If you’re a cat owner or have spent time around these fascinating feline creatures, you’ve likely witnessed the peculiar behavior known as “making biscuits.” This endearing and rhythmic kneading of their paws on soft surfaces has left many cat enthusiasts wondering about its purpose. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons behind why cats make biscuits and unveil the secrets behind this charming feline behavior.
The Instinctual Act of Kneading
First and foremost, it’s essential to recognize that kneading is an instinctual behavior that begins in kittenhood. Kittens knead their mother’s belly during nursing to stimulate milk flow. This action is both comforting and practical for the little ones, and they carry this behavior into adulthood.
Comfort and Contentment
One of the primary reasons cats make biscuits is to express contentment and relaxation. When your cat kneads on your lap, a soft blanket, or any comfortable surface, it’s a clear sign that they are feeling at ease and secure in their environment. This behavior often occurs during cuddle sessions, indicating a strong bond between the cat and their human or fellow feline companion.
Cats have scent glands in the soft pads of their paws, and by kneading, they release pheromones onto the surface they are kneading. This behavior can serve as a way for a cat to mark its territory, leaving its scent behind as a form of communication. In a multi-cat household, you might observe one cat kneading as a way of claiming a shared space.
Relieving Stress and Anxiety
Just as humans might engage in stress-relieving activities like squeezing a stress ball or massaging their temples, cats knead to alleviate tension and stress. If you notice your cat kneading in specific situations, such as after a vet visit or during a thunderstorm, it could be their way of self-soothing.
Nostalgia and Positive Associations
Cats are creatures of habit, and if they associate the act of kneading with positive experiences from their kittenhood, they may continue the behavior throughout their lives. The rhythmic motion and the muscle memory associated with kneading might simply bring them comfort and joy.
While the exact reasons behind why cats make biscuits may vary from one feline friend to another, the common thread is that kneading is a natural and instinctual behavior that serves multiple purposes. Whether your cat is expressing contentment, marking territory, relieving stress, or simply reveling in the nostalgia of kittenhood, witnessing this charming act provides a unique glimpse into the intricate world of our feline companions. Embrace and enjoy these moments as your cat communicates their happiness and comfort through the rhythmic dance of their paws.