Why Do Cats Knead?

Cats have a reputation for being fickle, but one area where they are surprisingly consistent is their affection for their owners. They often show their love by purring, rubbing against their owners, and sharing their warmth. Another common way to express affection is kneading. At the same time, the exact reason is not entirely unknown; some theories offer insight into this behavior.

Why Do Cats Knead

Let’s take a closer look at this odd habit to find out.

What Is Cat Kneading?

Cat kneading is a behavior that is most commonly seen in domestic cats, although it has also been observed in wild cats. The behavior consists of the cat pressing its paws into a surface, often with its claws extended. It is usually done in a rhythmic motion and may be accompanied by purring.

It is also referred to as ‘making biscuits because it looks like the cat is kneading dough.

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Why Your Cat Kneads?

If you have ever had a cat, you may have noticed them kneading their paws on your lap or a soft blanket. While this behavior may seem cute, you may also wonder what it is for. According to experts, there are a few different reasons why cats engage in this behavior. Some of the reasons are as follows:

cat biscuit making behavior

To Mark Their Territory

When cats knead, they use their paws to deposit their scent on their chosen surface. It is one way that cats communicate with each other and mark their territory.

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To Show Affection

Some experts believe that when a cat kneads on you is a sign of affection. When they knead on you, they show that they trust and care for you. It is an essential part of their social behavior.

To Create A Comfortable Spot To Rest

Your cat may be kneading because they are trying to create a comfortable resting spot. Using their paws to press down on the surface, they are essentially fluffing up the area to make it more appealing.

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To Stretch Their Muscles

Another reason cats knead is to stretch their muscles. It is especially true if they have been sleeping for an extended period. By stretching their paws and claws, they can wake up their muscles and get them ready for action.

To Indicate That They’re In Heat

Finally, some experts believe cats may knead when in heat. It is thought to be a way of attracting mates. Using their scent to mark their territory, they are essentially sending out a signal that they are looking for a mate.

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What Does It Mean When Your Cat Kneads on You?

Anyone who has shared their home with a cat knows they tend to knead their owners. While this behavior may seem odd, there is actually a good reason for it. Cats typically start to knead when they are kittens, as it helps them to stimulate milk flow from their mother. As adults, they continue to knead as a way of showing affection.

When cats knead their owners, they are usually releasing happy pheromones, which serve to strengthen the bond between the two of them. In addition, kneading can be soothing and relaxing for both the cat and the owner. 

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Is Cat Kneading Normal Behaviour?

Yes, cat kneading is perfectly normal behavior. If you notice your cat engaging in this behavior, there is no need to be concerned. You should feel honored, as it shows trust and affection.

reason why cat kneeds

What Should I Do If My Cat is Kneading On Me?

First, provide your cat with a soft surface to knead on. A blanket or towel will work perfectly. It will help to keep your cat’s claws from damaging your skin.

Second, gently pet your cat while she is kneading. It will help create a sense of relaxation and may even encourage her to continue kneading for extended periods.

Finally, give your cat plenty of love and attention when she is done kneading. It will let her know that you appreciate the gesture and will encourage her to do it again.

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How To Stop Your Cat From Kneading

As any cat owner knows, kneading is a standard behavior many cats exhibit. Often done in conjunction with purring, kneading is a way to express contentment and happiness. However, kneading can also be destructive to furniture and clothing. If you want to stop your cat from kneading, there are a few things you can try. 

First, provide your cat with a scratching post or other designated object that she can knead to her heart’s content. It will help to keep her claws from damaging your belongings.

Second, try using a spray deterrent on areas where you don’t want her to knead. It will create an unpleasant sensation for cats and may discourage her from returning to that spot.

Finally, if all else fails, you can try trimming your cat’s nails. It will make it less likely for cats to do damage when they decide to knead.

Also Read: 17 Large Domestic Cat Breeds in the world


Cat kneading is perfectly normal behavior that cats engage in for a variety of reasons. If your cat kneads on you, it is likely a sign of affection and trust. Be sure to give your cat a soft surface to knead on and give it plenty of love and attention when done. It will let your cat know that you appreciate the gesture and will encourage it to do it again. Thanks for reading! We hope this article was helpful.

Do you have any questions or concerns about your cat’s kneading behavior? If so, please feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.

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Esme Watson
Esme Watson

Esme Watson, the founder of Cat Queries, is a passionate cat lover driven by a deep love for felines. Inspired by her own furry companions, Minnie and Mickey, Esme created a platform dedicated to empowering cat owners with comprehensive and reliable information on feline health and behavior.

Cat Queries combines Esme's personal experiences with expert insights, offering a valuable resource that caters to all aspects of cat care. This inclusive approach fosters a welcoming community for cat lovers, making Cat Queries a trusted source for information, support, and guidance. Ultimately, Esme's mission is to enrich the lives of both cats and their human companions through knowledge and understanding.

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