Why Do Cats Knead?

cat smelling a carpet

What does it mean when a cat kneads? Cats are curious creatures with fascinating communication traits but one of the more obscure ones is kneading. Cat kneading is an instinctive behavioural trait that can be traced back to when your pet was born and was getting milk from its mother.

The action of applying pressure with alternative paws is something your cat used to do when feeding to encourage the milk supply but it is a trait they can carry into adulthood and repeat with a human they have a bond with. There are many reasons why cats knead, some do it to mark their territory while some do it when nesting but most of all it signifies that they see you as part of their family.

Here’s everything you need to know about kneading.


Should you let your cat knead you?

As a pet lover and owner, how should you react to this activity? There is no reason why you should prevent your cat from kneading you as it is just a way of showing you affection but some cats can use their claws when they knead which can become uncomfortable. If this is the case, try and create a barrier between you and your cat’s claws using a blanket or a cushion or use a toy as a distraction technique.


Is it bad if my cat kneads?

Kneading is a positive action that signifies that your cat is content and comfortable with you. You may notice that your cat purrs while he or she is kneading and your pet may appear to zone out and completely relax while doing this. This is a good sign and as a pet owner, you should be content that you cat is showing a positive response.


Why do cats knead before lying down?

Cats have a number of rituals that they may indulge in before lying down and one of these is usually kneading. The act of kneading is very soothing to cats and can often be a way to alleviate stress so it is no surprise that this is something your pet might do before they go to sleep. If this is part of your cat’s usual sleep routine, this is no cause for concern at all. 

If you have any worries about your cat or kitten’s behavioural traits or they are showing signs of being unwell, a vet can help to put your mind at ease and offer total peace of mind. Pet insurance can help with this and ensure that you always have access to expert advice without breaking the bank. If you are unsure what type of cover is best for you, browse our policies online at Asda Money and find the right one for you and your pet.

Trustpilot reviews