Soft Pink Paws: The Kneading Cat

The Kneading Cat

Ah.  Soft, pink cat paws with their little kitty claws that go in and out.  Don’t you just love it when they press and pull against a soft surface as they purr?  You may ask, what’s this all about?

Well, my fellow cat lover, we call this action kneading.  It’s very endearing and one for the reels.  Here, we’ll show why our feline friends do it and how to deal when it’s too much for you.


WHY IS MY CAT KNEADING?

No one knows the real reason why, but there are a lot of theories surrounding this action.  

THEORY #1.

Kittens knead their mother's belly to stimulate milk production

Cats knead because of what happened to them during kittenhood.  When kittens are nursing, they knead their mother’s belly to stimulate milk production. As they venture into adulthood, it is their way to self-soothe and express happiness.

THEORY #2.

Cats knead when they want to mark their territory

When they want to mark their territory, the glands in their paws release pheromones as they knead. A surefire sign to claim what’s theirs.

THEORY #3. 

Experts say that this is just a way for cats to relax and enjoy themselves

Experts say that this is just a way for cats to relax and enjoy themselves. The repetitive motion can be soothing, and the feeling of the soft surface against their paws can be very pleasurable.


WHAT IF I FIND KNEADING UNCOMFORTABLE?

That said, here are a few things that will help discourage the behavior:

Place a blanket or towel between you and your cat
1. Place a blanket or towel between you and your cat when they start to knead.  This will protect your skin from their claws.
Gently move your cat away if they start to knead

2. Gently move your cat away if they start to knead.

Give them a toy or scratching post
3. If you see them kneading on furniture, substitute it by giving them a toy or scratching post.

 

However, you may notice some cats knead more than others.  Don’t fret.  It just varies between cats and the personalities they possess.  Some cats are just happier and would like to knead as much as possible.  It is important to be patient and understanding with them since kneading is a natural behavior that they can’t control.  With little patience, you can teach your cat to knead in a way that’s comfortable for you both.


IS KNEADING BAD FOR CATS?

The answer is no.  However, if they are kneading too hard, it can damage furniture or clothing.  It’s important that their nails are trimmed regularly so as to prevent them from scratching you.

That said, if you’re concerned about your cat’s behavior, or if you're looking for natural supplements to help with your cat's allergies or skin and joint issues, contact Vital Pet Life today. We're here to help you keep your cat happy and healthy.

With these things discussed, kneading is a common behavior in cats.  Are they happy or stressed?  It just lies in their personality.  If it gets too much, there are remedies on how to discourage them.  Just be patient and understanding with your cat as kneading is natural.

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