Why Do Cats Do That Baking Thing?

Are you a cat person? Have you ever noticed your feline friend kneading with their paw pads like they’re making bread when they’re curled up on your lap or in a cozy spot in the sun? This phenomenon, commonly known as “making biscuits,” has puzzled cat owners for years. But fear not, dear reader, because we’re here to answer the question: why do cats do that baking thing?

Cats knead for multiple reasons, and it’s not just a sign of affection. This unique behavior can be traced back to their kittenhood. When kittens nurse, they instinctively knead on their mother’s belly to stimulate milk flow. As they grow older, cats continue this behavior as a soothing mechanism to comfort themselves or show contentment. It’s a habit they carry into adulthood and one that can be observed in both male and female cats.

While kneading is generally harmless, it can be bad news for your furniture or clothing, as cats may “make biscuits” on their owners or any soft, pliant surface in the vicinity. Furthermore, if your cat is overzealous with the kneading, they may accidentally use their sharp claws, so be sure to clip them on a regular basis.

So, there you have it – the secret behind why cats do that baking thing. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on how to best accommodate this adorable behavior without sacrificing your favorite sweater or couch cushion.

Theory 1: Kneading as a Remnant From Kittenhood

One theory suggests that kneading is a behavior that cats carry over from their kittenhood. As kittens, they instinctively knead their mother’s body to stimulate milk production and bond with her. This behavior is essential for their survival and development.

As cats grow up, they may continue to knead as a way to comfort themselves. The motion of kneading can release endorphins, which provide a sense of pleasure and relaxation. This is why you might notice your adult cat kneading when they are feeling happy or content.

Kneading can also be a sign of affection towards their human companion. As cats bond with their owners, they may start to show this behavior as a way of showing love and trust. Some cats even purr while kneading, which further indicates their happiness and comfort.

Another possible explanation for kneading is that it’s a way for cats to mark their territory. With scent glands in their paws, when they knead on something, they may be leaving their scent behind as a way to claim ownership.

While kneading is generally a harmless behavior, some cats can be more aggressive with their claws during the process. This can result in accidental scratches or damage to furniture. If this is the case with your cat, it’s important to provide them with an appropriate scratching post or pad to redirect the behavior.

Theory 2: Marking Territory Through Scent Glands

Well, it turns out that Theory 2 suggests that this behavior is not only about comfort but also about marking their territory through scent glands in their paws.

Cats have scent glands in various parts of their bodies, including their paws. When they knead, these scent glands release pheromones unique to each cat, which help them mark their favorite spots and communicate with other cats in the area. Interestingly, this behavior is not just limited to domestic cats but can also be observed in wild cats that use scent marking to communicate with other members of their group.

Although kneading may seem like an innocent and endearing behavior, it can sometimes lead to destructive consequences. Cats that knead too hard or too often can scratch furniture or even their owners. Furthermore, some cats may become territorial and overly attached to certain objects or areas they have marked with their scent, leading to aggression towards other pets or people who approach those areas.

To prevent destructive behaviors associated with kneading, it’s crucial to provide cats with appropriate scratching surfaces and toys. Comfortable and attractive cat beds or blankets can also discourage them from kneading on furniture. If your cat has become territorial over certain areas of your home, it’s essential to provide them with additional resources like food bowls or litter boxes in those areas to help them feel less threatened.

Theory 3: Stress Relief and Comfort

Why Do Cats Do That Baking Thing-2

Cats are known for their calming presence, and it’s no surprise that they often seek out ways to relieve stress. Kneading is one way that cats can do this, as it mimics the feeling of nursing from their mother as kittens, providing them with comfort and warmth. The rhythmic motion of flexing and retracting their paws while purring stimulates the mammary glands in female cats, releasing endorphins that provide a sense of pleasure and relaxation. For male cats, kneading may also stimulate the release of testosterone, which can have a calming effect.

