Here’s Why Your Cat Kneads All The Time

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You might have noticed that your cat often pushes their paws in and out against a soft surface, but what makes this motion so puzzling is that no one really knows why cats are so enthusiastic when it comes to kneading. Moreover, owners find it strange that different cats move their paws in different ways and some don’t knead at all. However, if your cat loves to ‘makes biscuits,’ don’t worry: kneading is a perfectly normal behavior for both young and adult cats.

Though there is not one definitive answer as to why cats knead, there are various theories that try to explain this behavior. Here’ are the most common theories about kneading:

1. CATS KNEAD BECAUSE THEY ARE HAPPY

Kneading is a soothing, relaxing activity for cats and most experts agree that they get those cute paws moving when they are content. We don’t know what aspect of kneading they find most enjoyable, but it seems that they are really happy when making those biscuits.

2. …OR BECAUSE THEY WANT TO MAKE A COMFY SLEEPING SPOT

Most cat owners report that their furballs get busy with their paws before going to sleep and the explanation for this would definitely be that they want to make a super soft, comfy bed for themselves. This is something their wild ancestors did and it appears that our domestic cats aren’t willing to let go of that favorite activity (though their ancestors also made sure nothing was hiding beneath the soft grass by kneading).

3. CATS KNEAD BECAUSE THEY ARE KITTENS AT HEART

Cats start kneading at a very young age in order to stimulate their mom’s milk production with their tiny paws. And they never stop kneading. Apparently, they associate this movement with their mothers and the joys of nursing. Who knows, maybe cats perceive their humans as their moms?

4. …OR BECAUSE THEY WANT TO MARK THEIR TERRITORY

As you might know, cats have scent glands on their paws, so kneading may be a way to leave their scent on their territory. Yes, you are also theirs.

5. CATS KNEAD BECAUSE THEY LOVE US

When you’re petting your precious cat, they will often start kneading your lap, meaning they want to show you that they like what you are doing and that they love you. It’s basically their way of saying ‘I love you too.’ Moreover, it seems that the happier they are, the harder they’ll work those paws of theirs, which can often be painful. In order to enjoy your cat’s kneading, place something soft between your cat and your lap or pet their belly.

We may never know for sure why cats take such pleasure in kneading, but one thing’s for sure: when they start working their magic, they are happy and feel safe. They love us and want to show us that they care and maybe even think of us as their giant, non-feline moms, so cherish those special moments with your cat and never punish them for a behavior that is perfectly normal for them.

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