Cats are intelligent pets, as they can recognize and react to our emotions.
A cat may stay around if it recognizes that its owner is sad and vice-versa.
Besides, cats may also show affection in various ways, and they expect their owners to react, too.
Cats may show affection by grooming, purring, rubbing, blinking at you, showing their belly, and kneading.
However, kneading may also mean many things, as we will find out later in this post.
But before then, let’s define what kneading means. Kneading is a repetitive process that a cat makes.
It involves a rhythmic motion where your feline friend pushes their paws into a soft surface, switching from one paw to another.
The cat pushes its paws in and out of the soft surface throughout the kneading process. At times, they extend their claws before relaxing.
Is your cat kneading your face, and you don’t know why? Here are some of the possible reasons:
1. A Sign Of Affection
A cat kneads its owner’s face as a sign of affection.
Just like humans, cats also show affection by physically touching you through kneading.
The claws may be painful if the cat scratches your lap, but you should not chase away your feline friend as they are not trying to hurt you.
The cat may also blink their eyes or sit close to you apart from kneading. This is a sign of affection, and you should replicate it.
What To Do
If your cat is fond of kneading your lap, you should regularly trim its claws and put a thick, soft blanket on your lap, so you don’t get hurt.
2. Marking You As Her Territory
Another possible reason is that your cat is marking her territory.
Cats have scent glands in their paws, leaving a scent behind when they knead on your lap.
Also, cats leave this scent in any place where they knead.
Hence, this scent helps them to let other cats know that this is their territory.
What To Do
There is nothing to do, as this signifies that your cat has marked you as her human.
However, you can also make the process more comforting by acquiring a thick blanket so that its claws do not hurt you.
3. To Play With You
A cat may knead your face because it wants to play. For instance, if it kneads you and runs away, this is a sign that it wants to play.
What To Do
This is common with pet owners who don’t have pet toys for their cats to play with.
Get some cat toys for your furry friend so she can keep herself engaged and play with her.
4. A Sign That They Are Hungry
If your furry friend’s trimmed claws wake you, your cat may be trying to communicate something.
If you don’t feed your cat properly at night, it may be hungry and need some food.
What To Do
Always ensure your feline is well-fed before sleeping, and leave dry food in its feeding bowl before going to sleep.
As a result, your cat will not wake you up early in the morning or knead you as you take a deep nap.
5. Relax After A Stressful Experience
It is common for your cat to knead after a hard time.
Kneading your face helps them to relax and feel soothed. So, when your cat scratches your lap tenderly, you should let it do so.
What To Do
Give your cat the needed company when it comes close to you.
You never know what a hard time it may be experiencing.
6. To Snuggle Up To You
Cats feel more secure when they sleep close to their owners.
Therefore, the cat may knead if it wants to sleep.
Additionally, this indicates that they trust you and feel comfortable while next to you.
So, if your cat stretches and snuggles up to you, take it easy, as it is just comfortable sleeping next to you.
Also, she might be releasing her scent to mark her territory.
What To Do
You can make it more comfortable by touching it or letting it sleep comfortably.
As usual, ensure that you have a cloth or blanket in case it overdoes it
Is My Cat Kneading Normal?
Cat kneading is perfectly natural and healthy for your cat. However, if your cat is kneading more often than usual, take time, understand why it is behaving that way, or visit a veterinarian.
An anxious and stressed cat may knead too much. Therefore creating a calming environment might help reduce abnormal kneading.
Cats can feel unsafe in new environments or the presence of another cat in your home, causing them to knead at you as the owner. If you have a dog, ensure it is not obsessed with the cat since it can trigger abnormal kneading in cats.
Don’t punish your kitty for kneading. Instead, distract her attention by playing with her favorite toy.
Also, try setting up her personal space with a cat tree for her to climb since higher spaces help cats feel more confident.
Similar to humans, cats also need attention and affection.
So, if you want to bond better with your furry friend, it is essential to understand her and treat them the way you would want them to treat you.
Determine why your cat is kneading your face and help them out.
And if your cat kneads frequently, keep her claws short and place a blanket on your lap, so you don’t get hurt.
Purrfect n’ Pawesome is the brainchild of Amanda, who has been into researching and writing about pets to help other pet parents in nurturing their adorable pets. Currently, she runs Purrfect n’ Pawesome along with her team of experienced and dedicated pet experts. Along with being an awesome writer and entrepreneur, Amanda is a cat mom to two innocently spoiled cats, Balanca and Scruffy.
She has been writing about pet care and nurturing and wants to share her readers’ experiences, learnings, and knowledge.
Over the years, she had the opportunity to work with various pet owners having multiple breeds, and that exposure gave her experience and the lessons of a lifetime.
Her family, her entire universe revolves around her two cats, who give her endless support and inspiration to move ahead with her objectives in life. Amanda is a live example of a balanced approach to all parenthood questions we all face in life.