Some cats are oftentimes seen engaging in a rhythmic motion of pushing their paws back and forth on a soft surface, which is referred to as “kneading.” This behavior is not universal across all cats and can be distinctive among cats (“Why Do Cats Knead?, n.d.). The exact reason behind this behavior is a mystery, but there are a few explanations to rationalize this behavior (Castro, 2013).
- Kittens knead their mother while nursing to stimulate milk flow. This behavior may be carried on into adulthood when cats are feeling happy, associating kneading with the comfort of its mother (Castro, 2013).
- Cats may be marking their territories with their scent (“Why Do Cats Knead?, n.d.).
- Female cats knead as a mating signal to males (“Why Do Cats Knead?, n.d.).
- Kneading is a form of stretching (“Why Do Cats Knead?, n.d.).
Regardless of the reason why cats knead, we can all agree that they are super cute when they do so!
Castro, J. (2013, October 18). Why Do Cats Knead? Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/40548-why-do-cats-knead.html
Why Do Cats Knead? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.petmd.com/cat/behavior/evr_ct_why_do_cats_knead