Why Cats Knead: 8 Reasons Your Cat Makes Biscuits

Instinctual Behavior

Cats knead as an instinctive action from kittenhood. Kittens knead their mother’s belly to stimulate milk flow, a comforting behavior that often continues into adulthood.

Marking Territory

Cats have scent glands in their paws. Kneading helps them mark their territory by leaving their unique scent on the area, signaling ownership and comfort.

Comfortable Spot

Kneading helps cats create a cozy and soft place to rest. This behavior mimics the wild instinct of pressing down grass or leaves to form a comfortable sleeping area.

Showing Affection

When your cat kneads you, it’s a sign of affection and trust. This behavior indicates that your cat feels safe and comfortable in your presence, similar to how they felt with their mother.

Stretching Muscles

Kneading provides a good stretch for a cat's muscles. This action helps them stay limber and maintain muscle tone, similar to how humans stretch to stay flexible.

Releasing Stress

Kneading can be a soothing activity for cats, helping them relax and reduce stress. The repetitive motion and the release of endorphins during kneading provide a sense of comfort and well-being.

Preparing for Birth

Pregnant cats often knead to prepare a birthing spot. This behavior is part of nesting, where they make a safe and comfortable space for their kittens.

Displaying Contentment

Cats often knead when they are particularly happy and content. If your cat kneads while purring or after eating, it’s a sign they are feeling very satisfied and relaxed.

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