Cat Kneading Behavior Explained

You’ve probably seen your cat knead before—this movement is characterized by a gentle alternated pressing of the front paws into a soft object, like a blanket or pillow. Ever wonder why you cat does this? Your Greenwood, IN vet fills you in below.

Napping Prep

Cats often knead before napping. Many experts believe that this is a behavioral trait passed down from generations before; it’s likely that the ancient wild cats of old kneaded grass or dirt spots in order to make them softer before bedding down.

Territory Marking

Did you know that your cat’s paw pads contain scent glands? When the paws are pressed into an object, scents are released. In this way, your cat is marking his territory. Your cat may be marking his bed, a pillow, or your leg as his own!

Nursing Instinct

Kittens often knead their mother’s belly during nursing; it’s believed to stimulate milk production in the mother. Experts theorize that adult cats may knead as a sort of remnant behavior from childhood; they may even be reminded of the contentment and warmth of nursing when they knead!

Would you like more insight into your cat’s behavior? Call your veterinarians Greenwood, IN.