Cats: They Gotta Knead Something!

Published August 19, 2014

strange behaviorPart of the main reason why I have always loved being a pet owner is the fact that I get to observe weird and awkward behaviors. Internet videos can be found completely centered around strange behavior found in cats. One of these strange behaviors is kneading. There has been a lot of questions coming from cat owners as to why their cats knead, what it is their doing exactly, and what it means. It’s common in all cats to knead and even though there isn’t a for sure answer, there are a lot of theories.

A very common act associated with cats is when it comes up to you and starts brushing its face against your hand, a hard surface, or a stiff corner; it’s using its scent glands to mark it with a special substances created within the glands of the cat. This substance gives off a scent that only animals and smell; it’s completely scentless to us humans. Nevertheless, this scent gives warning to other animals that the territory belongs to the respective cat. This act is commonly associated with kneading, which leads many of us to believe kneading is another way to mark territory. So what does this mean?

If you have ever observed your cat kneading, you might have noticed that it could also be purring. This shows a feeling of contentment, so when the cat also starts kneading as well, your cat could simply be saying “I love you”. When your cat kneads on a soft surface, he could just be stretching out his claws. Kind of like how humans crack their knuckles, cats need a way to just release tension in their claws so they knead on a soft surface such as a blanket, or perhaps your pant leg.

An even stranger act that has been observed in cats is the eating and consumption of grass. If you have an outdoor cat and you have noticed him chewing and eating blades of grass, you might have had a dumbfound look on your face. Well, nobody really knows for sure why cats do that, but there are a few theories. One popular thought is that when you cat eats grass it’s because he’s sick – this is not true. Sick isn’t really the right word to use, but it could mean that your cat has an itch in its throat. It’s nothing to be alarmed about, but if it becomes a routine situation then you should definitely take your cat to the vet and see if there’s anything in the throat, or there could even be an irritation in the cats stomach.

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