I used to have two cats who were sisters and littermates. And one peculiar behavior one of them exhibited was frequently kneading her sister’s belly. Which brought up the question in our house, why do cats knead?

The short answer is no one knows for sure. However, there are some very interesting theories that can help explain this common feline behavior. Read on and we’ll discuss them below.

Let’s face it, cats can be strange and puzzling creatures. But we say that in a good way! You just can’t help but love and adore them for it!

what do cats knead

One moment they crave attention and love, and they turn into high-maintenance snobs in the next. And, as cat owners, we still love them no matter how they treat us!

Their weird attitude is what makes them extra special. Not to mention those cuddly little faces, bellies and paws that are just too cute for words!

Sometimes, though, they just do these weird things that we can’t help but wonder why they do them – such as kneading. What could possibly be the reason why cats knead? What’s going on in those little brains of theirs?

Kneading is a behavior you’ve probably seen your pet cats do hundreds of times before. It’s when your little furry friend pushes in and out with its front paws, often alternating between left and right. It kind of looks like they are doing their own version of push-ups, right? Or maybe even looks like they are kneading dough.

As to why they do it, to this day, there is still no clear explanation as to why cats knead.

However, there are plenty of hypotheses from cat owners and veterinarians alike to explain this completely normal behavior.

The most popular explanation is that kneading is a behavior cats develop when they are tiny little kittens. When cats are nursing, they knead the area around their mother’s nipples to promote milk flow. It’s a behavior that helps them get more milk.

why do cats knead

So, as the theory goes, cats probably grow accustomed to this habit and never really grow out of it. And when they are feeling happy or content – similar to what they were feeling when they were still nursing? they start kneading.

Another theory claims that cats kneading is a way for them to claim their territory. After all, cats do have scent glands in the pads of their paws. So when they knead, it could be marking their own territory in your home.

What do you think of these theories? Do you have one of your own? Share them with us in the comments below!

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