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Why Do Cats Knead The Bed

Can You Stop Your Cat Kneading

Why Do Cats Knead?

The short answer is that you cant. Cats knead when theyre happy it is part of their feline personality and its meant as a compliment!

So it might be worth considering putting a thick blanket on your lap the next time your furry pal decides to come for a cuddle!

Its important to remember that cats are unique and each cat will knead for very different reasons but, rest assured, this is a completely natural behaviour.

Why Do Cats Get Attached To One Person

Trusting one human being is difficult enough for many cats trusting more than one is overwhelming. But there are other possible explanations why some cats attach to only one person. It could be the individuals manners, voice or simply how that how that person treats the cat, says writer Tristan Andrews.

They’re Showing You They Care

Often when cats knead, it’s to show how content and happy they are. Have you ever noticed how your cat kneads your lap after you’ve given them a rather satisfactory petting session? They may be;”petting” you back.;;

Unfortunately, this can be a painful experience, as some cats use their sharp nails in the kneading process. It may be instinct for you to scold your cat for inflicting pain on you, but try not to. Your cat does not realize that kneading is a painful situation for you.

Opt for nail guards or routine nail trims to keep your cat’s loving kneading bearable for your lap.

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Why Cats Knead Their Owners

What if your cat likes to knead peoplenamely, you? If your cat is curled up and kneading your lap while youre petting him, hes returning the affection and telling you he loves you right back.

Unfortunately, this can be quite painful, since the happier he is, the harder hell dig in with his sharp nails. Never punish your cat for this behaviorhe doesn’t realize it hurts.

Try placing a thick, soft barrier between your cat and your lap. To better ensure the comfort of both you and your cat, make a habit of keeping your cat’s nails trimmed with;nail clippers, or invest in nail guards to cover your cat’s nails.

What Do You Do If Your Cat Kneads In Your Lap Or Some Piece Of Clothing

Why Do Cats Knead?

Your cat kneading could be an expression of contentment or force of habit. But if your cat has a tendency of kneading a soft piece of clothing or your lap, you can end up with torn clothes or scratches on your legs!

Here are a few tips on how to protect yourself and your clothes from the effects of cat kneading:

; a) ; Ensure that you have your cats claws trimmed regularly.

; b) ; Train her accordingly. You can achieve this by moving it gently away from your lap whenever it starts kneading. If you do this in a gentle fashion , then it will get used to kneading away from your lap.

; c) ; Distract it from kneading. If the kneading is frequent, you can distract your cat by giving it a toy to play with.

; d) ; Allow the cat to sit on your lap after covering your lap with a thick blanket. That way, your cat can knead away to its hearts content without inflicting any injuries on you!

What Does It Mean When a Cat Kneads on Blanket, my Stomach, my Hair, ..? 4 Reasons

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Why Do Cats Knead Explaining Cat Kneading A Quirky Cat Behavior

Why do cats knead? Cats are interesting creatures, with many traits and behaviors that are easily recognized as being uniquely feline; the way they curl up tightly to take a nap, for example, or their characteristic grooming rituals after enjoying a meal. Cat kneading is another common feline behavior. The kneading is;a motion cats make by pushing in and out with their paws, alternating between right and left. Some cats knead with claws completely retracted, while others will extend their claws as they push in and retract as they pull back. So, why do cats knead? Lets take a look.

Why Do Cats Knead Blankets

One hypothesis as to why cats knead is because it is reminiscent of their days as a kitten. If you’ve ever seen kittens nursing, you will see this same rhythmic behavior in your adult cat. A kitten will latch on to mom and knead with both paws as they nurse. This helps to stimulate the mother’s production of milk. To put it simply, your cat is acting on instinct.

Milk contains hormones and growth factors that contain trace amounts of oxytocin, but as stated through research, these levels drop off quite rapidly immediately after the first few days of nursing. Instead, science suggests that the act of sucking in newborns releases oxytocin:

“In calves, the act of sucking at the udder is associated with a rise in oxytocin levels but not when drinking/lapping milk from a bucket. This effect is caused by activation of sensory nerves in the oral mucosa during sucking.”

Therefore, if you find your cat kneading blankets, soft surfaces, you, or even stuffed animals or other pets in the house, they are doing so because the familiar motion of kneading and nursing actives the pleasure center of their nervous system. And, if your cat purrs as they do this, this doubly indicates that they are content.

Kneading is an indication that your cat is happy.

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Why Do Cats Turn Around Before Lying Down

Cats, unlike humans, rarely just plop down in bed. They spend a lot of time preparing their bed before snuggling in for the night.;Sleepy cats turn around in circles and do a kind of a dance before going to sleep. This bedtime ritual is a bit compulsive and sleep evades them until they complete their nightly dance routine

Why Do Cats Knead Or Massage Their Human Owners Pillows Blanketseverything

Why Do Cats Knead?

Cats are curious creatures that are often misunderstood by their pet parents. For example, one specific activity brings immeasurable joy to all felines, but not so much to their owners. Were talking about kneading, or massaging as some diplomatically call it.

