Why cats knead is one of the most adorable mysteries known to man. It’s an act that only cats do and it’s something that can surprise us.
Kneading, how it works
It’s like a massage - cats move and push with their front paws. They usually knead on soft and flexible surfaces, like blankets, duvets, cushions and jackets. But they also knead on animals and even on people when they inspire confidence.
Why do cats knead?
It’s their distinguishing mark because cats are the only animals that knead. It is a habit that they have from babyhood, and kittens usually knead on their mum’s belly seeking attention.
A possible reason for adult cats kneading is that they do it because they were separated from their mums or weaned very early on.
A very accepted explanation is that they do it so they comfort themselves when they are stressed or anxious, for example. A lot of cats suckle a piece of fabric while they knead, reminding them of their mom's teat.
Another reason could be territory marking. Cats have odoriferous glands in the foot pads that release their body odor when they knead and thus, they mark territory.
Yet another reason could be relaxation, like a prelude before taking a nap. By kneading, they release endorphins, producing a zen attitude that is conducive to falling asleep.
If your cat realizes that you are comfortable on your couch and it comes stealthily to give you a massage, you should feel honored. It means your cat loves you, and it thinks that you are the closest thing to a mother or a father they have. If in addition your cat purrs, it will end up relaxing the jaw and will go into trance. If your cute kitten kneads you, it means it feels comfortable with you, telling you that you are its property.
Source: Actualidad Mascotas