Have you ever seen your cat knead? This maneuver is characterized by an alternated pressing of the front paws into a soft object. There are several theories as to why cats do this—learn more here from a Gresham, OR veterinarian.

Napping Instincts

Many experts believe that ancient cats of old would knead grass to make a soft bedding spot for themselves. It’s very possible that kneading has been passed down through the generations as a behavioral trait, which would explain why the cats of today often knead before napping.

Nursing Instincts

Kittens knead their mother’s belly to stimulate milk production. Experts believe that kneading in adult cats may be a sort of “remnant” behavior, associated with positive kittenhood feelings of nursing from their mother.

Territorial Instincts

Were you aware that a cat’s paws contain many scent glands? When a cat kneads, these glands release scent into the object—whether that’s their bed, a pillow, or your leg! In this way, your cat is marking that territory as their own, warning other cats to keep away.

Do you have further questions about your feline friend’s behavior? Does your pet need a veterinary examination? Call your Gresham, OR veterinarian for help.

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