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Comments On - Why Do Cats Knead?

Cayleigh    Calgary, CA

11/9/2014 11:04:36 PM

My Ragdoll kitten wakes me up every single night, she never misses a night - but she will come up and kneed my neck/back of the head. I take it as a sign of affection but my goodness she's so aggressive with it. If you move her/hide your neck/head she meows at you like she's yelling at you. Currently she's laying on my neck sleeping currently and will not move. I wish I could post a picture on here so you could see the cuteness. She's about 7 months old.

Da lady    Temple Hills, MD

10/28/2014 1:34:52 PM

Our kitten(at 5 months) kneed us 3 or 4 in the morning! to wake up and play or feeding, if her bowl is empty! If I lay in the bed to sleep late on Saturday's, she will come and kneed or knudge me with her nose to get up, even when there are others in the house. I take that as affection, but the time isn't appropriate, lol!

Geri    Atlanta, GA

6/20/2014 5:43:55 AM

It is good to know that my cat's kneading is a positive sign of affection. I have throw in my living room that is very furry, and I cover myself with it, and there he is, kneading away! Lovely to have the affection from Prince!

janet    bethlehem, PA

9/12/2013 4:46:07 AM


CatChannel Editor    Irvine, CA

4/1/2013 12:29:08 PM

Kathy -- Try finding a security blanket of sorts for your cats to knead. The next time a cat tries to paw you, place a blanket or towel where the cats are kneading. Put this cloth over your arm or stomach or wherever your cat is kneading and let your cat paw this for a while. Gradually remove the blanket and place it next to you. Encourage your cat to use this blanket by sprinkling it with catnip, too.

You can also reach out to other cat owners on our forum at for their advice. Good luck

Kathy    Ormond Beach, FL

3/31/2013 3:11:12 AM

my problem is this -- I KNOW that my cats are loving me when they milk tread on me, but IT HURTS! and sometimes I yell at them ("get the hell off me!") and then I feel bad... i'm going to just have to take the bad with the good, right? but... owww. my question is this -- if they are milk treading on me it means that i'm their mommy and they love me and they're comfy, WHICH I LOVE, but I have so many scratches on me, and it hurts, and if they would stop it would be great... HELP???

asdf    asdf, MA

12/11/2012 12:43:51 PM

well first off, if they are are really comfortable with you when you hold them or when they're on you, they might start kneading because it also remingds them of being with their mother and kneading against her belly when they were a kitty. if you really watch a cat when its doing it you can almost see it smiling with its eyes. and about the love thing, i had a cat that loved me more than almost any person in the whole world could love! he came to us on the front porch one day and he was cute so we took him to the vet and got him patched up. now, technically he should be thankful for my parents for paying for him to get fixed. but i helped him recover from the surgery everyday, and i feel like he thought he owed his life to me. he was an AWESOME cat. don't ever say cats can't love and that cats don't remember stuff. because they totally can just like humans!

Gerry Hargis    Las Vegas, NV

10/26/2012 11:15:52 AM

I have (a feral cat with clipped right ear)that took me several months for her to allow me to touch & hold her. She kneads a lot & when she does she spreads her front toes as wide as she can (seeing the stretched skin between her toes) & holding that stretched position for up to 4 to 5 seconds. I have had several cats over the years & have never seen that before. Does this have any special meaning?

Michalle    Portland, OR

9/29/2012 4:20:11 PM

My Siamese mix,Honeyfern,loves to suck on soft blankets and knead as well with her claws.She was dropped off at my doorstep at 2 weeks old along with her brother. Mitten Kitten, another Siamese that I had did the same thing.

Shirley    Tucson, AZ

8/20/2012 4:34:54 PM

Thank you.

Ona    Silverdale, WA

1/6/2012 5:36:36 PM

This article is very educational. But, can you tell me why my cat, Bear, only kneads my left breast. I'm not kidding. He's just become very loving. He's a Ragdoll so I know slow to learn, but big on love.

aa    hollister, CA

7/15/2011 11:46:11 PM

aww my mamash is always happy and comfortable

Karen    CBS, NL

5/31/2011 4:50:49 AM

I always thought that that is what it meant when my cat George kneaded me. that is great. And cat's definately do love. they probably know how to show more affection than some people in this's are a spectacular creature and we are lucky to have them in our lives.

