When it comes to understanding why do cats make biscuits, also known as kneading, many cat lovers are curious about this adorable behavior. Cats make biscuits, or knead, by pushing their paws in and out against a soft surface. This behavior starts when they are kittens. Kittens knead their mother’s belly to stimulate milk flow while nursing. 

    As cats grow older, kneading becomes a comforting and soothing behavior reminiscent of their kittenhood. It’s a way for cats to show contentment, relaxation, and create a cozy space for themselves. Let’s describe this feline behavior in detail and uncover the reasons behind this endearing habit.

    Origins of Cat Kneading

    Cat kneading originates from kittenhood when nursing kittens knead around their mother’s teat to stimulate milk flow. This behavior is deeply rooted in cats as a way to seek comfort and security. Even as adult cats, the act of kneading remains a familiar and soothing behavior of their early days with their mother.

    How can you tell if a cat is making biscuits?

    When a cat is making biscuits, also known as kneading, there are several signs to look out for:

    • Rhythmic Paw Movements: Cats will rhythmically push their front paws in and out against a soft surface, like a blanket or your lap, often alternating between right and left limbs.
    • Claw Extension: Some cats may extend their claws while kneading, while others may keep them retracted.
    • Purring: Cats often purr while kneading, indicating contentment and happiness.
    • Comfortable and Relaxed Posture: Cats typically knead when they are feeling at ease and relaxed, showing a sense of security and comfort.
    • Drooling: In some cases, cats may drool while kneading, especially if they are associating the action with comforting feelings from kittenhood.
    • Marking Territory: Kneading can also be a way for cats to mark their territory, as they have scent glands in their paws that are activated during this behavior.
    • Bonding and Affection: Kneading can be a form of bonding with humans, expressing love and affection towards them.

    By observing these behaviors and cues, you can tell when your cat is making biscuits or kneading, a common and endearing feline behavior.

    Why do cats make biscuits? Reasons behind cat kneading

    1. Comfort and Relaxation: Cat kneading is believed to release relaxing hormones, providing cats with a sense of calm and pleasure. This behavior is often associated with feelings of contentment and security.
    2. Territorial Marking: Cats have scent glands in their paws, and by kneading, they mark their territory with their unique scent. This territorial behavior is a way for cats to claim ownership over certain objects or spaces.
    3. Stretching: Cat kneading can also serve as a form of stretching for cats. Just like humans, cats need to stretch their muscles after periods of inactivity, and kneading helps them limber up and prepare for their next activities.
    4. Expression of Affection: Cats may knead their owners as a way to show affection and bond with them. This behavior is a positive sign that your cat feels safe as well as comfortable in your presence.
    5. Preparation for Mating or Labor: Female cats in heat may knead as part of their mating behavior, signaling their readiness to potential mates. Additionally, cats may knead excessively when preparing a comfortable nesting area before giving birth.

    How to manage cat kneading?

    While cat kneading is a natural and instinctual behavior, there are ways to manage it if necessary:

    • Keep your cat’s claws trimmed to minimize scratching.
    • Provide alternative surfaces for kneading, such as blankets or scratching posts.
    • Use distractions like treats or toys to redirect your cat’s attention.
    • Avoid punishing your cat for kneading, as it is a normal and pleasurable behavior for them.

    Do all cats make biscuits?

    Not all cats make biscuits. Some cats knead, while others may not exhibit this behavior. The act of kneading, also known as making biscuits, is a common behavior in cats, but it is not universal to all felines. 

    The behavior of kneading can vary among individual cats, with some using their claws and others not, and some cats kneading on humans while others prefer softer surfaces like blankets or carpets. Therefore, whether a cat makes biscuits or not depends on the cat’s personality, comfort level, and individual preferences.


    In summary, cat kneading, or “making biscuits,” is a complex behavior rooted in a cat’s instinctual nature and early experiences. By understanding the reasons mentioned above behind this behavior, cat owners can better appreciate and respond to their feline companions’ unique ways of expressing themselves.


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