Kneading involves an alternated pressing motion of the two front paws into a soft object, such as a blanket, pillow, or you! Have you ever seen your cat do this and wondered what’s behind the behavior? Here, your Mt. Pleasant, SC vet tells you about a few possibilities.
Your cat’s paw pads contain scent glands. When the paws are pressed into an object, your cat is marking that area as her own. When she kneads her bedding or your leg, she’s marking out her territory!
Kittens tend to knead the mother’s belly during the nursing period; this maneuver is believed to stimulate milk production in the mother cat. Some experts believe that for adult cats, the motion of kneading reminds them of the feelings of contentment and warmth associated with the nursing period.
It’s likely that the wild ancestors of our domesticated cats kneaded grass or dirt in the outback in order to soften it up for napping. Many believe that modern cats perform kneading as a sort of “remnant” trait passed down from generations of old.
Would you like more information on your cat’s behavior patterns? Contact your vet in Mt. Pleasant, SC.