Why Does My Cat Knead?

Why Does My Cat Knead?
Why Does My Cat Knead?

Why Does My Cat Knead?

Why does my cat knead on my lap? Ouch..Is she marking me as her territory? Or is she showing me her love? Both could be true. As you know cats are complex creatures. No cat behavior is simple. Cats and their behaviors are not easy to understand. Here’s what the studies show.

Kneading is an instinctive behavior for cats. Cats push or knead with their paws. They alternate paws. The right and then the left. Cats do this on soft surfaces such as pillows, blankets, clothes, other animals and laps. Read also: Humane Ways To Get Your Cat To Stop Scratching The Furniture.

LeftOver Behavior From Kitten-hood

Kittens use the behavior when feeding. They knead the area around mother’s teat. This kneading improves the flow of milk.

Kittens grow into cats. Cats will knead as adults when they are content, satisfied or happy. She identifies kneading with her early contentment. Being close to her mother and feeding.

Making A Bed

Another possibility is that its instinctual. When cats were wild before they moved in with us humans. They made there beds in foliage. Before, sleeping or resting it was necessary to pat or knead the grass to make a comfortable and safe place. This kneading is a leftover behavior of cats from their wild days. They are getting ready to sleep or rest.

Marking Territory

Another possibility is they are marking their territory. Cats have scent glands in their paws. When they knead cats are activating these scent glands and releasing a sent, claiming what they are kneading as their own. So if your cat is kneading your lap. In effect, she is claiming you as hers. Read also: How To Solve Cat Spraying Problems.


It could be a way for cats to stretch and stay limber.

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