You’ve probably seen your cat knead before—the maneuver is characterized by an alternated pressing of the front paws into an object. If you’ve ever wondered why your cat does this, look no further. Your Olathe, KS vet tells you more below.

Scent Marking

Did you know that your cat’s paws contain scent glands? When the paws are pressed into an object, scent is delivered, thereby marking that object or area as your cat’s own. In this manner, a cat is marking her bed, a pillow, or your leg as her property!

Nursing Instincts

As kittens, felines knead their mother’s belly to stimulate milk production while nursing. Many experts believe that adult cats display kneading behavior as a sort of remnant from childhood; it’s even possible that cats associate the feeling of kneading with the contentment and comfort they felt while nursing.


You’ve likely seen your cat knead before lying down for a nap. This may be thanks to the ancient wild cats of old, who likely kneaded grass or dirt in order to soften it up for napping.

Do you have questions about your cat’s behavior or mannerisms? Call your vet in Olathe, KS today for more information.