Cats can knead on anything furniture, pillows, blankets,; and humans. Youve probably seen it all. Unfortunately, this often results in unpleasant scratch marks. Some people call this activity clawing or needling.

A cats soft kneading motions always involve the front paws, but some cats will use all four.

When felines knead, you can often see the sheer pleasure they get the way they luxuriously stretch and purr loudly are hints that this is the best thing ever. Some cats seem to enjoy this activity even more than playing with their favorite cat toys.

Of course, if your arm is the object of their affections, you may have a different view of the behavior.

Cats can knead on any type of soft surface, including:

  • Sheets and blankets
  • Clothes
  • Their owners

Below, well cover the reasons why cats knead their pet parents, but first, well focus on why theyre doing it on other surfaces.

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Does Every Cat Knead

Kneading is a typical, perfectly normal cat behavior, but not every cat does it. You have nothing to worry about if your cat does or doesnt knead; its just part of what makes them a unique feline individual.

Final Thoughts

Why do cats knead? Thats the question I set out to answer in this article.

Nobody really knows for sure why our feline friends perform this adorable behavior.

Still, the most common theory is that it carries over from an instinctive nursing behavior seen in kittens.

All of the theories agree that if your cat is kneading you, its a sign of affection, trust, and happiness.

If kneading is a painful experience for you, dont punish your kitty friend for doing what comes naturally.

Instead, place something over your legs to stop your cats claws from hurting you, or do something to divert your cats attention elsewhere.

Thanks for reading cat lovers!


  • Fuller, M 2012,;Why Does My Cat Knead Me?, Vet Street, viewed 5 July 2021, <http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/why-does-my-cat-knead-me>.
  • Johnson-Bennett, P n.d.,;How Cats Use Scent Communication, Cat Behavior Associates, viewed 5 July 2021, <https://catbehaviorassociates.com/how-cats-use-scent-communication/>.
  • Llera, R n.d.,;Why Cats Turn Around Before Lying Down, VCA, viewed 5 July 2021, <https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/why-cats-turn-around-before-lying-down>.

Why do cats knead? Share your cat kneading experiences below!

Cat Kneading: Why Do Cats Knead

Many cats begin kneading as kittens during the nursing phase and will continue throughout their entire lives for comfort, to soothe, and to mark their territory.

Some attachment theorists think that cats who knead as adults were separated from their mothers too early, and this act soothes them when they feel anxious.

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If Your Cat Kneads You

It’s a form of feline flattery when Kitty kneads you; she’s saying she loves you. But it’s hard to feel flattered when your cat’s bared claws are digging into your lap. Some cats sheath their claws while kneading, but if yours doesn’t, keep her nails trimmed so she can safely continue to let you know that you’re her favorite place to contentedly rest. Or fold a thick towel and place it on your lap so Kitty can perch there and knead away, sparing your favorite jeans. If the cat’s kneading is too bothersome for you, encourage her to sit elsewhere to knead. Never punish a cat for kneading, a natural, instinctive activity that brings her only enjoyment.

Getting A Stretch Out Of It

Why Do Cats Knead And Bite Blankets

Cats love to stretch, before or after snoozes especially. Our kitties have a unique musculoskeletal system that needs to stay in condition by exercising and getting a good stretch out.

They may use kneading to exercise the muscles in their paws, forelegs, and back and relieve any soreness they might feel there. Your cat may also be doing this just because it feels good. Like humans, it is ideal to have a surface of some type to stretch again. This might be you, or your sofa or other furniture in the house.

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Why Do Cats Sleep So Much

Cats have a reputation for enjoying a good snooze. Our feline friends are focused on sleep, so they repeat this bedding ritual frequently. They circle round and round before lying down for a good nap. And cats are really good nappers, sleeping from 12 to 16 hours a day. And not just old, tired cats sleep a lot. Even young, healthy cats sleep for two-thirds of the day. Time in bed may be affected occasionally by the weather, hunger pangs, cramped muscles, or an ailing joint, but regardless of these interruptions, cats love to sleep.

“Domestic cats may not hunt, but their sleep-centered lifestyle has not changed much over the generations.”

The feline tendency to sleep is inherited from generations of ancestors. When living in the wild, a cats survival depended on her ability to hunt. If the hunt was successful, the cat slept for a long time after a filling meal, much as humans take a nap after eating loads of Thanksgiving turkey. If the hunt was unsuccessful, wild cats would conserve much needed energy by snoozing. So, naps were important either way. Domestic cats may not hunt, but their sleep-centered lifestyle has not changed much over the generations.

Do Cats Circle Before Sleep For Survival

There are many possible explanations for the circling ritual cats perform prior to lying down for a nap. One theory is that cats circle around and tightly coil their bodies to conserve body heat. Cats in the wild could not control the climate by turning the thermostat up, so when the weather was cold, they wound their bodies into tight balls to stay warm. The tighter the tuck, the warmer the cat. In addition, other family members gathered together in a tight circle to effectively share body heat by compacting their bodies together.

