There are undoubtedly many different reasons why cats knead or rub up against humans or even other animals.
Cats who do this usually do so as a part of their massage routine. Cats knead, or rub up against people and other animals, for many reasons.
In the article, you’ll learn how to understand why your cat is kneading and what you can do to stop this behavior.
Why Do Cats Knead Your Stomach?
Your cat may knead for a variety for many different reason.
Some cat owners may notice that their cat kneads when they’re upset or stressed out. Kneading is soothing and comforting for your cat.
Other cats knead when they’re bored or need a play session. Kneading is also a form of bonding between a cat and owner.
If you give your cat toys to play with, they will knead them. If they get worn out and exhausted, they may also knead onto your lap.
Cats knead for various reasons, though none of them are bad. They knead their legs, stomachs, earlobes, and tails.
Some people think that kneading is a way to release stress. Kneading in a cat’s earlobes is similar to rubbing one’s face or hands quickly as a way to relax.
This trait is common among many cats, but in some cats, kneading may take on an aggressive and sometimes violent nature. Cats may knead their bodies to relieve stress.
Kneading is something that cats do when they get excited. Sometimes they’re excited when they smell something or see something totally new.
Sometimes it’s because they’re hungry. Other times, they’re kneading just to relieve stress.
Others will knead in anticipation for something. Three main theories try to explain why cats knead: The cat has an instinct to knead whenever it feels anxious or stressed.
Cats knead when they want something. The kneading is a way for cats to communicate, and they knead to release excess energy.
Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Possibly, your cat is a needy one.
When cats desire something, they will do it more often, such as running around the house in search of food.
There are also other times, such as when they get bored, that cats will knead.
Cats will often knead when they want affection, which is why pet owners often observe this behavior.
If your cat does knead, it’s important not to get frustrated or upset. The reason they do it isn’t important, and it’s better to just ignore it.
Maybe you’re too engrossed in your movie to notice, but your cat is intently kneading his or her stomach until you fill the jones.
Maybe they’re looking for goodies, perhaps the same vitamins that you just ate.
Whatever the reason, you should know how to resist the urge to get your cat off your hands.
Resisting may be easier said than done, but that isn’t an excuse to ignore your cat’s desires.
Cats knead for a variety of reasons, so try to turn the situation around. Instead of giving them attention, distract them with a toy or treat.
If you need to distract your cat, try playing a game of fetch, or let them watch their favorite TV show.
Maybe all they want is a scratch on their favorite spot. Some cats knead when they need affection.
Marking and Communication
Cats are savvier than dogs in reading human scents. They are able to identify when they are being petted and when it is time to stop.
Rub their fragrance on their things, such as their favorite food or toy.
Are you aware that cats’ kneading behavior also helps them relieve muscle tension? They instinctively use their forearms, elbows, and paws to lean on, or scratch, their stomach.
Cats activate the smell glands by rubbing their paws on furniture, their litter box, or even their owner’s clothing.
This helps to send scent-related signals to other cats, making your cat’s territory theirs and letting you know that the area belongs to your cat.
Your cat is kneading you to make you more delicate so she may eat you.
Cat kneading is referred to as “biscuit-making” for a reason.
They knead or bury themselves in the kneaded material in order to warm their body temperature, which aids combatting the cold.
She’s only trying to warm your lap because she believes it’s the only place where you share your food.
One of the reasons cats knead is because it releases endorphins into their brain.
Endorphins help reduce stress as well as pain. Cats tend to knead humans more when they feel fear.
They knead to comfort themselves. Cats knead as a way to release stress and tension.
They used to do this with their mother’s fur; now they do it with your skin.
This may need veterinary attention, but don’t worry: cats knead with their claws to remain safe.
Cat kneading is comforting
Your cat has been kneading since she was a kitten, and throughout her entire life she continues to knead in response to certain stimuli, such as being stroked or fed by its human companion.
When a cat kneads the human stomach, she is responding to the same instinctual needs that motivated her to perform this ritual as a kitten.
Cats knead because it was instinctual to do so as a kitten.
This innate action is soothing to your cat and may transport her back to a time when she was young and helpless.
Though kneading is instinctual, it can also be learned.
Cats that were raised around humans can learn to knead their human’s stomach to stimulate the flow of food.
Cats that have the ability to knead can also learn to do it whenever they are hungry.
Signs of affections
You could notice that your cat starts to knead on you while petting them. Some people may even mistake kneading for aggression.
Your initial response may be to swat away your cat’s claws, but this can actually make your cat feel fearful and rejected.
This is a great way to lose your cat’s trust, and damaging bonding won’t happen at that point.
Kneading, on the other hand, is part of their instinctive behavior and should not be discouraged.
This is your cat’s way to show you how much they love you.
Avoid shouting or shoving your cat and thank it for being affectionate.
Cat kneading is hypnotic
When cats are kneading, they may get very wet and their fur might get very greasy.
Where’d you go, bubba? In case you haven’t heard, you’re a cat with incredibly strong kneading desires. You see, kneading is a well-entrenched behavior in lots of cat languages.
When my gray tabby really loses himself in the moment and reaches a crescendo of kneading, I’ll often accidentally giggle, which momentarily breaks the spell.
Looking for a mate
For unspayed dogs, it means it’s time for mating. When a female cat has not been sexually changed, she goes into heat or oestrus. In order to let men know that she is ready to mate, she begins to massage her body.
It’s the signal to male cats that they should come into her area. The male cats will respond by rubbing against her.
When female cats are not spayed, this is referred to as heat.
This behavior is not familiar to humans but it may be to cats.
If a female cat doesn’t feel that there is anything going on between her and her mate, she may try to provoke the male cat into a fight by rubbing against his legs.
If the male cat loses, he will then make an attempt to mate with her by touching her genitalia with his mouth.
This kneading is a means for the cat to scent her new territory.
It’s her way of telling the male cat that she is interested.
After the cat smells her, he will instinctively get back in touch with her by way of submission or aggression.
This, of course, varies from cat to cat.
Also Read: Can Cats Eat Ketchup?
What should you do if your cat is kneading on your stomach?
Knieding by cats is instinctive behavior that is intended to help cats conserve energy.
The act of kneading promotes the release of feel-good hormones. Kneading also relaxes a stressed cat.
By kneading, your cat can release tension and feel better about its own body.
Kneading is a healthy behavior for cats, but do keep in mind that they may start kneading on you if they start feeling stressed.
Particularly if your cat is kneading after you give her a bath, or you’re just playing with her.
To prevent harm to themselves, household items, or strangers, clip your cat’s nails regularly.
If your cat appears to be destroying particular parts of your home or furniture, contact your local animal control office.
Of course, the aforementioned factors may sometimes result in your cat behaving in unusual ways.
Consult your veterinarian for advice on how to prevent your cat from kneading on furniture.
It’s important to realize that although not harmful, your cat’s kneading on you may feel uncomfortable.