Kneading Cats

Kneading Cats

When your cat kneads…. (or “makes bread”—as most of us call it), what does it mean?

The first theory behind “making bread” is that your cat is just trying to show affection towards you. As much as we hate to admit it, animals can’t speak to us, that is why they must show their emotions in other ways. I have found that when my cat lays on a soft rug or is being pet, the bread baking begins.

Have you ever noticed your cat kneading as it finds a spot to lay down and relax? Another possibility of kneading spans all the way back to their ancestors. This theory has been in place since researchers found that long ago, undomesticated cats would knead into the tall grass that created soft sleeping spots. If the spot was not up to par, the cat would quickly move to another preferable spot.

Theory number 3 is when a momma cat has babies, it is common to see the kittens kneading as they are nursing. As kittens turn into adults, they retain a “food is love” memory. Therefore you might see your cat kneading while it eats it food.  

Purina also states that kneading is your cat’s way of “claiming you”. In other words, you are being marked. There are scent glands on their paws, that are released onto you, letting all the other animals know, “this is MY human”.

Theory or not, when your cat “makes bread”, it is letting you know how happy he/she is.