As pet lovers, we all know that cats are full of fascinating behaviors that can leave us scratching our heads. One of these behaviors is kneading. And if you're a cat owner, you may have noticed that your feline friend loves to knead blankets in particular. So, why do cats knead blankets, and what does it mean when they do it? In this post, we will explore the reasons behind this behavior and shed some light on what's going on in your cat's mind.
What is cat kneading?
Before we dive into the specifics of why cats knead blankets, let's first define what cat kneading is. Kneading is a behavior that cats exhibit when they alternate pushing and pulling with their paws against a soft surface, such as a blanket or pillow. It's also known as a cat making biscuits or sometimes milk treading.
The origins of cat kneading are still not fully understood, but some experts believe that it goes back to their wildcat ancestors. Wild cats would knead the ground or grass to create a comfortable and safe spot to rest or give birth. Kittens would also knead their mother's belly to stimulate milk production, this behavior has been passed down through generations.
Why do cats knead blankets?
Now, let's take a look at the reasons behind why cats knead blankets in particular. Here are a few possibilities:
Comfort and relaxation: Kneading can be a way for cats to create a comfortable and safe spot for themselves. By kneading a soft surface, such as a blanket, they can create a warm and cozy spot to rest and relax.
Marking territory: Another reason why cats may knead blankets is to mark their territory. When they knead, they release pheromones from the sweat glands on their paws. This scent can help to mark the blanket as their own and make them feel more secure in their surroundings.
Instinctual behavior: Finally, cats may knead blankets simply because it's an instinctual behavior. Kittens learn to knead their mother's belly from a young age, and this behavior can carry over into adulthood. Kneading may just be a natural behavior for cats that helps them feel more comfortable and relaxed.
What does it mean when cats knead you?
Cats don't just knead blankets - they may also knead their owners or other people they feel close to. So, what does it mean when a cat kneads you? Here are a few possibilities:
Affection and bonding: Kneading can be a sign of affection and bonding between cats and their owners. When they knead you, they may be showing their love for you.
Seeking attention and comfort: Cats may also knead their owners to get attention or seek comfort. If they're feeling stressed or anxious, kneading can be a way for them to release tension and feel more calm.
Instinctual behavior: Finally, kneading may be an instinctual behavior for cats, just like it is with blankets. They may knead their owners simply because it feels good and helps them feel more relaxed.
Why do cats suck on blankets?
Another behavior that cats may exhibit with blankets is sucking. Some cats will suck on a blanket or piece of clothing, kneading it with their paws while they do so. Here are a few reasons why cats may suck on blankets:
Comfort and self-soothing: Cats may suck on blankets as a way to comfort themselves. The act of sucking can be soothing and help them to feel calm and relaxed.
Weaning Behaviour: Kittens may also suck on blankets as a way to simulate nursing behavior from their mother. This behavior can carry over into adulthood and become a comforting habit.
Stress and anxiety: Sucking on blankets can also be a sign of stress or anxiety in cats. If your cat is experiencing a stressful situation, such as a move or a new pet in the house, they may turn to sucking on blankets as a coping mechanism.
Cats are full of fascinating behaviors, and kneading and biting blankets are just two of them. While the reasons behind these behaviors are not fully understood, they are a natural and instinctual behavior for cats. Whether they're kneading and marking their territory on a blanket or seeking comfort by sucking on it, these behaviors can provide insight into your cat's state of mind. By understanding why cats knead blankets and suck on them, you can better understand and bond with your feline friend. Get your furry friend their very own Minky Couture blanket to snuggle in and knead from our Pet Collection.
Sewn with love, Minky Couture