Cats do knead blankets and we all know it, we’ve all seen it and we’ve all wondered why. Cats do like smooth and clean surfaces and blankets provide them with exactly that. So cats start “making bread” using the blanket as dough and you might get angry at them for doing that and ruining your best blanket. But then you see the relaxed look on your cat’s face, her cute eyes and hear that incomparable purring sound and your heart melts in an instant, isn’t that so?
Why do cats knead blankets?
Cats knead blankets because they’re trying to mimic nursing or mark their territory. Let’s look into these in detail:
1. To mimic nursing
When they were little kittens and would feed on their mother’s breasts, they would knead their paws against her stomach in an equal, rhythmic movement and thus stimulate the milk to flow effortlessly from her nipples. Now, that she’s older, that reminisce is still there and she would knead the blanket before taking a nap on it. She has this behavior in order to arrange the blanket into a safe soft spot, just like when she was a little kitten falling asleep at her mother’s chest.
Moreover, this kneading procedure that your cat undergoes before going to sleep on the blanket can also be date back to the ancient feline predecessors who would knead tall grass in order to create a safe bed in the wilderness that would protect them from dangerous aggressors. So, kneading is a normal process of creating a safe nest for taking a nap or resting after a hard day in the wild, in the case of your feline friend’s ancestors.
2. To mark their Territory
A cat’s paw pads contain considerable scent glands. When a cat kneads a blanket, it leaves its scent on it, marking that territory as her own. If you have more than one cat in your home, you should encourage this blanket kneading as your feline friends would each claim their own blankets and a specific area for rest.
Another reason why a female cat would knead a blanket is heat. It means she is unspayed and needs a partner. She will knead to let the scent glands in her paws transmit the message that she is single and ready to mingle to her fellow male cats who would want to spend a few romantic nights with her. Of course, you will not really feel any different smell on the blanket, but cats can identify that scent.
So, kneading is not that bad. It’s something cats naturally do, they do not try to annoy you on purpose by destroying your most precious blanket. No, they would just follow what their instinct would tell them and do what nature calls. So, now that you know the possible reasons why cats knead blankets, we hope you’ll treat your feline friend even better by buying her own sweet, soft blanket to claim as her own and use it as she sees fit. Moreover, if your cat chooses to knead you instead, that’s a good sign.
Yes, apart from kneading blankets, cats can also jump in your lap and start kneading you. That’s a sign they really like you and you deserve all of it. You should revel in the fact that you bring your cat happiness and you relax her. So, put a blanket in your lap and let your cat knead away at it while she purrs so beautifully and you relax in your comfortable armchair with a cocktail in one hand and a fine cigar in the other. Doesn’t it look like magic? Cats do bring magic around the house and they knead blankets for that.