Why do Cats make Biscuits: Unveiling Feline Happiness

Many cats exhibit a peculiar behavior - kneading with their front paws on soft surfaces, resembling a massage. This behavior, known as "kneading" or "making biscuits," is relatively common among cats, although not all felines engage in it. So, why do cats knead, and what's the origin of this behavior?

Kneading in cats has its roots in kittenhood. When kittens are nursing, they use their front paws to knead around their mother's nipples. This action stimulates milk flow and provides comfort and security to the kittens. The abundance of food brings happiness, and the soft, warm belly of the cat mom creates a profound and lasting memory for kittens, influencing their entire lives.

Kittens that haven't experienced nursing from their mother and were raised on kitten milk replacer by their human caregivers usually grow up without kneading behavior or display it infrequently. For them, the act of kneading is entirely foreign since they never had the chance to enjoy the happiness that comes with nursing from their cat mom. This explains why some cat owners report that everything seems normal with their cats, and they are lively but don't knead. Kneading persists even after weaning, and you'll notice that your cat may knead on blankets, sofas, blankets, or even your clothes. Interestingly, kneading often occurs when your cat is in a joyful mood, typically before or after sleep or when being petted by their human.


Some cats continue kneading well into adulthood, and they might even purr while doing it. Some people speculate that this behavior is a sign of longing for their mother, reminiscent of the happiness they felt when nursing. Kneading originates from the act of nursing in kittenhood, so this explanation seems plausible.

However, there is a scientific perspective that suggests that adult cats knead not because they miss their mother but because the act of kneading is associated with feelings of happiness and security. This behavior forms deep-seated memories in a cat's mind. Adult cats understand that kneading brings them joy and a sense of safety. When they encounter a situation that evokes similar emotions, these pleasant memories are triggered. Soft blankets resemble the warmth of their mother's belly, recreating the kneading scenario in their minds.

When a cat is gently petted by its owner, it experiences happiness, just as it did when its mother groomed it as a kitten. This is when kneading is most likely to occur because, in a cat's mind, kneading equates to happiness and security. Therefore, adult cats knead as an expression of contentment and not necessarily a longing for their mother.


Things to Keep in Mind When Your Cat Kneads

Your behavior while your cat kneads can influence their mood and impression of you. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

Maintain Quiet

When your cat is kneading, try to be as quiet as possible and avoid speaking loudly. Cats may stop kneading if they are startled or distracted by noise.

Gently Stroke the Head and Neck

Petting your cat's head and the area behind the neck gently mimics a mother cat's grooming behavior. This can increase your cat's affection for you and may even make them trust you as a mother figure.

Avoid the Tail

Be cautious about touching your cat's tail while they knead. Cats, in general, are sensitive about their tails being handled.

Trim Their Claws

If your cat has a kneading habit and you allow them to knead on you, it's essential to keep their claws trimmed. This can prevent their claws from accidentally scratching you or damaging your clothing.


Respecting your cat's natural behavior, including kneading, can help build trust between you and your feline companion, leading to a more harmonious relationship. So, let your cat knead away to their heart's content, and relish those adorable moments of feline friends.

Sign up to learn more interesting facts about cats.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.