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Why Do Cats Knead Their Owners?

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Few cat owners don’t understand why do cats knead their owners; they think she is probably ill and might need some medication. Well, there is nothing wrong with her. Because a cat kneading human is absolutely normal.

Cat uses various sign language to send you what they feel! Kneading is also one of the ways of communication.

Why Do Cats Knead Their Owners

Cat kneading is like kneading dough they do to seek pleasure, grab your attention, exhibit their love, or distress themselves.

You don’t have to bother much about it. In this post, we have listed various reasons why do cat knead their owner and how to get a cat to stop kneading.

Why Do Cats Knead Their Owners?

A cat kneading is a sign of happiness!

If your cat kneads you, and it makes you wonder why do cat knead their owner, you can read the following given reasons.

1. Cat Kneads My Stomach to Grab Attention

When a cat kneads you, she is probably asking you to pay attention to her. Felines are known to be a selfish animal who enjoys their own company. But, not all cats are the same, right. Generally, cat adores their owner they are closely bonded with them.

When you are busy with your work and don’t pay attention to her, she will knead you to seek attention.

2. When Female Cat Is Ready to Mate

If you have a female cat at your house, she will have a distinct reason for this behavior. They will knead when she is ready and desires to mate with the male cat.

When Female Cat Is Ready to Mate

This will indicate that she is ready to conceive. It is also called estrus. If she instantly wants to mate, she will not knead her paws; instead, she will raise her pelvis with the help of the tail in one direction.

These all are based on some theories; it doesn’t offer every reason why cat kneads. But, generally, cat kneading behavior is a kind of showing affection. This is their natural instinct, and it is pervasive cat behavior.

3. Cat Kneads Me in Search of Pleasure and Comfort

Cat kneading me to perceive comfort and pleasure. The kneading makes them happy they try to control their emotions by doing this. Therefore, when a cat kneads on you or any surface, she is trying to seek comfort and helping herself to calm down.

4. She Is Exercising

Have you noticed the first thing a cat does when she wakes up from a long nap?

Well, she stretches her body because she enjoys doing it. Felines musculoskeletal system requires exercise and nice body stretch movement.

Your kitty will knead to keep her muscles of paws, legs, and whole back to release the stress caused in the body. It is similar to you stretching your body after sitting long on desk work. It does give you pleasure, right?

5. Nostalgic About Their Kitten Hood Days

Cats begin to knead when they are little. They stimulate milk production by rubbing their paws against both sides of their mother’s teats.

This is a natural cat instinct that they develop from the very first day, and it lives with them till their adulthood. If you have observed your cat drooling while kneading you, it is because she is expecting a meal.

Nostalgic About Their Kitten Hood Days

When cats are satisfied in maturity, they knead because it reminds them of their mothers’ care. Kittens do this to seek pleasure and to have fun.

This indicates cats feel safe around you and have a great relationship with you. Just like they have with their mommy cat.

6. Cat Kneading Me to Show Love

Cat’s can say I love you in many ways, from which one way is kneading.

When your kitty wants to express her love to you, she will purr loudly and knead you. This shows that she is pleased and relaxed when she is with you.

They get a safe vibe from you and want you to know that they like you. I know cats displaying affection can be hurtful for your body as the claws have sharp nails.

Therefore, make sure to trim her nails daily so when she displays her love, you don’t have to face claw marks.

Even if she accidentally hurt you while kneading, she obviously doesn’t mean to hurt you!

7. Cats Knead to Claim Territory

Cat breeds are territorial creatures. They don’t share their things easily. Similarly, when your cat kneads you, she is claiming to you that you are her hooman. They mark what’s theirs.

They have scent glands in their paw pads by which they transfer scent and mark you are as their property, just like they use the scent to mark their beds, places, cat toys, and furniture. Similarly, they also cover you in this. This shows they own you, and you are her hooman. Isn’t this adoring?

8. They Need Peaceful Nap

Cat kneads before sleep just like we humans make our bed and pillows before sleep cats also do the same.

They make their spot restful so that they can enjoy a peaceful sleep. The other reason why they knead before sleep is due to safety purposes.

They Need Peaceful Nap

Cats are clever, and they know when they will sleep, anyone, can attack them. Therefore, cats make sure whether the sleeping place is safe or not.

Cat’s relatives used to live wilds, so they knead the soil, leaves everything with the help of their paw to make sure the place is safe to sleep in.

9. Cat Kneading Me to Control Her Stress

When your adorable cat is in some sought of tension, you will notice her behavior will change. She will excessively lick the objects or obsessively knead in rhythmic motion, be it blanket or anything.

She does that because it helps her to distress. You can also help her by petting her, or by swiftly pushing her down on your lap, or by keeping several playing sessions.

How to Stop Cat Kneading Me?

If you are uncomfortable with cat kneading behavior and want it to stop, you can follow the steps listed below.

  • Follow one simple rule of distraction. Redirect your furry friends action of showing love to you.
  • You can either get her scratching post or toys it will help her get engaged in new stuff.
  • In the starting it may be difficult to stop her, so you can simply place a towel on your lap when she is kneading on you.
  • Bear in mind never yell, punish your cat or use negative reinforcement tricks. She will be hurt and scared of you.


Why do cats knead on blankets?

Cats knead on blankets because of natural instinct. When they are kittens, they have a habit of kneading stuff. It is relaxing and helps to keep them happy. She will not only knead the blanket when happy but also express pleasure.

Why do cats knead on their owners?

Cat do massaging on their owners because they want to express their love. By kneading, they are marking their territory. They claim you that you are their human.

Your cat will do this to release some pain and to have a great sleep. Well, most of the female cats knead when they are in heat and want to conceive.

Why do cats knead and purr?

When a cat purrs and kneads, it is a symbol of contentment. Her purring shows how satisfied she is, and its vibration helps her to heal.

Kneading shows she feels good, and it keeps her away from all stress. She calms herself by kneading on the soft surface or anything. Basically, your cat will knead and purr only when she is happy.

The Endnote!

You can know why do cats knead their owners in this post. Generally, cat kneading me because she loves me, she tries to tell that she feels great around me, and when I don’t pay much attention, she does this to seek my attention.

Well, there are multiple reasons why do cats knead their owners. You can read above and get acknowledged. Every cat will use different reasons to knead on you. Therefore, know your cat’s reason right now!

I hope you have understood well why a cat kneads and how to stop your cat from doing that. If you want to share any tips or tricks, do leave a comment below.


  1. Is my cat’s kneading normal? – AAHA
  2. Head Over Paws: Five Ways Your Pet Shows You Love – West Park Animal Hospital
  3. What to Know About Kneading in Cats – Pet WebMD

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