LifestyleWhen your cat kneads you. Unraveling feline communication beyond the claws

When your cat kneads you. Unraveling feline communication beyond the claws

Why does the cat knead with its claws?
Why does the cat knead with its claws?
Images source: © Getty Images | Westend61 / Mario Martinez

10:06 PM EST, January 20, 2024

Understanding feline body language can be complex. Cats are individual creatures whose actions can often mean something entirely different than what we might initially suspect. So, what exactly is a cat trying to tell us when it kneads or treads on a human's body? According to Rajchert, it's not a bad behavior that deserves punishment, but rather a significant part of feline communication.

What does kneading signify in cats?

kneading can sometimes feel like a gentle massage, but it can also be painful when a cat extends its claws. Although you may think that your cat is angry or trying to release stress, it's actually attempting to convey an entirely different emotion.

"Kittens knead their mother's belly when they nurse. This kneading behavior is associated with feelings of safety, tranquility, and comfort in cats. It's also very likely that a cat kneads to boost its own mood," Rajchert explains on Silver TV.

How should one respond when a cat kneads with its claws?

It's essential to keep calm even when a cat digs its claws into your skin causing discomfort. As per Rajchert, here's what not to do in such situations:

"It's crucial not to react negatively if a cat kneads on our knees, which may hurt at times. Consider it as a compliment. Cats have scent glands between their pads, and they mark their territory or their esteemed ones by kneading. When they knead you, they are essentially saying 'you are my human.' So, smile through the pain and appreciate their love."

Keep something firm at hand

Rajchert suggests trimming your cat's claws or gently guiding it to knead a blanket or pillow instead of your skin. It might be beneficial to have a piece of fabric readily available to protect your skin from scratches, in the event of overexuberant kneading.

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