Do Cats Really “Knead” Their Owners?

What is kneading?

Kneading is the motion of rhythmically pawing (and alternating paws) on a soft surface. Not every cat kneads the same way; some use their claws and some don’t protract them at all. Most cats knead only with their front paws but some do use all four when kneading.

Why does my cat knead?

The act of kneading starts at birth, as kittens knead their mother to help stimulate milk production. If your cat is in your lap enjoying your attention and affection, it is said that kneading is their way of showing you affection, not trying to hurt you.

Can my cat’s kneading be a way to mark their territory?

Yes. Cats are very territorial creatures by nature. By kneading or pawing on softer surfaces, they are activating a scent gland located on the inside of their soft pads on their front paws.

To summarize, your cat kneads you, not necessarily to claim you as their own, but because they appreciate your affection and are giving it in return.

Written by: Sara Currie, Client Care Specialist



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