1. Spotlight
  2. Cat Behavior

What is cat kneading?

When cats feel comfortable, some of them make these kneading movements with their paws – the same movements you would make when kneading a ball of dough. This behavior looks super adorable, and if you ever came across your cat ‘making biscuits’, you will definitely remember.

Flashback to kittenhood

Kneading is instinctual behavior in cats, since even newborn kitties know how to do it. Kittens knead their mom’s teats when nursing to stimulate the flow of milk. It is said that adult cats replicate these movements when they feel comfortable and are reminded of their mom’s soothing presence.

Kittens knead their mom’s teats

Happy cats

Cats may simply knead to show they are comfy, cozy, and happy. After all, cats can mostly be found making biscuits in a warm, soft spot while purring loudly. If you are extremely lucky, your cat might even knead in your lap. While this is a true honor, things can get a little painful when your cat shows you their love while they have their nails out. Give those razor-sharp claws a trim to resolve the issue.

Soft sleeping spot

Have you ever noticed how dogs tend to turn around in circles before they decide on how they want to lay down on their dog bed? Kneading could very well be the cat equivalent of this behavior. Did you know that our cat’s ancestors would knead tall grass to turn it into a soft sleeping spot? Our contemporary cats probably do exactly the same, only kneading their basket rather than some green leaves.

Soft sleeping spot

Territorial behavior

When it comes to marking their territory, cats rely on scents. While dogs will urinate to let other dogs now this spot belongs to them, one of the ways cats spread their scent is through the paw pads on the soles of their feet. So, by kneading on your lap, your cat is letting others know that you belong to them. How sweet!