You may wonder why cats knead, and you might be wondering why they do it. Usually, cats knead when they feel content, secure, and comfortable. However, a few other reasons may also explain why cats knead. These include: Marking their territory, breaking in new claws, or just feeling good. Regardless of the reason, cats knead for many reasons.
Creating a nest
If your cat loves to knead, try to redirect its attention to a different object. Alternatively, remove the source of kneading and distract the cat with a toy or treat. Once the behavior is redirected, you can reward the cat with a treat or move them to the appropriate area. If kneading is still an issue, consider using Feliway products or pheromone spray to encourage your cat to knead on the correct surface.
In the wild, cats knead to soften objects and check for predators. Female cats knead to attract male cats during mating season. The behavior can be a sign of discomfort or a problem in the environment. If your cat is kneading on the ground, try putting some grass in the nest. This will encourage the male cat to approach.
Marking their territory
Cats knead to create an even more comfortable nest. While the act is not painful, it can be strenuous for the kitty’s joints, especially those in the arm and shoulder area. Another purpose for kneading is to mark their territory. Cats have scent glands in the pads on their paws, and they may be marking their territory when they knead things such as pillows and blankets.
A cat’s instincts require an outlet, and if it is not neutered or spayed, it will use kneading as a way to communicate with other cats. For female cats, it may signal their readiness to mate. In addition to communicating a readiness to mate, kneading may also provide your kitty with a great workout, stretching out his or her paws after a long nap.
Breaking in new claws
When cats knead, they are firmly establishing their territory. Cats use their paws to break down patches of grass, activate scent glands, and warn other animals to back off. They do this when they are in heat or in oestrus. They may also be overly vocal or display other behavior that suggests they are feeling safe, such as begging for their owner to take them outside.
While cats’ kneading behavior can be uncomfortable for many cat owners, it is perfectly normal and will stop if you redirect their behavior. If you’ve ever had a cat that constantly pawed your hands or feet, you may want to try rewarding them with a treat or toy. Additionally, you can try using Feliway products or pheromone spray to entice your cat to knead on appropriate surfaces.
Showing they love you
Cats often knead to show affection and comfort. You can take advantage of this instinct by picking up your cat whenever they are kneading you. Try to redirect their attention with a treat or a toy. If your cat continues to knead you, give them a fuss. Also, consider trimming your cat’s nails every ten to fourteen days. Feliway products and pheromone sprays can be used to encourage kneading on appropriate surfaces.
While most cats knead to show affection, this act has another purpose as well. A cat may knead on your lap as a way to mark its territory. Like humans, cats have sweat glands on their paws, and by rubbing their paws together they are leaving a scent. It is important to trim your cat’s nails regularly to ensure they do not irritate your skin.