Why Do Cats Knead?

Did you ever wonder… why do cats knead you like a lump of bread dough?  No, it’s nothing to do with your flabbiness… puss isn’t a confused little baker.  Here’s the scoop:

Some folks have trouble with this behavior.  Those claws can be sharp on your leg.  But we strongly recommend against declawing.  A scratching post is a much better option, and you can always clip the cat’s claws, if you are careful.

Why do cats kneadThe PetMD web site has a good article on the subject, as well.   Here’s what they have to say about why cats knead:

If your cat is curled up and kneading your lap while you’re petting him, he’s returning the affection and telling you he loves you right back. Unfortunately, this can be quite painful, since the happier he is, the harder he’ll dig in with his sharp nails. Try placing a thick, soft barrier between the cat and your lap, or gently place him on his back and pet his belly if it gets too intense. However, do not punish your cat for this behavior – he doesn’t realize it hurts. To better ensure the comfort of both you and your cat, make a habit of keeping his nails trimmed, or invest in nail guards to cover your cat’s nails.

How do you cope with your kitty’s “kneads”?  Got any “kneady” cat stories of your own?  Share them in the comments, below!

One thought on “Why Do Cats Knead?

  1. We have a 4-ish month old kitten (at least part Siamese) that is a little high strung, and since there have been lots of changes at our house since he was adopted (with a gal-pal for company in addition to us) he will frequently de-stress himself in the bathroom. The rugs on the floor in front of the sink and in front of the toilet are apparently great for “making biscuits.” This is his favorite thing ever (other than maybe food) and he will purr very loudly when he does it. He also doesn’t like to be alone, so if someone goes into the bathroom they can expect to hear him crying at the door to come in. If that someone decides to let him in, he will make biscuits under their feet and most likely jump into and curl up in any dropped pants. Our other kitten on the other hand, you have to be careful if she follows you into the bathroom as she has now jumped into the toilet (thankfully when it was clean) at least three times already.


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