My Cat Kneads Me All The Time

by Megan Van Deusen
(Sarasota, FL)

I know they say when a kitten is younger it may knead because of nursing. My little kitty was found outside. From the moment I picked him up he started rubbing his head under my arm pit and kneading my arm. I thought it was really cute and I thought he would grow out of it.

Well he is big enough to be neutered now and he is still kneading. He jumps up on my lap and right away starts kneading. I push his head up and scratch his head and pet him to try to get his mind off nursing. It doesn't last. He kneads any time he has a chance.

I just wish he could cuddle with out his kneading. He has kneaded and sucked on my blanket so much he has changed the color in places. Anyone have any suggestions???

-Megan Van Deusen

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Kneading is a Common Cat Behavior
by: Kurt (Admin)

I'll comment on this one since I have quite a bit of experience with it. Kneading or treading behavior is quite a common and normal behavior for cats and happens into old age. I would not expect it to stop.

All the Cat Lovers Only cats knead. Priscilla loves to lie down on top of you and knead. Sometimes it hurts a bit but mostly it's quite relaxing. It's a cat massage.

I've seen all three of the cats need various objects over the years. Sometimes they'll even do it in the air while lying on their sides or backs, paws moving back and forth, toes squeezing in rhythm but not touching any surface.

Experts say that you cannot train a cat out of this kneading behavior, and you shouldn't try. The best recommendation is to keep a thick blanket nearby and place it between you and your cat. Let the cat give the blanket a workout.

The sucking or wool-sucking behavior, as it's called, is another one that some cats do. This one he may outgrow. Teddie used to sleep on or up against a big teddy bear a lot when she was a kitten. She would also spend a lot of time kneading it while sucking on it.

I think it took her about 4 years or so to outgrow that sucking behavior. My best recommendation there is to provide a stuffed animal and see if your cat will suck on that.

If not, again a thick blanket should be made available for this. When they're sucking, it can be quite dangerous to try to break their mouth grip, so if he's got a hold of something, I wouldn't try too hard to get him to release. I tried that with Teddie early on. Not a good idea even with a little kitten!

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