 😍

Some more of your questions answered

Is it okay to stop my cat while kneading?

Your cat might get irritated or angry at you when you try to stop your cat during their kneading activity.

What does it mean when a cat kneads you?

Your cat may knead when s/ he is happy, affectionate and thankful towards you. It also can be a form of communication.

Is it normal for cats to knead?

Yes, it is totally normal for a cat to knead.

Why does my cat never knead?

While some cats may knead quite often and some rarely. Every cat has their unique behaviours and some cats mightn’t just feel the need for kneading or won’t knead even when they are happy and thankful towards their owners.

Is a cat kneading bad?

Kneading behaviour is absolutely normal as it is a feline characteristic. You don’t need to be worried or stressed if you see your cat kneading.

Is kneading a sign of affection?

If your cat is kneading it might mean that s/he is very happy, happy with your company and might be showing you his/ her affections.

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About the Author
Sonisha Khatri Basnet
Sonisha is an occasional and valued writer at lakshmanbasnet.com. She likes reading, discovering new places and playing games. Sonisha has extensive interests and qualifications in sociology, psychology and health service management.

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