Why Your Cat Kneads

You’ve probably seen your cat knead—this maneuver involves an alternated pressing of the front paws into a soft object. Have you ever wondered why Fluffy does this? Learn more below from your Sun Prairie, WI vet.

Napping Instinct

Experts believe that the wild ancestors of our domesticated felines used kneading as a way to soften up dirt or grass for bedding material. It’s quite possible that this is a trait passed down to our cats of today, and it likely explains why Fluffy always seems to knead before a nap!

Nursing Instinct

Did you know that kittens knead their mother’s belly before nursing? This action is believed to stimulate milk production in the mother, and it’s possible that your adult cat kneads as a sort of “left-over” behavior from childhood. Some believe that cats associate the contentment of nursing with the kneading sensation!

Scent Marking

Your cat’s paw pads contain scent glands, and the scent is released into an object when your pet kneads. In this way, she’s marking her territory as her very own.

Do you have further questions about your cat’s behavior or care? Call your Sun Prairie, WI veterinarian’s office for helpful insight from the professionals.

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