Why Do Cats Knead?

If you’ve been stumped by feline behaviors in the past, join the club. Cats have some endearing but also quirky tendencies that just beg to be explained – such as curling up tightly to take a nap, or grooming fastidiously after a meal. 

One such tendency is the habit of “making biscuits” or kneading. But what exactly is this? And why do cats knead? Godspeed Animal Care explores this question, here.

What is Cat Kneading?

Before we get into why cats knead, let’s talk about what exactly it is. Cat kneading is a pushing motion cats make with their paws, alternating between left and right. It often occurs on a soft surface such as a bed, pillow, blanket, or your lap. Some cats knead with claws completely retracted, and others extend their claws as they push out and retract them as they pull back. 

The behavior is called “kneading” because it resembles how a baker works bread dough. 

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Ask a Vet: Why Do Cats Drool?

cats droolThe movie Homeward Bound depicts the harrowing journey made by three courageous pets. Chance and Shadow are two canines who appreciate their feline friend, Sassy, although they bicker like most cats and dogs. Sassy says, “Like I said all along, poopsie, cats rule and dogs drool!”

Antagonistic or not, Sassy’s got a point. Certain breeds of dogs are known to drool more than others. However, there are reasons why some cats drool, too – and they aren’t always good.

Cloud Nine

Many cats drool when blissed out. This usually occurs after kneading, snuggling their owners, or even just dreaming. A sign of great happiness, most cat owners will look upon a puddle of drool with a sigh or a shrug.

The important thing to remember is that, while cat drooling can be a benign behavior, it can also signify disease, medical problems, or pain that shouldn’t be ignored.

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