Do you have a kneady cat? Most of us do, and the act of “making biscuits” is completely normal feline behaviour.
Also known as kneading, cats making biscuits is the rhythmic back-and-forth of paws pressing against a soft object like a blanket, sweater, or human lap. It’s adorable to watch, because it looks like our cat has turned into a little, fluffy baker that kneads dough!
Here are a few reasons why cats make biscuits.
Kittens knead their mothers to stimulate milk production. Because there’s such comfort in that memory, adult cats may instinctually repeat this behaviour, even though they are way beyond weaned.
Before cats were domesticated, they would create a soft place to keep in the wild. They’d do this by kneading, or flattening, the grass around them.
Cats leave their scents on things and people they consider theirs. Kneading allows cats to release pheromones that are stored inside special scent glands located in the paws.
Stretching and staying limber is healthy for our bodies – and our cats too. Kneading is a great stretch and cats may be doing it for just that reason.
Happy cats appear to knead to show pleasure. Cats often knead while being petted, or when snuggling in a napping spot. Your cat may also knead on your lap to show their love and contentment, and then settle in for a pat or cat nap.
While kneading, cats sometimes keep their claws retracted and other times they do not – ouch! Don’t ever punish your cat for kneading, even if their claws are digging into you. Instead, place a blanket or towel between you and the paws or shift the kitty to a different location with a soft object on which to knead. You can also reduce the pain by keeping your cat’s nails trimmed.
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