cat portrait

Why Do Cats Knead?

Why Do Cats Knead?

Why Do Cats Knead? Because the process resembles kneading dough, it’s also known as “making biscuits.”

While not all cats knead, it is a typical activity among both young and old cats. When cats are petted, they may knead and purr blissfully, but they may also do so for no apparent reason.

Cats have their own kneading styles, with some never using their claws and others using all four paws.

An orange tabby cat stretching on a yellow blanket, blurred background depth of field

There are a variety of theories about why cats “make biscuits.”

Some of the more prominent explanations regarding why cats knead their people and particular items are included below.

Why Cats Knead Blankets and Other Soft Objects


While nursing from their mother, kittens begin to knead. A nursing kitten kneads its mother’s milk production to assist encourage it. But why do they keep kneading after they’ve stopped nursing?

Two Ragdoll cats small kittens portrait at home

Your cat may be found kneading blankets, teddy animals, or other soft objects throughout the house.

Even though kneading a soft surface does not produce milk, adult cats will always identify the satisfying comfort of nursing with the activity of kneading.

Why Cats Knead Their Owners

What if your cat like kneading people, namely you? If your cat is snuggled up in your lap, kneading it while you pet him, he is reciprocating the affection and expressing his love for you.

Portrait of tabby cat biting and scratching owner's hand

Unfortunately, this may be rather painful, as the happier he is, the deeper his sharp nails will dig in.

Never scold your cat for this behavior since he has no idea how much it bothers him.

A beautiful tabby cat is lying on a woman's lap. A girl holds a fluffy pet in her arms.

Between your cat and your lap, try putting up a thick, soft barrier.

Man Shearing Cat's Claws at Home. Trimming Cat Nails.

Make it a practice to maintain your cat’s nails cut with nail clippers or get nail guards to cover your cat’s nails to ensure your comfort and that of your cat.

Kneading to Stretch Their Muscles

Norwegian forest cat stretching

Cats are natural yoga masters who enjoy stretching out all the kinks from snoozing. Consider how fantastic it feels to grab a surface and pull against it if you have sore shoulders.

Kneading their paws is one of the numerous ways cats stay in shape until their next slumber.

Kneading to Mark What’s Theirs


Cats are territorial animals, and one of the ways they protect their territory is by scent-marking their possessions.

They activate the smell glands in their delicate paw pads by kneading their paws on the surface of something (yes, including you) and therefore brand that item as theirs.

Looking for Potential Mates

Higland straight and fold kittens lying together, looking at the camera, isolated on white

Kneading is also done by female cats for another purpose. While resting on their side, they may purr, stretch, and knead the air to signal male cats that they might approach for prospective mating.

If they’re ready to mate right away, they won’t knead their paws and instead elevate their pelvis with their tail to one side. While these are some of the more prominent hypotheses regarding why cats knead, they surely do not cover all of the possibilities.

Wet cat in the bath. Funny cat.

Kneading is a normal, innate, and typical cat behavior, whether your cat is preparing biscuits to show you affection or to claim you as their own.


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