Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why Do Cats Knead With Paws

The first thing my cat does when he enters the house (yes, he likes to roam outside, then enter the house when we open the front door) is to rush to the carpet and knead.

Although we have not de-clawed out cat, his kneading (at times with his claws drawn) have not damaged the carpet. So we have not stopped him from this behavior.

But there had been a time when we often wondered why he had this propensity to do this each time he entered the house from outside.

It turns out that this is one of the normal cat behavior's which cats do to mark their territory. Well, I am in favor of my cat picking this option than cat spraying!

The following is an article explaining why cats knead.

Two Main Reasons Why Cats Knead
By Kelly Braid

Did you ever question why cats knead? There is possibly more than one answer to this.

You have perhaps noticed this cat behavior hundreds of times. Maybe you have been the receiver of it. Cats pick out a prone spot and start working those paws. At times it is simply a soft pawing, other times the claws spring into action. When she is really into it, she is completely focused on the task at hand. Or should we say paw?

Cats seem to have an unfathomable need to knead, and they are rarely concerned with whether they are kneading comfortable couch cushions, their cat bed or your lap.

The question why cats knead is not about how they enjoy such activity, but what motivates them to do such thing. Examine the following two main reasons for kneading cats:

Emotional Security

One great reason why cats knead stems from their early years. Kittens knead their mother in order for them to acquire their life-supporting milk. Kneading on either side of the mom's teat motivates the milk to freely flow. The actions are natural and because they receive a reward, kitty naturally transmits the behavior to other locations in the anticipation of good things to come.

Another theory as to why cats knead is that they may have been separated from their mother at too early of an age. This is commonly thought not to be the case as almost every cat, even those who remain with their mother into adulthood will show this behavior at some point.

For cats, kneading appears to be much of an encouraging behavior as it basically happens during times of contentment and happiness. It is rarely if ever seen when a cat is feeling angry or bullied.

Marking Their Territory

Cats normally knead to ensure that their chosen location is as comfortable as possible however there is another more important reason for this action.

Cats possess scent glands situated in their feet's pads near the bottom of their claws. Every feline creates its own special scent. Humans do not normally detect this scent, but cats and other animals can. Therefore, by kneading your cat leaves a marker to demonstrate where she has been and that you are her property.

When cats want to define the boundaries of their territories, she will paw and also run her claws across the object, leaving those physical markings and a little personal eau de feline in the deal.

Now, you know why cats knead. So, next time you see your cat start to work those pads on your lap, appreciate how important you are to her. She has chosen you and is telling the entire animal kingdom that she considers you her property. Now perhaps you can just smile and bear your cat's unusual behavior.

Kelly is a cat enthusiast. Visit Purrfectly Trained Cat to find out more about the different ways cats communicate as well as information to help fix your cats behavior problems.

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