However, excessive kneading can also be a sign of anxiety or discomfort. It’s essential to pay attention to other signs of stress, such as hiding or aggression, and address the underlying issue promptly. A comfortable and safe environment is crucial in helping your cat feel at ease. This may involve providing them with a quiet space to retreat to or consulting with a veterinarian for additional support.

To help your cat feel more comfortable and relaxed in their environment, consider providing them with scratching surfaces, comfortable beds or blankets, and additional food bowls or litter boxes in designated areas. You could also use pheromone sprays or diffusers to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

Common Situations in Which Cats Knead

This behavior, known as kneading or “making biscuits,” is a common feline pastime that has many underlying reasons.

Firstly, when cats knead, it’s often because they are feeling comfortable and relaxed. They may do this while sitting on their owner’s lap or lounging on a cozy blanket or bed. It’s a sign that your cat feels safe and content in their environment, and they’re enjoying the moment.

Additionally, kneading can be a way for cats to show affection. Kneading their owners can be a way for cats to show love and trust, similar to how they may rub against their owner’s legs or nuzzle their face. If your cat chooses to knead on you, take it as a sign that they love and trust you.

Interestingly, cats also use kneading as a way to mark their territory. They have scent glands located in their paws, and when they knead, they release their scent onto the surface they are kneading. This behavior can be a way for cats to mark their territory and feel more secure in their surroundings. So if your cat is kneading on your favorite blanket, it may be a sign that they consider it theirs.

Kneading can also be a way for cats to stretch their muscles after a nap or period of rest. The motion helps to loosen up their muscles and get them ready for activity. It’s almost like a mini-workout for them.

Lastly, some experts believe that kneading may be rooted in cats’ nursing instincts. When kittens nurse, they knead their mother’s mammary glands to stimulate milk production. This behavior may carry over into adulthood as a comforting and soothing action.

As a cat owner, it’s important to provide your feline friend with soft surfaces to knead on, such as blankets or beds. This can prevent them from damaging furniture or other household items while satisfying their instinctual need to knead. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your cat and show them affection.

Physical Benefits of Kneading for Cats

This cute and endearing behavior has several physical benefits for your pet.

Firstly, kneading helps to stretch and flex the muscles in their paws and legs, which can increase blood flow and oxygenation to their muscles. This is especially beneficial for older cats or those who have been less active.

In addition to stretching their muscles, kneading can also provide physical therapy for cats with arthritis or other joint problems. The rhythmic motion of kneading can alleviate stiffness and soreness in their joints by promoting circulation and reducing inflammation.

But that’s not all. When cats knead, they release pheromones from the scent glands in their paws, which serve as a way for them to mark their territory and communicate with other felines in their environment. Each cat’s pheromones are unique to them, making it a form of personal expression.

How to Discourage Unwanted Baking Behavior

While it’s a natural behavior for cats, it can become unwanted if they scratch furniture or people. Fortunately, there are ways to discourage this behavior without causing fear or anxiety in your furry friend.

To start, it’s crucial to understand why cats engage in baking behavior. Kittens knead their mother’s belly to stimulate milk production and bond with their mother. As they grow older, cats continue this behavior as a sign of contentment and comfort. Additionally, they may be marking their territory by leaving their scent behind with their paws.

To discourage unwanted baking behavior in cats, redirect their attention. Provide them with a soft blanket or pillow that they can knead on instead of your lap or furniture. Giving them a toy to play with, like a stuffed animal or a catnip toy, can also distract them. Keep your cat’s nails trimmed regularly to prevent any scratches that may occur during kneading.

Remember not to punish your cat for baking. This will only cause fear and anxiety, which could lead to more unwanted behavior. Instead, use positive reinforcement by rewarding them when they exhibit desired behaviors such as using their scratching post or playing with their toys. If you notice your cat engaging in unwanted behavior, gently remove them from the area and redirect their attention to another activity.

Lastly, if you suspect that baking behavior may be related to stress or anxiety in your cat, seek help from a veterinarian. They can provide environmental enrichment techniques or medication if necessary.

