Mar 07 2020

Why Cat’s Knead | Winslow Animal Hospital Dog & Cat

Cat kneading is very much akin to what you imagine, like a baker kneading dough, they push with their front paws alternating between the left and right. Many people also refer to this as “making biscuits or muffins” furthering the analogy to that of a baker. But why do cats perform this action? Well, as you’re about to find out, for a variety of reasons.

It Starts as Kitten…

Cats begin kneading before they even open their eyes, they do this while nursing on their mother in order to stimulate the mammary glands and encourage lactation. The action of kneading which begins as instinct produces a series of positive result, namely food and comfort! This instinctual and purposeful action from kitten-hood then tends to carry into adulthood.

Because They Love You…

What starts off as simple necessity for food, grows into for many felines as a display of content, happiness, and comfort.  Therefore if your cat kneads

you constantly, this is simply your kitty showing their love for you. It many ways you should feel honored to have your cat’s nails digging into you, because they have marked you as their human.

It’s a Nice Stretch…

We’ve all witnessed our cat’s on one of their extended stretch breaks but did you know that kneading is also a form of this? Kneading allows cats to stretch the muscles in the paws and forearms. 

It Helps Find a Mate…

Cats also use kneading in their mating rituals to signal receptivity to their potential partners. Cats won’t knead however immediately prior to the act of mating instead the will stand in a posture known as lordosis with their heads down and posteriors raised with the tail to the side.

A Claiming Process…

It has also been shown to play a role in marking territory. Cats possess scent glands on the paw pads that allow them to leave their own personal calling card on whatever they deem worthy.


It goes without kneading to be said that this is just another way that cats are pawesome!

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