Lisa    Oak Creek, WI

1/18/2011 12:23:29 PM

Thank-you for the info. I've heard many theories, but I believe your's is correct. My cat's do the same, knead when they appear most content in your presence.

Alice    Loxley, AL

5/27/2010 7:40:43 AM

My cat, Squeaky, definitely kneads showing me her love. Anytime I sit on the couch she is there and kneading the tops of my legs. She will go back and forth for a while (trying to find the softest part) until she settles in and kneads for a while. She likes me to rub her ears while she is kneading. The cutest thing I like is to watch her eyes how they just seem to go into a trancelike state and she starts "drooling". Yes little bits of drool form at her mouth and drip down onto my lap. I would say she is totally loving and relaxed at this point and then she curls up next to me and goes to sleep.


4/2/2010 1:15:35 AM


henry    monmouth, ME

1/31/2010 1:28:05 AM


sabrina    columbia, NJ

1/7/2010 4:34:50 PM

my cat only does that to his stuff animal bunny and his two pet beds. i dont get it. I guess he really likes his beds!

wanda    monmouth, ME

12/20/2009 2:16:20 AM

i think that they do that as a sign of love and comfort

karen    perth amboy, NJ

9/24/2009 3:47:22 PM

they show there love and affection to you. when they knead. my cat cuddles kneads on my neck , but he doesnt bring out his claws.

Scott    Ada, OK

9/11/2009 6:31:15 AM

My three year old cat likes to jump on me when I'm laying down, and knead whatever I'm laying on. He also likes to follow me wherever I go...

Nimfa    Seattle, WA

5/28/2009 11:38:35 AM

That is so true!
A have 4 babies and 2 of them are doing it all the time. At times its annoying but I always look it the other way...they are giving me so much affection!!!!!

d    simsbury, CT

4/8/2009 6:31:43 AM

it drives me nuts especially at 11:00p.m. :)


1/20/2009 4:17:51 AM


Andrew    Palo Alto, CA

12/17/2008 3:57:39 PM

OOOhhh. Now I get it! My cat does that all the time whenever on my bed!

Becky    Grifton, NC

11/22/2008 5:20:30 PM

My kitties must be very content. They knead me all the time. Glad to find out it is from contentment and not from frustration.

Linda    Mandeville, LA

9/1/2008 2:38:39 AM

Good article.

Linda    Mandeville, LA

9/1/2008 2:38:26 AM

Good article.

Linda    Mandeville, LA

9/1/2008 2:38:21 AM

Good article.

Alice    Loxley, AL

8/12/2008 6:16:34 AM

I totally agree. I have 4 cats and 3 of them love to knead in different ways. Squeaky likes to knead on my thighs or my husband's thighs, Mancat like to knead the inner part of my arm and Sunshine loves to knead the top of my head. They are always relaxed and contented while doing this and it also relaxes me.

John    Cupertino, CA

7/10/2008 9:10:15 PM

This really helped my understand why my cat, Precious, kneads. I didn't know that before!

Linda    Mandeville, LA

7/8/2008 8:04:58 AM

My cat likes to knead my hair, I think he relates to me as his Mom in this way and it melts my heart.

Linda    Mandeville, LA

5/6/2008 3:58:20 AM


Jake    minneapolis, MN

4/20/2008 8:35:05 PM

I didn't know that.

Linda    Mandeville, LA

4/9/2008 4:05:22 AM

I agree, good article.

Jeanna    Lancaster, PA

4/8/2008 9:14:29 AM

My kittens often need me when I come home from work or am about to leave. It is when I am standing and the stretch their bodies out along my seems as if they want to be held or loved. I very much agree with this article.

