Why Do Cats Make Biscuits? (Cat Kneading Behavior)

Why Do Cats Make Biscuits

Do you know why cats make biscuits? It's actually a pretty common question, and there are a few different theories out there. Some people say that it's because they're trying to groom themselves, while others believe that it's a sign of contentment. 

In this article, we'll explore the different reasons why cats might make biscuits, and we'll also discuss how you can help your cat feel comfortable and happy while they are kneading!

 

What Is Cat Kneading?

Have you ever noticed your cat pushing its paws against your leg or a blanket? This behavior is called kneading, and it's often associated with cats. When a cat kneads, it pushes its paws in and out while rhythmically pressing down. It might look like they're trying to make bread, but it's much deeper than that. Most experts even say that kneading has deep roots in feline evolutionary behavior.

 

Why Do Cat's Knead?

 

A cat under a blanket 

Below are some of the reasons why cats knead:

To Feel Comforted

Some believe that kneading is a sign of contentment, as it's often done when our feline friends are purring and happy. It's thought that the repetitive motion helps them to relax and feel comfortable.

Kneading might also be a way for cats to show their affection. If you have ever been on the receiving end of a cat knead, you know that it can be pretty intense!

They might even use their claws (without meaning to) while they're doing it. Kneading is also seen in nursing kittens, as they'll knead their mother's belly to stimulate milk flow. 

 

To Mark Their Territory

Another theory is that adult cats knead to mark their territory. When they push their paws down, they're leaving their scent behind.

A cat's world is guided by scent. Its body has a range of pheromone-producing scent glands, which the animal rubs on as a method of communicating with other cats.

What are pheromones? These are chemicals that cats use to communicate with one another. These pheromones remain long after the cat who emanated them has left.

Pheromones are comparable to your cat, leaving little scent notes for other cats passing by. Consider it a kind of cat-to-cat communication.

Why do cats knead their owners? To claim them, of course! If your cat is kneading you, it's a sign that you've been claimed, congratulations! This is your cat's method of claiming you as their own and warning other cats to stay away.

 

To Make The Bed 

 

A cat trying to get comfy on its bed

 

This one is pretty self-explanatory! If your cat likes to sleep in your bed, they might be trying to make it more comfortable by fluffing up the blanket or sheets. They might also knead to create a cozy nest that they can curl up in.

Wild cats are known to rummage and move about leaves, debris, pine needles, and other things to make a comfy sleeping area. For a creature that may sleep for up to 18 hours every day, finding a nice resting area is critical. And if it isn't absolutely perfect, your cat will knead it until it is.

This behavior may also be an ancient trait from their feline ancestors' need to flatten out and pat down sleeping locations before a cat nap.

 

To Show Affection

Cats usually don't show their affection in the same ways humans do. For example, they might not give you a big hug or tell you that they love you. But if your cat starts kneading you, it's a sign that they really like you! They might even purr while they're doing it, which is another way of showing their affection.

Unfortunately, while this is an act of love, it comes with the excruciating agony of your cat's murder mittens tearing into your skin (in the cutest way imaginable).

It might be tempting to leap up, shriek in agony, and send your cat scurrying away, but we recommend not disturbing the moment, regardless of how challenging it might be. 

Your cat is attempting to show you the greatest form of affection possible. They have no clue that this might be unpleasant for you. So it would be the ultimate insult to reject your cat when it's doing this.

For this reason, it's a good idea to keep your cat's claws trimmed. And perhaps get a thick kneading pet blanket to prevent your cat's paws from tearing into your skin.

 

To Stretch Their Muscles

Kneading is also a way for cats to stretch their muscles. It might look like they're just pushing their paws around, but they're actually getting a good workout! The alternating motion of extending their limbs during kneading is a feline version of "stretching their legs" to wake up their muscles and stimulate circulation.

 

To Show They're Going Into Heat

Female cats knead and rub against you to show that they might be going into heat. This is especially true if they are meowing a lot or acting restless.

During this time, her body releases pheromones that let male cats know she's available to mate. Kneading helps spread these pheromones around, making her more attractive to potential mates.

 

What If My Cat Doesn't Knead?

 

A black cat

 

Kneading is a cat behavior that some cats will stop as they get older. So if your cat isn't into kneading, there's no need to be concerned. It isn't sick or damaged in any way.

It also doesn't mean your cat loves you any less or isn't happy if it doesn't knead on you. It simply implies that your cat prefers other methods of conveying happiness or love. Cats, like people, have a variety of methods to express emotion.

This is why it's important to learn your cat's body language and what they're trying to communicate with you. This way, you'll notice behavioral changes quickly. You'll also offend your cat less by responding appropriately to their communication.

 

Why Has My Cat Stopped Kneading?

 

A sleepy cat laying on the bed

 

If your cat suddenly stops kneading, it might be a sign that they're feeling anxious or stressed. If this is the case, try to identify what might be causing them distress and see if there's anything you can do to help them feel more comfortable.

It's also possible that your cat has just grown out of the behavior. Kneading is often something that kittens do when they're exploring their world and trying to figure out their place in it. As they get older, some cats simply stop doing it.

We also recommend looking into your cat's environment. Has there been a significant or rapid change in your cat's life lately? A new family member, a new house, or a new pet may be enough to put your cat on edge. Even rearranging the furniture or a new sofa may send your cat into a tailspin.

 

How To Stop Your Cat From Kneading

 

An orange cat licking its paws

 

Kneading is adorable, so we always advise you to allow your cat to knead as much as they like. However, there are times when you may wish to discourage kneading. Discouraging your cat from kneading should be done only when it goes on for too long and causes you harm, or when you wish to protect delicate objects or furniture.

Getting your cat to stop kneading can be difficult. So instead of getting your cat to stop kneading, we recommend redirecting their kneading instinct more appropriately. Your cat will not feel restricted and can still display its feline nature while doing so, and you can safeguard your body or possessions in the process. It's a win-win situation.

Note: never punish or scold your cat for kneading, as it is a very natural and healthy behavior. Your cat may become enraged if you punish it for this. This will also most certainly harm the relationship between you and your feline companion by destroying any trust there may be.

These tips will help you encourage appropriate kneading behavior in your cat:

  • Provide a soft objects like a pillow, mat, or pet bed for your cat to knead. If they're kneading you, offer them an alternative surface to help redirect their attention.

  • Encourage your cat to knead when they're calm and relaxed, such as after a meal or playtime. This will help associate the behavior with positive feelings.

  • Give your cat lots of love and attention when they do display appropriate kneading behavior. This will reinforce the fact that you appreciate their affectionate nature.

Conclusion

Kneading is a natural feline behavior that most cats do. While the reasons behind why cats knead are still unknown, it's likely that they associate the behavior with positive experiences, such as being fed or receiving affection. If your cat isn't kneading, there's no need to be concerned, as this doesn't mean they are ill or love you any less.

Do you have a cat that kneads? What do you think is the reason behind this behavior? Let us know in the comments below


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