According to PetMD, kneading is the motion felines make by moving their front paws in and out rhythmically on a soft, pliable object or surface. Also known as “biscuit-making”, kneading is a common behaviour for kittens and adult cats. Here are some popular theories that can explain the kneading behaviour of your cat.
It stems from kitten behaviour! The most popular theory states that “making biscuit” is a leftover behaviour from kittenhood. Cats know instinctively to knead the mother’s belly to stimulate milk secretion. Most cats will continue to knead as adults and they supposedly will knead when they feel happy and relaxed. This is because they associate the motion with the comforting feelings of nursing. Another theory proposes that kneading harks back to when cats are wild and used a similar motion to make their beds out of the leaves or tall grass. They could make a comfortable bed for giving birth or sleeping by kneading the ground.
On the other hand, kneading may just be another way for your cat to mark her territory. Scent glands are found in the bottoms of her paws and these glands are activated when she kneads a surface. Read more:
Our feline friends are natural yoga masters! According to PetMD, kneading could be as simple as a stretch. They might just be working out the kinks left over from napping. Read more: Why Does My Cat Bite Me
If your feline friend kneads you while you’re petting her, she is probably “petting” you back. Some people believe that cats knead to give us affection. Unfortunately, their love can be quite painful sometimes as it involves claws. The happier your cat is, the harder she’ll poke your lap with her sharp nails. If your cat’s nails are trimmed, the kneading won’t be so painful. Read more: Signs Your Cat Loves You