Linda    Shelby, NC

4/2/2008 5:16:26 AM

I have never been a lover of cats, but a black stray cat showed up on our deck one day. Well, we could not send him away hungry so as you know he has adopted us as his mom and dad. He has not been neutered and I am not quite sure if we should take him in or not. We are not sure that he does not have another owner-he disappears for several days at a time and comes back starving. One thing that is wants to constantly do is knead-not just humans but blankets, pillows, throws. We have noticed it is almost sexual with him, and we have found perfect little circles on these kneading objects that seems to be some type of ejactulation. Could you help us with this?

We are looking for another owner, but so far to no avail. We plan to take him in to be neutered and get his shots wellness checkup-Will the strange spots stop once he is neutered. Thank you for your response.

Leanne    Sacramento, CA

2/29/2008 1:31:23 PM

very helpful info. Thank you.

Karen    Lakeland, FL

2/14/2008 6:29:34 AM

I love it when my cats knead my leg or side when they are sitting with me. To me, it is their way of petting me. I almost purr myself!

mary    saratoga, NY

1/30/2008 8:12:05 AM

my cat is really funny, he will knead the air, when he is laying on his cat furniture you can see his feet hanging over the edge kneading in mid air, it always makes me smile.

Vivian    Miami, FL

1/21/2008 5:29:17 PM

Is catnip good for cats? How much? How often? Why do they act so silly on it?

fae    kingman, AZ

1/11/2008 3:03:08 PM

this is cool

lin    van nuys, CA

1/10/2008 11:43:39 AM

Hard to be stressed when a cat is kneeding and loving you


10/27/2007 11:22:20 PM


Chelsie    dover, NH

9/4/2007 2:27:19 PM

I wish my cat would do that. We've only had him 2 weeks and he seems comfortable but isn't too loving with us yet.

Karen    Blauvelt, NY

7/25/2007 9:06:42 PM

Aww, I recently asked my vet the same question! My vet told me it was very rare for an adult cat to continue kneading. He asked me if I bottle-fed my cat, and that if i had, maybe the cat could view me as it's mother. I've never bottle-fed him but my vet is still convinced that's the only reason for adult kneading! Now I know it's just because he's happy. :)

Brooke    lasvegas, NV

7/6/2007 7:57:30 AM

my cat ahchoo kneads and get a sappy look onher face.

AJB    Suffern, NY

6/25/2007 5:27:26 PM

My cat becomes excited when she sees that it's time to go to bed. Every night she follows the same routine; she gets on the pillow next to my head, puts her face against my cheek and kneads my neck until she falls asleep. It is the only time I ever hear her purr. I have a feeling that she loves this ritual just as much as I do.

Amanda    Orlando, FL

6/18/2007 2:51:43 PM

I never knew that, but I have a cat who kneads my neck and then licks it! It is so sweet when he does it and I just love that he has that characteristic.

Hannah    West Allis, WI

6/16/2007 3:51:53 PM

I think your articals are very good.I wish you would write one on aggression.

Linda    Auburndale, FL

5/6/2007 10:20:30 PM

Thank you so much! I never had a cat before I took in Ozzie and after he was weaned and even still now, he kneads me or his favorite red blanket, and I could quite figure out why. I thought it was like a dog walking around in several circles before laying down in it's bed or that I may have taken him off the bottle too soon, LOL. So thank you for clearing that up in my mind. :-)
Love and Purrrss,
Linda M. & Ozzie

Elizabeth    Nashville, TN

4/15/2007 2:47:09 AM

My 8 month old kitten used to knead as a sign of affection. However, this has changed to a more aggressive kneading that causes an erection even though he's been neutered. When I attempt to push him away, he gives a very stern "meow" that says I better leave him alone. What to do?! I don't want to be too aggressive in correcting him because he's really a very timid cat otherwise. Easily frightened.

Shawn    Crawford, WV

4/3/2007 9:40:19 AM

My Cat gets in bed with me every night and climbs on my chest puts her face right up to mine as if to kiss me and begins neading my chest wile purring loudly. My wife is sevearly jelous of her behavior. She keeps trying to tell the cat that she can't have me because I am already spoken for.

