Click here to learn more.
It’s almost like a state of feline nirvana: Your
cat curls up in your lap and rhythmically presses one paw, then the other, with eyes half closed and a trickle of drool running down her
Kneading, or what many veterinarians call “making biscuits,” is an instinctive behavior that begins in kittens shortly after birth. Noted zoologist Desmond Morris coined the phrase “milk treading” to describe the movement of a kitten’s paws against her mother's mammary glands to stimulate milk flow.
This behavior certainly serves a purpose for kittens, but why does it continue into adulthood? Animal behaviorists speculate that an adult cat kneads to show contentment, to calm herself when she's feeling anxious or to mark a person or object with her scent from the sweat glands in her paws.
Kittens who are weaned too early may not only knead, but also attempt to suckle on human skin, earlobes, stuffed toys and even the family dog. In extreme cases, some cats (usually Siamese or Siamese-crosses) will obsessively suck or chew on wool blankets or clothing while kneading — and even ingest parts of the object.
So if your little fluff ball is simply kneading you — and she appears to be in a state of contentment — sit back, relax and enjoy your kitty massage. And if she's overdoing it? Talk with your vet.
More on Vetstreet.com:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
A webcam recorded the scene as about 100 loggerhead sea turtles hatched in their nest on a Florida Keys beach.
We asked veterinary professionals and
pet owners to vote on water-loving and
water-shy breeds, and the results are…
Every year, the wild ponies of Assateague
swim to Chincoteague and are auctioned
off to support the volunteer fire…
Little Navann has no idea what to make
of the orange feline he happens upon at
Thailand’s Elephant Nature Park.
Our expert shares what should go into
emergency kits for animals, like extra
leashes, medication and recent photos.
Believed to have originated in Egypt around 329 B.C., the elegant Saluki is a calm and quiet companion.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.