All cat owners know that part of the fascination with these furry creatures is the funny little behaviours they have. One that seems almost universal is the inclination to knead. At Cat Habitat HQ we call it stomping, and while Soph & Pussa both do it, Pussa does it with particular vigour and precision. And it seems particularly good to do when I’ve been somewhat slack in the claw-clipping department. Cats will generally do it on soft, pliable surfaces and while he will hate me saying this, Mr Pet Parent’s belly is target No.1 for Pussa! A few theories exist as to why cats need to knead.
The Reasons Your Cat Kneads:
- Because I like you: Kneading can be puss-cat’s way of returning the affection that you give him. The amount of happiness Pussa is trying to express to Mr Pet Parent seems directly correlated to the speed, pressure applied and drool generated;
- Reliving their kittenhood: Physiologically kittens will press around their mother’s teat to stimulate the flow of milk during nursing. The security and happiness associated with this time is hardwired into cats even when mature and they knead to create that feeling of comfort again;
- My relatives make me do it: The big cat cousins of your puss cat like to have a comfy bed to sleep on too, and so they press down tall grass, trying to scare off anyone who might bite or sting but who still wants to share the bed with them, before curling up for a nap;
- You’re mine: There’s nothing new in saying that cats are territorial. What you might not know is that cats have scent glands on the pads of their paws and kneading is another way of activating those glands to disperse their scent and mark their territory.
Unfortunately, what puss-cat doesn’t recognise is that all this kneading can actually hurt their favourite human – they can’t tell that you’re almost levitating off the sofa from the pain. Rather than getting cross at them if you really dislike them using you as their personal step-machine make sure you have something soft and plush close by that can be a barrier between human flesh and cat claw. Our Feline Futons are totally up to the job and come in 3 colours to suit any décor.
In the meantime if you have a need for some grape crushing to be done or dough to be flattened out maybe you could persuade your Favourite Feline to bring their paws over and give you some help.