An interesting article in Scientific American Magazine today
If you love cats—or cat memes—you may be familiar with kneading. Forelimbs outstretched, a kneading cat will press each paw in turn into a soft surface as if walking in place, often purring as it does so.
But why? Behavior experts have proposed several reasons for why domestic cats “make biscuits,” as kneading is sometimes dubbed, although never fear, cats still retain their mystery. “Some of these are just theories because we don’t know,” says Susan Nelson, a veterinarian at Kansas State University. “Cats don’t get the funding for studies like dogs do.”
Adult cats’ connection with their earliest days might also help explain when and where they decide to knead—always on something soft and often on a favourite human or fellow pet in the household.
It is a kitten behaviour when they were little they would do it on their mother’s stomach to get milk. Now they just do it when relaxed and happy. Domestic Cats always stay kitten minded as we care for them so much
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My four do it. The younger ones (they are 2 now) do it more often than the older ones who are at least 5 now. I*I reckon the older ones have worked out that they get what they want anyway so can’t be bothered. One of the younger ones always stickes her nose under my arm before she kneads me.