Why Does My Cat Knead Me?

Cats are some of our favorite pets, but sometimes they exhibit weird behavior. One common thing you might notice is cat kneading. The strangest thing is that your cat will knead you and not your husband. That is what has happened to me; all I could think about at that moment was, “Why does my cat knead me but not my husband?” There are many reasons why this may happen, and I intend to explore them in this guide. If you don’t like being woken up by your cat kneading in the middle of the night, I also have some tried-and-tested tips to help control this behavior.

My name is Gregory Hogan, and I work as a professional photographer and journalist. I have studied cat behavior and training very closely. My cat experience puts me in a unique position to tackle the issue of cats kneading.

Why Do Cats Knead Things with Their Paws

Cat lying on the sofa

Numerous theories may explain why cats knead things with their paws. As kittens, cats will knead their mother’s mammary glands as they stimulate the flow of milk. This behavior seems to be carried on into adulthood, but instead of their mother’s mammary glands, they will knead on other surfaces such as pillows and clothes. Some experts have theorized that domestic cats inherited this behavior from their ancestors, who had to make the same kneading motion as they created sleeping nests.

Why Does My Cat Knead Me But Not My Husband

My cat kneading me at night can feel nice, but why do they knead on one person and not the other? Here are some theories I have come up with:

They knead people who they are most bonded with

A cat kneading me shows that it is bonded to me and feels comfortable and secure around me. Generally, they will knead people who make them feel positive emotions. It is possible for your cat to live with you and your husband but only develop a bond with you.
It is worth noting that this has nothing to do with gender, as many people think. Some cats can be bonded more to your husband and not you. That being said, they will knead the woman more often than the man since women are more likely to clean up after the cat, feed it, play with it, and generally take care of it.
So, when you see your cat kneading blanket or other soft materials, you should take it as a compliment since they feel safe around you.

They want to take a nap

Wild cats do not just take naps anywhere; they have to be sure that they are away from predators. I have noted that my youngest cat, Mr. Meow, only kneads when he is going to sleep. And he will knead on soft surfaces like blankets and pillows, which are just next to me. In rare cases, he will knead on my lap as he yawns and goes to sleep.

This behavior seems to support the theory that cats inherited the kneading behavior from their ancestors. They only want to nap in a safe place away from predators. Kneading helped their ancestors clear out any predators from the nest before they eventually went to sleep.


How to Stop Cats from Kneading Me

Knead cats might be cute, but being woken up in the middle of the night can be irritating. To make matters worse, cats kneading blanket may sometimes make purring noises that will wake you up. Some cats may accidentally injure you as they knead, and this means this kind of behavior needs to be stopped. Since your cat chose you to knead on, you may not be willing to chase it away or be hostile towards him. Fortunately, I have other great ways of dealing with kneading cats.

  • Put it in the lying position. When your cat starts to knead, put it in the lying position. It is likely to drift off to sleep when in this position.
  • Use distractions. If possible, you can get it off your bed with treats and toys.
  • Lock the door. Locking your cat out might seem harsh, especially when you hear it trying to get in. But you can make the process easier by leaving your pillows and blankets outside the bedroom. This way, she will still get attracted to the scent and will eventually learn to sleep away from your room.

I understand why someone would not want to sleep away from their pets, even when they distract your sleep. My cats kneading me makes me feel special, and that is why I never bother chasing them away. If my cat won’t stop kneading me, I make sure to trim their nails regularly. This way, they can comfortably knead on me without damaging my favorite jeans and pillows.

Why Do Cats Knead on Dogs?

Cat and dog playing

Cat kneading dog can be one of the most adorable sights. Usually, the pets will belong to the same household and feel connected to each other. It seems like cats knead on dogs for the same reasons they knead on humans.

The Final Knead

I hope this guide was informative and useful for you. Also, I guess it has answers to all of your questions on knead cats, including the “Why does cat knead blanket and pillows?” one. As I have already mentioned, cats have retained a habit from kitten-hood, which is why they might sometimes suck on the surface they are kneading. Some people theorize that cats may have inherited the behavior from their wild cat ancestors.

If your cat exclusively kneads on you, then you may be a representation of their mother’s care. They will usually knead on people who make them feel safe and secure, which is why they often go to sleep when kneading.

This behavior is usually harmless, especially if you trim their nails regularly. But in some cases, it can become excessive and might bother you. If so, I would recommend you distracting a cat from kneading. This can be by offering treats, toys, or even putting them in a sleeping position. You can also consider keeping them out of your room at night.

Share your theories and methods on how to stop a cat from kneading in the comment section below! I would love to hear back from you!

The article was updated in January 2020.

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