Cats knead for a variety of different reasons, but no matter what the reason may be, they feel safe and content if they are “making biscuits.”
Happy paws. Playing the piano. Mashing potatoes. And my favorite, making biscuits. These are all fun ways of talking about cats and their need to knead. In my house, the expert biscuit maker is Peanut Butter and her favorite place to knead in on my stomach…at 3 in the morning.
Why do cats knead? What is the reason for making biscuits at all hours of the day?
Cats Knead to Show Contentment
Most cats knead. Some like to knead when they are being petted. Some just do it because they can. Some only use their front paws, while others knead with all four.
No matter why your cat is making biscuits, it is a clear sign that they feel safe and content.
Cats Knead to Be Comforted
If you have ever watched your cat knead a blanket before laying down, you might think they are doing it to make a nest. It’s actually a way of being comforted. They associate the soft blanket or other items with nursing.
As kittens, they would knead their mother to help produce milk. Cats associate that kneading motion with being with their mother.
Cats Knead to Show Affection
Peanut Butter loves to get in my lap and start making biscuits on my legs. It’s her way of telling me she loves me while she gets head scratches and long pets. She doesn’t like to knead on my legs if they are bare, but as soon as I put a blanket between us, it’s a kneading extravaganza.
Don’t get mad at your cat for kneading if they hurt you with their claws. They don’t know it hurts. If you have a kneader, just trim their nails.
Cats Knead to Stretch
Have you ever watched your cat when they get up from a nap? They stretch. They yawn. They knead. Let’s face it. Our cats are yoga instructors. Kneading helps them loosen muscles and limber up between naps.
Cats Knead to Mark Their Territory
Finally, your cat is leaving their smell all over you when they are making biscuits. It is their way of staking their claim on you and warning other cats away. Their little paw pads (okay, toe beans!) have scent glands in them. When they knead, they are making you smell like them.
Does your cat make biscuits on you? Tell us your stories in the comments section below!