Have you ever wondered why your cat kneads on the blanket or bed?
Aside from kneading being an innate behavior your cat expressed as a kitten with its mother, it is probably also setting things right before hitting the bed. After all, a flat area offers a more comfortable seat to rest. Undoubtedly, kneading is one of the adorable things cats do, and they enjoy doing it too. They often purr while kneading and can be so engrossed in the activity that it might be hard to get their attention. But why else do they knead?
Before we delve into that, a fact worth quoting here is not all cats knead using the same technique. For instance, some kitties keep their claws in, and others might use four paws instead of just their front two paws for kneading. While cats knead to show pleasure, love, and contentment, they can also obsessively knead when stressed.
Watch your cat’s conduct and take it to the vet for examination if you suspect there is something else at play. Pet insurance for catshelps with unplanned vet costs for physical health issues, so you don’t need to fret about fat medical bills. Consider buying cat insurance so behavioral issues like compulsive kneading resulting from underlying physical problems can be resolved with the help of early medical intervention.
Meanwhile, read this article to learn common reasons why cats knead.
Kitties press their paws rhythmically into soft objects like blankets, beds, clothes, another cat’s body, or your lap; this motion is known as “kneading”. Young kittens all the way through to adulthood display this cute habit when being petted, snuggling into a napping spot, or as a stress-relieving response.
1. To get milk from the mother cat
Young kittens are nursed by their mothers. They knead into the mother cat’s belly to stimulate the milk flow. This is something they instinctively know after birth. This early habit can be carried into their growing years to adulthood as they relate kneading to feelings of warmth and comfort.
People believe some kittens who are weaned early or have suffered separation from mother cats will knead more than baby cats who haven’t experienced the same. But this isn’t entirely true, as kittens who have spent much time with their mothers during their growing years also show such behavior in adulthood.
Remember that a cat’s paws harbor scent glands. It can knead to scent mark the territories it feels rightly belong to it. So, your cat might knead to advertise its feelings of peace and contentment or to mark resources (be it a place, person, or animal) and claim ownership.
3. Getting ready to sleep
Wild cats made their beds soft and comfy when it was time to sleep or give birth. So, they would knead on tall grasses and leaves to create a warm spot or probably to check for unwanted creatures in the leaves and pick them out. Your domestic cat has no need for making the bed before napping; still, its instincts may overpower its current needs.
4. Release stress and anxiety
Cats stretch to release tensions. Kneading usually has a calming effect on the mind and boosts its morale on a bad day. Like how humans stretch their muscles to avoid body stiffness, cats do the same for similar reasons.
Don’t discourage kneading because your feline’s claws damage the furniture while at it. INstead divert them to a cat tree or scratch pad. Also, don’t consider declawing – this is cruel and illegal in most countries; you can trim its nails instead. Talk to your vet if you suspect something is not right with your cat’s behavior. Sometimes physical health issues can unknowingly translate into behavioral problems.
Pet insurance for cats helps with the diagnosis and treatment of potential health issues contributing to the behavioral problems. Consider purchasing cat insurance to minimize unanticipated pet health expenditures without having to compromise on providing access to quality medical help.