Have you ever seen your cat knead? This movement is characterized by an alternated pressing of the front paws into a soft object. If you’re wondering why your feline friend does this, read on below as your Thousand Oaks, CA vet offers a few possibilities.
Kittens knead their mother’s belly while nursing in order to stimulate milk production. It’s very possible that adult cats knead as a sort of remnant behavior from childhood; they may even associate the positive feelings of contentment and warmth experienced during the nursing period with the sensation of kneading.
Your cat’s paws contain scent glands, and scents are released into the object that is kneaded. In this way, your cat is marking her territory. If she kneads your leg, she may be marking you as her own!
You’ve likely seen your cat knead before bedding down for a nap. Experts believe that ancient wildcats kneaded grasses and dirt to soften these areas up for bedding. This too may be a instinctual behavior passed down from your cat’s ancestors.
Of course, all cats are different. Ask your veterinarian Thousand Oaks, CA for specifics on your cat’s behavior, mannerisms, and vocalizations.