Why do cats knead?

Understanding your cat’s behaviour is a good way of knowing when she or he is feline fine. When they take themselves off, or hide, it’s usually an indication that they aren’t feeling well, and a trip to the vet might be in order. 

Kneading, or, as it’s sometimes called, ‘making biscuits,’ is a particular type of behaviour, that’s generally a sign of happiness, relaxation and contentment. Let’s look at the reasons behind those purposeful paw movements.


Natusan Cat

It’s instinctive

When kittens are born, they often knead their mother’s tummy to encourage milk flow. This may explain why some older cats may also dribble or suckle on something when they do it in later life - as the association may still be strong.


Natusan Cat

It’s territorial 

Cats have scent glands in their paws, and that distinctive pushing motion can release pheromones. So kneading your legs could be a way of saying, “this lap is taken!” to other members of the household. 


Natusan Cat

It’s a nesting action

Female cats may knead when they go into heat, or when pregnant and in labour. They might do this as a signal that they are ready to mate, or if they are pregnant, they could be readying a soft nest for new arrivals. 


Natusan Cat

It’s a compliment

Kneading a pet-parent is often an expression that they feel happy and comforted by you, especially when being petted. However, if you’re not keen on becoming a human pin cushion, it’s a good idea to keep those tiny talons clipped short. 

Nail cutting is a good habit to start with kittens - so that they get used to it. With older cats, who are less than impressed, oven or gardening gloves can work as useful PPE to help get the job done less painfully! Alternatively, put a blanket on your lap to give them some extra ‘dough’ to play with.


Natusan Cat

It’s a sign of a happy cat!

A simple way to keep your cat happy is to ensure they have access to a meticulously clean litter tray. Natusan offers organic, natural clumping litter which forms small, firm clumps when coming into contact with liquid - meaning the clumps can easily be scooped and removed - with only clean and dry litter remaining in the litter tray. 


Get 50% off your first 10L bag with code TABBY50



18/08/2021 by NatuTeam

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