Likewise, wild cats in hotter climates could not turn the thermostat down, so to make a cooler bed they scratched at the ground to clear away topsoil and grass that retained and radiated the suns warmth. Removing the topsoil and grass exposed the cooler soil underneath and gave the sleepy cat some relief from the heat. So, in cold or hot climates, cats optimized a biological reason for turning around before bedding down.

Cats in the wild were constantly on guard for predators. They positioned themselves in the most advantageous manner to keep a close watch on their environment. They circled until they positioned themselves according to wind patterns that would allow them to quickly pick up on the scent of an intruder. Cats traveled in packs, so they placed alpha cats on the outside of a family circle protecting the young and aged.

“Cats effectively created a safe place to sleep by circling and making a bed.”

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Male Cats Kneading Behavior

Male cats often knead when they are about to mate, its a kind of ritual they like to follow. And, this where the habit of aggressive kneading emerges.

As far as neutered male cat aggressive kneading is concerned, its just a policy backfire.

We usually neuter male cats so to lower their testosterone, and consequently, stop them from showing lewd behaviour in the house.;;; ;

Sexual frustration leads them to be aggressive in their own style. They might attack relatively softer muscles of your body i.e. shoulders of a woman etc. ;This aggressivemale cats kneadingbehavior actually emerges from low testosterone levels.

You might want to stop neutering them for a while, so their testosterone levels rise back to normal.

What Does It Mean When A Cat Kneads You And Purrs

The Real Reason Why Cats Knead

When a cat kneads or “makes biscuits,” it’s nothing short of adorable. They often find the softest blanket around and will knead to their heart’s content as if in a daze. They will purr, stare off at a wall or the object of their affection, maybe even pick the blanket up in their mouth , and really get into “the zone.”

This behavior communicates to most owners that their feline companion is content and feeling lovey; it often indicates, too, that a cat is setting up a bed or soft spot to relax, to clean themselves, or to simply nap. It’s adorable! Still, this behavior is rather cryptic. It can also be out of character for your otherwise spunky, confident, loud, excitable cat, to suddenly make biscuits like they are ready to cuddle. Find out where this funny feline behavior comes from, why they do it, and if it means your cat is happy, relaxed, or if they are simply acting on instinct.

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Overall Level Of Sociability

Even cats who are incredibly sociable will still sometimes be incredibly particular and not want to knead everyone they love interacting with.

Some cats can be very choosy about who theyll knead, and not at all choosy about who they spend time hanging out and having fun with.

Again, keep in mind that cats dont always choose to knead on every person they genuinely like. They may choose to show their affection to different people in different ways.

What Does A Pet Cat’s Sleep Preparation Ritual Look Like

Even though our domestic cats usually live indoors and no longer have to worry about predators or inclement weather, they still perform the sleeping ritual of their ancestors. Cat lovers may consider this bedtime routine highly amusing.

House cats will often begin the nesting procedure by slowly walking around in a tight circle. Some cats knead the rug, bed, or sofa as they march around. Kneading is an activity performed by kittens while nursing to communicate with their mother and to increase milk flow. Kneading is sign of security and soothes adult cats as well kittens, so it is often included in the bedtime ritual.

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Your Experiences With Cats Kneading Humans

What are your experiences with cats kneading humans?

Have any of your cats ever kneaded a human in your household? Has your cat ever kneaded you?

If your cat doesnt knead you or anyone in your household does he or she knead at all? If your cat kneads humans, how often?

And do some people in your household get kneaded more frequently than others? Is anyone in the household excluded from being kneaded altogether?

Would love to hear your theories about cats kneading selectively in the comments down below!

Dig KittyClysm? Check out all the other blogs I pen & photograph.

Elises Favourite Tip

One of the most frustrating problems Ive had to deal with as a pet parent is staying on top of my cats desire to play. While this is typically hard to do, toys like these that allow cats to play by themselves make the job one heck of a lot easier.

The hits in my household are ridiculously affordable: cat springs, ball track toys, &kick sticks. I have a slew scattered around the house, so when my cats get bored, even if Im busy or not even home, my furries are able to actively play.

Does Your Cat Has Pica

Why Do Cats Use Their Claws When They Knead?

Cats that have never shown signs of biting blankets or other fabrics, might be using this behavior as an attempt to self-soothe. If youve been away from home for longer, or if your interaction with your cat has changed perhaps your cat is feeling anxious or bored. Even though cats try to act cool, they love routine. Small changes might make your kitty feel neglected or like like their world is falling apart.

If you find your cat biting and sucking on materials that are unhealthy especially plastic, or synthetic fabrics, it might be a sign of an underlying medical problem called pica. According to Arnold Plotnick, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the ACVIM, cats with unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms and a history of eating unusual objects should be examined right away.

Next time you find your cat biting their blanket make sure theyre not in fact eating it. With fluffy and fuzzy blankets, it could easily go unnoticed. I remember finding one of my cats biting and sucking on my leather purse, unfortunately, or thankfully, I discovered the missing pieces in the litterbox the next day but I still went to get the all-clear from my veterinarian.

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