Why Do Cats Knead?

Kneading is characterized by the alternated pressing of the paws into a soft surface. Have you ever seen your cat do this and wondered what the behavior is all about? Below, your Vancouver, BC tells you about some of the possibilities.

Remnant Napping Instinct

Experts believe that the wild cats of ancient times kneaded grass in order to make soft bedding spots for themselves. It’s possible that these traits were passed on to our domesticated cats, who knead surfaces before they lay down for a nap.

Remnant Nursing Instinct

Did you know that kittens knead their mother’s belly while nursing in order to stimulate milk production? Adult cats may knead as a sort of remnant behavior from their childhood, and likely associate positive feelings like contentment and comfort with the process of kneading.

Scent Marking

Cats’ paws contain various scent glands, and scents are released when a cat presses the paws into an object. In this way, kneading may serve as scent-marking behavior. If your cat kneads your leg, she may be marking you as her own!

Do you have further questions about your feline friend’s behavior or care regimen? Contact your Vancouver, BC animal hospital for compassionate veterinary care.

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