Why Do Cats Knead?


Have you ever wondered why cats knead? It turns out, there’s a good reason for making biscuits!

Why do cats Knead?

Making Biscuits: Why Do Cats Knead?

A common behavior seen in domestic cats, kneading is when a feline pushes in and out with its front paws, typically alternating between their two paws. This delightful quirk of your cat is sometimes referred to as “making biscuits” because it looks so similar to kneading dough. Always an adorable sight, have you ever wondered why cats knead?

What is Kneading?

Cats begin kneading before they even open their eyes! As tiny kittens, cats will place their paws around their mother’s nipples, quickly learning that the pressure stimulates the flow of milk. While kneading other objects never brings a meal, your cat still remembers the comfort, warmth, and security that they felt as kittens. When cats knead, they typically purr, which signals that the repetitive motion and the sensation of their paws on something soft brings them contentment.

Settling Down

It’s not just your domestic cat that kneads! Wild cats are thought to have used this behavior to create a soft surface for sleeping or giving birth. Kneading may simply be an instinctual part of settling down! If you ask a vet, they’ll tell you that while we’re not completely sure why cats knead, we know that it is an essential part of their life. Cats will make biscuits from infancy to the geriatric stage.

The next time you spot your feline friend kneading at your soft blanket, favorite sweatshirt, or their own bed, watch carefully. Your cat companion is mushing the fabric into a more comfortable shape, the same way you adjust your pillows and blankets before climbing into bed.

Marking Territory

Kneading may also signal a form of territorial marking. Because your feline friend’s toe beans contain scent gland, kneading emits her own distinctive scent that is discernible by other cats or pets. She may be signaling that this is her spot, and that any other animal should go knead somewhere else. 

Needing to Knead

When your cat kneads you, they are letting you know that they love you! While you should feel flattered, that may be difficult as your cat’s tiny claws dig into your lap. A great way to prevent this adorable stabbing is to keep your cat’s nails trimmed or simply fold a thick towel and place it onto your lap. Never punish a cat for kneading! It’s a natural and instinctive activity that only brings enjoyment. Be grateful that your cat chose you, and let them knead your stress and worry away!

Gift your kitty with a special kneading place. Our Fluffy Cat Bed Pillows are super soft and scratch resistant, making it the perfect kneading texture. What’s more, they are available in round and rectangular shape. Find out more about our Fluffy Pillows here