Kneading! It can be a very mysterious (and sometimes annoying) feline behavior. But why do cats do this? Are they really trying to make biscuits? Are they trying to give you a massage? Maybe they’re just marching to an unknown beat? New dance moves? We’ve got your answers!
Kneading is an instinctual habit of all cats. In fact, cats have already picked up the habit of kneading before they have even opened their eyes! The reason? By kneading around their mom cat’s nipple they increase the flow of milk and the ease by which they can suckle. This habit is ingrained in the cat forever! We have raised some kittens without a mom and even then the kittens knead (even though it doesn’t change anything with the bottle) and they continue to knead as adults. So while it does have a physiological foundation it is larger psychological too!
Even with the connection to kittenhood, no one is really sure why cats knead. There are more than a few theories out there:
- The cat was taken from its mother too young! At Bee-Jay Cattery we’ve worked with cats that have grown up with a caring mom cat and lived with their mom cat well into adulthood. And they still needed to knead!
- Kneading reminds cats of the great feelings they had being nustled up next to mom! This may be true. The tricky part with this one…no one cat prove it either way!
- It is an instinctual practice! Some argue that kneading would have allowed cats to push down grass and debris to make a nice bed. Considering that cats even do this while cozying up to you on the bed we think this one may be true.
The bottom line is…cats love to knead and we may never know the exact reason.
With all that being said? How should you interpret your cat kneading you? Simple!
Also, note! That as part of our comprehensive feline matchmaking we do consider whether or not you want a cat that kneads or doesn’t! Just contact us and let us know! Another reason we are the best in Colorado!
Take it as a kitty compliment!