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Why Do Cats Knead?

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Wondering if your cat’s constant kneading is normal behavior? The answer is yes, just like purring is normal, kneading is very normal and natural behavior for cats. So why exactly do cats knead?

Kneading is an intrinsic behavior for cats that starts when they are tiny kittens. Kittens knead their mother’s belly to stimulate milk production while nursing. Many cats carry this behavior into adulthood, kneading pillows, blankets, your lap…anything soft that they can get their paws on.

Here are a few more reasons why cats knead:

  • To show their contentment: Relaxed cats will often knead while being pet or while sitting in your lap simply because they are calm and content.
  • To create a resting place: Another theory is that kneading creates a comfortable resting place, the same way dogs turn in circles before lying down.
  • To mark their territory: Cats have glands in their paws and scratching and kneading something leaves their scent behind to mark their territory.

Interested in more cat behaviors? Find out why cats like boxes so much here.

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