Are they trying to mark their territory? Does this only apply to domestic cats and not wild cats? Check out this video as they walk through a ton of different theories. This is clearly a social behavior.
Why do cats knead? There are four main reasons cats knead.
1. She loves you...
Purina experts confirm this is a loving gesture. What about those long nails though! If your cat likes to knead a lot then perhaps you'll want to trim those nails more often!
"Think about when your cat is most likely to knead. You're probably petting her. She's likely purring. Loudly. She might even drool a bit (although she'd never admit to it). Obviously she's very content, and feeling the love. So kneading might be her way of helping you feel it too."
2. Creating a soft sleeping spot
Experts confirm that cats may use a favorite blanket, cat bed, or other soft objects as 'mom' so when they knead they are left feeling very content and secure. A cat licking (or dog) also provides this self-soothing or calming feeling.
3. You're mine!
How cool is this? Cats have scent glands in the soft pads on the bottoms of their paws. When they knead, the cat's unique scent is released onto the surface they're kneading. Yes, while this is happening this is a territorial marker!
She's claiming you! Catster explains this and reminds us that scratching is also a natural part of cat instinct.
"That scent serves as a kind of territorial marker for any unfamiliar cats that might come along and try to stake a claim. So when your cat is kneading your lap, he's not only telling you he feels comfortable and secure, but he's claiming you as his own."
4. Staying limber
Your cat also needs to stay loose. Think about all those yoga poses you see throughout the day. Think about kneading is a way to get some exercises in while relaxing. How said your cat wasn't smart?
Many cats will fully extend their front legs when they knead, so they might just be working out the kinks from being curled up for so long.
Many cat lovers say to keep a pillow or towel near you so when kneading begins it's not on your sweater!
Remember that all of these behaviors are normal. This kneading behavior is just like scratching. Scratching just like kneading are important social behaviors and are a 'must-do' for cats so never punish them!
Cat kneading is a cat behavior that all pet parents will simply need to get used to! Just have a soft blanket next to the couch and remember that those sweat glands are also leaving an imprint on that blanket and you! You are now your cat's slave and catnip, toys and treats must follow!
It's always those front paws that they're using so make sure they're now kneading the dog or another small pet!
Did you know this about cats? Leave a comment below with your story.
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