why does my cat knead my face
By Dr. Becker
Cats are mysterious, often independent creatures, but that doesnБt mean they donБt interact with their owners. On the contrary, cats use multiple methods of communication and will actually follow your lead in terms of how much involvement the two of you share. As felines, however, cats tend to display certain behaviors that may seem peculiar to us humans. One of the most common is Бkneading,Б which is when your cat pushes her paws against a soft surface. Many cats will also purr while kneading, which suggests this activity is pleasurable for her. So is kneading an ingrained instinct or more of a hobby that some cats enjoy? Why Does My Cat Knead with Her Paws? Newborn kittens their moms in order to stimulate the flow of milk from her mammary glands. This is an instinctual behavior that many cats continue into adulthood. It was once believed that adult cats who still knead may have been taken from their mothers too soon, but this has been largely debunked since the majority of adult cats knead. One of the key theories for why adult cats knead is for contentment or stress relief. Cats seem to enjoy the behavior, perhaps because it reminds them of soothing moments nursing as a kitten. Wild cats also build nesting places out of grass and leaves, to both rest and give birth in, and itБs likely they knead the grasses into place. Your domestic kitty may be continuing on with this БwildБ behavior.
Simon King, host of BBCБs Big Cat Diary, believes kneading is a БOver thousands of years of domestication we have encouraged cats to maintain much of their kitten-like relationship, with ourselves playing the role of surrogate parents. Б Another theory is that cats knead to mark their territory. Your kitty has scent glands in her paws, and her scent will be left behind on any surface she spends time kneading. So, this behavior might be a way for her to let others know where sheБs been. Likely, however, itБs a combination of all of the above. If your cat likes to knead on your lap, place a thick blanket there first so her nails donБt dig into your skin. Keeping her claws trimmed short will also help. Some cats tend to become obsessive about kneading, and may try to knead frequently while suckling a stuffed toy or blanket. If the behavior seems obsessive, try to distract her with a toy or healthy treat. Why Does My Cat Stick Her Butt in My Face? Another feline peculiarityБ your cat may jump up on the desk where youБre working and promptly turn her backside toward your face. DonБt be offended; instead think of it as a Бhandshake in reverse. Б One of the ways cats communicate is by rubbing objects with their heads, ears, and tails. This leaves their chemical signature behind. Cats who live together often rub each other in a friendly fashion, possibly as a way of forming a Бcolony scentБ that lets everyone know they all belong.
When you pet your cat, youБre also depositing your scent on your cat, which is a social act in kitty language. So, when your cat sticks her behind in your face, itБs most likely a way of asking for affection and bonding time. As reported by Vet Street: БInstead of Бsticking her behind in your face,Б your cat may very well be asking you for affection or reaffirmation of your social bond by soliciting attention and petting. When you pet your cat, you are also depositing your odors from the glands on your hand and picking up her odors. Cats regard this as being social. When cats rub alongside each other, they are facing in opposite directions and usually end up standing with their hind ends positioned toward one another. Since we do not rub bodies with our cats but use our hands instead, this is probably why they end up directing their posteriors toward us. Б If you want to know more about your catБs curious behaviors, like biting you when you pet her, meowing constantly, or pawing at her water dish, be sure to read Б. Б Ever wondered: Why do cats knead? Why does your cat stompPon her favorite bed or blanket (or your leg or chest) with her front paws, as though makingPdough for biscuits? Ever wondered why cat kneading seems to make her high, intoxicated with sweet memories of springtime and youth? Here are five cool things about cat kneading, aka cats making biscuits.
Note: This is to be read on a knead-to-know basis. (Warning: There will be puns. ) 1. Cat kneading is hypnotic Cats can become so relaxed while kneading that they enter a trancelike state, complete with drooling and a thousand-mile stare. Hey, Bubba Lee Kinsey, where d you go? I ll say to my gray tabby when he really loses himself in the moment and achieves a Zen-like state of enlightenment, which can only be broken by the sound of my other cat eating something Bubba wants. 2. Cat kneading is comforting Your cat has been kneading since she was a kittenP in fact, she kneaded her mom s belly to stimulate the flow of milk while she was nursing. This instinctive behavior is comforting to your kitty and can take her back to simpler times, much the way that eating a giant plate of macaroni and cheese and drinking some electric blue Kool-Aid can make you feel like a kid again (at least until you finish and realize your skinny jeans are, like, way tight now). 3. Your cat is kneading to tenderize you so she can eat you Cat kneading is called biscuit-making for a reason: Your cat is tenderizing your gamey flesh so you ll make a meal fit for a queen. Not really! She s just trying to soften your cold, cold heart by way of your lap, of course. One reason cats knead is to make a soft bed or clear a space to doze. Their ancestors did this with tall grass or leaves; they do it with your jeans. This can involve claws.
Sometimes it hurts but it s always nice to know you re kneaded. If the cat kneading is painful, try redirecting your cat s knead-iness to a pillow or a blanket, and keep her claws trimmed. Never punish your kitty for kneading, though, because the behavior is instinctive. 4. Your cat is kneading to mark you as her territory Your kitty has scent glands in her paws, so when she s kneading you she s also marking you as her own personal human. Yes, that s right your cat officially owns you. Stop acting like you didn t already know. 5. Your kneading cat might be a needy cat Sometimes cats knead when they want something. Maybe you re too involved with your computer monitor or that Law Order marathon for their liking. Maybe they want treats, and they want them now. Maybe they just want scratches behind the ears in that special place only you can reach. One thing is certain: When cat kneading combines with solicitation purring, you re really in trouble. If you haven t heard of solicitation purring, odds are you ve experienced it. Surprising no one, cats have developed and honed a purr that sounds vaguely like the cry of a human baby, and is specifically designed to manipulate us. It s how your cat gets you to let her lick out your cereal bowl. And it works. Every time. Tell us: What do you think of cat kneading? Does your cat knead you? Thumbnail:PPhotography YColleenB_Pics Thinkstock. P Read more onPcat kneading on Catster. com:PP
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