Signs That Your Cat Enjoys Being Baked

Cats love feeling warm and cozy, and baking helps them achieve that state of relaxation. So, if you’ve ever seen your cat kneading or “making biscuits” on a soft surface, it’s a clear indication that they are enjoying their baking time.

But, how can you tell if your cat is particularly fond of baking? Here are five more signs to keep an eye out for:

  • Purring – Cats purr to express happiness and contentment. If your cat is kneading while purring, it’s a sure sign that they’re feeling good.
  • Rolling onto their back – When cats feel safe and relaxed, they’ll often roll onto their back and expose their belly. This is a sign of trust and relaxation, indicating that your cat is thoroughly enjoying their baking session.
  • Head rubbing – Cats who are happy and content may rub their head against their favorite person or object. If your cat is doing this while kneading, they’re showing affection and pleasure.
  • Playfulness – Some cats become more playful when they’re baked. If your cat starts running around or batting at toys during their baking time, it’s a sign that they’re having fun.
  • Seeking attention – When cats enjoy baking, they may seek out more attention from their humans or other cats in the household. If your kitty is meowing or rubbing against your legs while they knead, it’s a sign that they want some love and affection.

It’s essential to monitor your cat’s behavior carefully to ensure they’re happy and healthy during baking sessions. A comfortable environment is essential for cats to relax and enjoy their baking time to the fullest. So, if you notice any signs of stress or anxiety in your feline friend, don’t hesitate to seek help from a veterinarian.

Tips for Creating a Relaxing Environment for Your Cat

Cats are fascinating creatures that have a natural tendency to be curious and active. However, they also need their rest and relaxation time. Creating a relaxing environment for your cat is essential to their overall wellbeing. A calm and peaceful space can help them feel safe and secure, which can reduce stress and anxiety levels. Here are five sub-sections that will help you create a relaxing environment for your furry friend:

Comfortable sleeping area:

Providing a soft and cozy bed for your cat is a great way to create a comfortable sleeping area. Cats love to snuggle up in warm and soft spaces, so investing in high-quality bedding can give them a sense of security and comfort. Place the bed in a quiet corner or a cozy nook where your cat can retreat when they need some alone time.

Hiding places:

Cats feel safe when they have hiding spots where they can retreat to when they need to relax or feel secure. You can provide hiding spots by placing boxes, blankets, or even cat igloos in various places throughout your home. These hiding places will give your cat a sense of security and will help them feel more relaxed.

Scratching posts:

Scratching is a natural behavior for cats, and it can help them relieve stress and anxiety. Providing scratching posts in different areas of your home can give your cat an outlet to release their pent-up energy. This will also help prevent them from scratching furniture or other items in your home.

Calming scents:

Certain scents like lavender or chamomile have been shown to have a calming effect on cats. You can use essential oils, candles, or diffusers to create a relaxing atmosphere for your furry friend. Just make sure the scents you’re using are safe for cats and won’t cause any adverse reactions.

Soothing music:

Music can also have a calming effect on cats. Soothing tunes like classical music or nature sounds can help create a peaceful environment for your cat. You can try leaving some music playing softly in the background while you’re away from home to help keep your cat calm and relaxed.


In conclusion, the enigmatic behavior of cats kneading or “making biscuits” has perplexed pet owners for years. However, there are several theories that attempt to explain this unique feline habit. One suggests that it stems from kittenhood when cats instinctively knead their mother’s belly to stimulate milk production and bond with her. Another theory proposes that it’s a way for cats to mark their territory through scent glands in their paws. Additionally, kneading can serve as a form of stress relief and physical therapy for joint problems.

While kneading is generally harmless, it can sometimes result in destructive consequences if cats scratch furniture or people during the process. To discourage unwanted baking behavior, redirecting their attention to appropriate surfaces or toys is crucial.

Creating a serene environment with cozy sleeping areas, hiding spots, scratching posts, calming aromas, and soothing music can also help alleviate stress and anxiety levels in cats.