Curious about “why does my cat bite my blanket and knead it?”
Cat behaviors are hard to understand because all cats have different ways of expressing how they feel. No matter if your cat is affectionate and needy or likes to close up, one always needs to dedicate time in learning about their cat’s behavior to communicate better.
Cats are cute feline creatures that have stolen the fragile hearts of us humans. They perform adorable actions such as rolling over, exposing their bare bellies at us and trying to squeeze their petite bodies into small objects that do not fit. However, an occurring collective action that cats have done that leaves us completely confused is “kneading.”
What is kneading
The answer to why cats knead varies. Before diving into the compelling theories, we should explain what it is first.
Kneading refers to when a cat continuously presses its claws into soft surfaces. Cats often knead on smooth surfaces like pillows, blankets, or clothes as they attempt to get comfortable. They push in and outwards with their feet, alternating between left and right. Their claws completely retract as they pull back. It’s called kneading because it’s similar to the action of when bakers knead the dough.
However, a question that has continuously risen is, “why does my cat knead my blanket?”
Reasons why cats knead
There are several reasons to answer the question. Animal experts say that the kneading action only occurs when a cat is in a place where it feels at home, indicating a positive behavior. They are signaling that they feel safe.
One reason that cats knead is that they smell a familiar scent. It is more likely an instinctive behavior that is comforting for cats. Cats have scent glands in the soft pads located at the bottom of their fee. As they tumble around, unique scents release onto the surface. After a cat has spent a significant amount of time at a place, it’ll get used to the smell.
Automatically, the cat will assume that it is in its possession. When at a place where a cat feels accustomed and in property of, it’ll start it’s kneading rituals.
Kneading always conveys a sign of satisfaction. It seems quite odd, but cats knead as a way of de-stressing. When your cat is massaging you with their tiny paws, it’s telling you that it feels relaxed and safe. It’s a normal behavior in cats as part of a way to show playfulness. If your cat feels happy while kneading, leave them be. As a caring owner, you always want your cat to be in a happy place.
Marking their owners
Cats are territorial creatures. With kneading being an instinctive behavior since birth and serving a fundamental purpose for kittens, why do they continue kneading after shifting to adulthood?
The answer is quite simple. The velvety soft cushion under the cat’s feet is designed especially for many different purposes. They have practiced this action since they were kittens, kneading on their mother’s breast.
Kittens will use their front legs to slowly massage their mother’s stomach in a steady rhythm to stimulate milk. Therefore adult cats attach themselves to this action to express affection. They replicate the same movement, except to their beloved owners. Since cats can’t physically talk, it’s their way of saying, “‘You’re mine!”
This behavior is standard and part of their nature. Nonetheless, if your cat is causing harm or damage, there are a few protocols you can do to protect yourself and your pet.
Start by trimming your cat’s nails to avoid the sharp claws from scratching you. You can buy a clipper and cut it yourself or bring your cat to the closest vet.
To keep yourself safe, wearing long sleeve shirts will minimize the chances of getting a mark from a cat that kneads too hard. If you don’t want to end up with scratches or torn clothes, fold a towel next to your favorite chair. A thick towel will protect your legs and avoid any furniture damage. Just move your cat onto the towel or place the towel on your lap when your cat begins kneading.
How to stop your cat from kneading
Despite loving affection, kneading can be uncomfortable. If convinced that you’ve had enough of your cat suckling on your blankets, don’t worry. Some quick training can easily eradicate this unwanted behavior. There are many tricks you can apply to reduce your cat from kneading.
You can begin by gently pulling your cat down into a lying position, which will settle and calm the cat, making it go to sleep. Also, you can use a toy or treat to distract your cat.
Another way is whenever you see your cat kneading, you gently pull its paw away and say “no.” Once you repeatedly do this, your cat will eventually learn that it shouldn’t carry out this movement.
Regardless, it’s essential to understand that kneading is a natural instinctive behavior.
While it’s good to have a happy cat, you should always keep a careful eye on your cat when a cat puts a blanket in its mouth and kneads it. With sheets made from many different materials, your cat could be ingesting fibers or other small hazardous things.
Also, be aware of your cat allergies. When chewing onto soft things like a blanket, your cat may be allergic to chemicals used to make the blanket — notice for symptoms such as sneezing, vomiting, swollen paws, or itchy skin.
There’s more to a cat than being a furry friend. You must learn to understand the signals that they send you. We may not be able to explain all the strange things that cats do adequately, but all veterinarians can agree that kneading correlates to positive signs.
Everyone who has successfully learned the language of cats cannot find a reason to reject them, because cats are the perfect balance of playful and cute. Now, the next time you ask yourself why does my cat bite and knead the blanket, you know the answer. Just enjoy it!