Dorothy    Friday Harbor, WA

3/27/2007 2:06:50 PM

That article answered a question that my husband has asked frequently. Our younger cat kneads his stomach while waiting to be petted. Now, we know it's because she loves him. :)


3/25/2007 5:17:10 PM


Leah    Brooklyn,, NY

3/16/2007 12:00:54 AM

My cat also licks my arm and sucks on it when she treads on me. Is this normal and should it be encouraged? I usually do encourage it and I think it is a cute sign that she sees me as "mommy," but it is also pretty weird.

Lisa    Rochester, NY

3/5/2007 3:49:21 PM

Great article! Thanks for the look into the cat mind! I love to watch Gato Diablo knead his blanket with a piece of it in his mouth! Such funny creatures!

Lara    Antioch, TN

2/26/2007 12:28:14 PM

Our wonderful cat Binky LOVES our green ' couch ' blanket, and has a nightly ritual of 'kneading' it while he sits between us on the couch.

It is DEFINATLY a sign of love, and comfort in his case!

Sherry    Norfolk, NE

2/23/2007 3:32:58 PM

I have 4 cats, all rescues. Three of them I have had since 10 days old, so I'm pretty much the only "mom" they know. All 4 will knead me at various times, but 2 of them really take it to extremes. They love to sleep with me, but will not go 2 sleep until they have snuggled up next to me and kneaded my neck. I agree that it's a sign of affection!!

Elizabeth    Marshall, MN

2/21/2007 8:58:06 AM

Understanding that kneading behavior is residual behavior from kittenhood makes it obvious that it's a loving gesture, and easier to tolerate when claws are involved! I love it when my cats knead my lap or one of the beds I fashioned for them - I know they are pleased and making themselves comfortable. And when they purr as they knead and make a spot to curl up, it couldn't be a better compliment.

Carol    Orlando, FL

2/11/2007 11:17:32 PM

All three of my cats knead. This is accompanied to varying degrees, by drooling and a look of intense concentration, almost a trancelike state. I have always enjoyed being "kneaded" by my cats.

Lynn    Milwaukee, WI

1/9/2007 4:36:20 PM

My cat is a fairly large TOM. When he kneads me is goes on for a long time. When I move him,he gets alittle agressive and will sometimes bite. What you do think is going on??

L. Garrett    Beaumont, TX

12/23/2006 5:46:47 AM

I always thought it was because they had been taken from their mother at too early of an age. I love knowing it is a sign of love & affection! One of my babies has been declawed (will never do that again) & one has not, so at times I do find it to be uncomfortable. But, I would not give it up for anything!

Heather    N Fond du Lac, WI

11/21/2006 12:19:10 PM

My male cat does it at bedtime to my head or neck. And so does my female. I thought it was annoying. Now that I know that it is a show of affection I feel better about it. Thanks for the info.

DB    Chicago, IL

11/10/2006 11:53:11 AM

My 2 yr old female cat likes to crawl under the covers and knead against my bare belly. It's the sweetest thing and it makes me feel loved

Rhonda    Antioch, CA

9/13/2006 1:46:20 PM

I have a 5.5 year old female who has within the past 3.5 years chose me as hers. She was a one of four kittens. Her mother one February day came along and jumped on my lap whilst I was sitting on the front porch, she must have been approx. 1.25 yrs. old. Little did I know she was pregnant.
I watched the kittens come into this world they were born beside my bed, I helped "Mommy" with each one as they arrived.
They were all so cute they all had their own personalities.
The one who chose me as hers wouldn't let me out of her sight all throughout her life. I found good homes for the others. AS unfortunatly, where I was living wouldn't except more than the one.
They were all over 3 yrs. old when I had to make this hard dicision. Someone actually told me would you rather be sleeping on the streets and homeless than keep all of your cats!!! Heartbreaking call.
Maybe "Borageeta" realized the fellings I felt because she began to "make muffins" around that time. Every since when I feel emotional for whatever reason beit sad, anger whatever she will come to me and talk to me (meow) and give me this concerned look so that I pay attention directly to her. I'll ask her "Do you want to make muffins"? and she will paw at my legs upon her hind legs. So I will lie down and she will begin to "muffin" on my stomach.


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