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Why Do Cats Knead? The Mysterious Case of the Cat Kneading Behaviour

Why Do Cats Knead?

The Mysterious Case of the Cat Kneading Behavior

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If you've ever owned a cat, you've probably noticed that they have a habit of kneading. While it may look like they're just making biscuits, there's actually a lot more to it than that. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at why cats knead and what it means for their overall well-being.

While the exact reason cats knead is still unknown, there are a few theories that help explain this bizarre behaviour.

To mark the territory.

It has been hypothesised that cats knead in order to leave their territorial mark. They are able to leave a trace of their scent behind on objects when they rub their paws against them. This not only makes them feel more at ease in their environment, but it also alerts other animals to the fact that another feline has already staked its claim to this territory.

To show affection

Another theory is that cats knead as a way to show their affection. When they push their paws against you, they're basically giving you a kitty hug. This behaviour is often seen in kittens who are nursing. They'll knead their mother's belly in order to stimulate the flow of milk. However, even adult cats will knead when they're feeling comfortable and safe around you.

To relieve stress

Cats are known for being calm, collected creatures. But that doesn't mean they don't get stressed out from time to time. One theory is that cats knead as a way to relieve stress and tension. The act of pushing and pulling on something can be soothing for them, similar to the way humans might play with a worry stone or squeeze a stress ball.

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Stretch their muscles

Another possibility is that cats knead in order to stretch their muscles. This behaviour is often seen after a cat has been sleeping for a while. By working out their kinks, they're able to get their blood flowing and wake up their muscles.

Because it feels good

Finally, it's also possible that cats knead simply because it feels good. The act of pushing down on something and then pulling back up again can be strangely satisfying for them. This is similar to the way we might pet a cat, which is often why they'll start to purr when they're being kneaded.

So, there you have it! These are just a few of the theories out there that help to explain why cats knead. Even if we'll never know the true reason behind this behaviour, it's still a fun quirk to watch for in your feline friend.

So, there you have it! Those are just a few of the theories out there as to why cats knead. While we may not ever know the true reason behind this behaviour, it's clear that it's beneficial for them in some way. So, the next time you see your kitty sinking their claws into your favourite blanket, try not to get too upset. They're just trying to show you some love in their own little way!

© 2022 Melinda Huber

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