Why Do Cats Knead?

Have you ever seen your cat knead? Kneading is when a cat presses the front paws into a soft object in an alternated fashion. Experts believe there may be several reasons why cats do this—learn more here from a Montgomery, TX vet.


It’s possible that the wild cats of old, which our domesticated feline friends evolved from, used kneading as a way of softening up grass or dirt to nap on. This may explain why cats often seem to knead before settling down for a nap.

Nursing Instincts

Kittens tend to knead their mother’s belly while nursing; it’s believed that this stimulates the production of milk. Adult cats may knead as a sort of “remnant” behavior, and they likely associate the motion with positive feelings of contentment and comfort experienced during the nursing stage.

Territorial Behavior

Did you know that your cat’s paw pads contain scent glands? Scents are released when your cat kneads an object, thereby marking that object as your cat’s own. In this manner, cats may mark pillows, their bed, or even their owners by kneading!

Do you have further questions about your cat’s behavior? Call your Montgomery, TX animal hospital to find out more.

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