Cats kneading blankets, your belly, or other fluffy things are extremely common. But have you ever invested your thoughts on this? Like why do cats knead blankets? Or why do cats knead at all? 

Experts believe that the kneading of a cat always indicates something. It is like the feline is connecting with you through this behavior. A cat kneads when it is very happy or missing its mother. There are many more probable reasons why a kitty kneads soft blankets. 

If you are feeling curious, give a quick read to this article. Learning more about the behavior of your feline will help you provide it with great care. 

What is a cat kneading? 

Cat kneading, a cat giving a massage, or feline is preparing to bake, you can call it anything you want. Everything refers to the same thing. Now the question is why people compare kneading with baking or massage. 

The cat rhythmically alternates its paws, pushing it in and out against a soft, fluffy surface, or your lap. This motion will remind you of a baker making biscuits. That is why people connect kneading with massage or baking. 

Why do cats knead blankets? People believe cats knead when it is happy and feeling safe. There are many more reasons that I will discuss in the upcoming sections.

Why Do Cats Knead Blankets? 

why do cats knead blankets

A cat only kneads soft surfaces. Let it be a blanket or your tummy. No matter where the cat is kneading, the meaning is the same. Here are 4 probable reasons why a cat kneads blankets:

1. Tagging territory 

You might know that felines are excellent in their smelling sense. Before moving into anywhere or playing with a stranger or another animal, the cats always take the smell. If the scent seems trustworthy, the cat will not give a second thought before playing with the person. 

So, whenever a feline loves something or someone, it leaves a scent behind. The cats have special scent glands in the pads of their paws. When they knead the blankets with the paws, it activates the scent glands. 

After a while, the glands release pheromone hormones that have a unique scent. This is a way for cats to mark their territory. When a cat is kneading on a blanket, it means this is the feline’s favorite resting place. So, the other kitties can back off.

2. Remembering kittenhood 

Kneading can be a warm memory from the cat’s childhood. A kitten used to knead its mother’s stomach as a gesture of nursing. Whenever the kitten feels hungry, it kneads the mother’s tummy to encourage the milk flow. 

Even after the cat becomes mature, the memory stays in its mind. It still searches for the warmth and comfort the mother used to provide. And so, if the felines are kneading a soft blanket, this can be a way for the cat to miss the memory. 

When you notice your cat kneading a blanket or any fluffy surface, stroke the pet to make it feel loved.

3. The feline is going into heat

This is only true for the unspayed female cats. When their heating cycle begins, they become desperate for mating. So, they do the blanket kneading for spreading a special odor. 

We humans can not smell the scent, but the male cats can. The female kitties inform the male ones via this scent that their heating cycle has begun. So, if your unspayed female feline is kneading the blanket or any soft surface, there is a chance that it is ready to mate. 

However, I recommend neutering or spaying your cats in the month of six. You probably know that a cat can get pregnant when it is four to six months. Neutering the felines will stop unwanted pregnancies. 

Also, spaying the cat reduces the chance of respiratory diseases. So, the felines stay fit and healthy.

4. Preparing for a nap 

Cats are warmth lovers and what can be a better place to sleep than a soft blanket. Sometimes, the felines prepare their beds on their own. They use their little paws and knead the blanket to arrange the bedding. 

The felines will turn the blanket into a cuddly place. This will provide the pets both warmth and security. The kittens knead their mother’s stomach and sleep there. 

However, the wild ancestors of the felines used to knead the grass at night. They did it to make a safe place to pass the night and protection from the predators. I guess modern house cats do it as they own the same gene.

Why do cats knead? Other probable reasons

why do cats knead blankets

There can be some other possibilities for why a cat is kneading. For example, 

Kneading can be the stretching of the cats. Cats are the natural yoga masters. After waking up from a nap or a long sleep, they warm up their bodies by kneading. 

I am not saying kneading is the only workout a cat performs. But this is one of its favorite moves to limber the body. They push in and out the front paws to activate all the muscles. 

Why do cats purr and knead?

Kneading itself is a sign that the cat is happy. But when the kneading comes with a purring sound, it indicates the cat is content, safe, and feeling secure. 

Even a kitten can purr and knead at the same time. Sometimes, the purring can sound like a cry or complaint. This means the cat wants something, and it is trying to grab your attention. 

Why do cats knead their owners?

I don’t think I need to explain how close the kitties are to our hearts. We pet them, love them, and do everything possible to make them happy. 

When a kitty kneads on your lap, it means the pet is happy with you and it feels safe. The kneading is a way to return the love and affection you have provided. 

Now, if someone asks you, “Why do cats knead blankets?” I guess you can clear their confusion. Kneading is a way of communication for the feline. Always observe the pet and try to understand what it is trying to say.


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