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The kneading motion is common in cats. It happens when your kitty rhythmically alternates its paws. It pushes in and then pushes out against a soft and pliable object. This could be a sofa cushion or your lap. Do understand that not all kitties perform a similar pattern. Some do not bring out their claws while others do. Some use all their four paws while others use only two.Reason
Every cat in town does not knead. It is, however, a common behavior for both adult and young cats. Scientists differ in their opinions as to the reason why cats do it. A few cats are content and purr to show it while they knead. Other cats could do this action for no reason whatsoever. The most common theory for kneading is that the cats begin to knead from the time they were born, from the time they were kittens. A nursing kitten knows by instinct that kneading assists in simulating the milk production of its mother. The reason an adult cat kneads that the action reminds it of happy memories of its childhood.Showing you love
When you pet your cat, it will pet you back. The latter action, however, could be extremely painful for you. The more the cat is happy, the harder it will knead your skin. Since the kitty has sharp nails, you will suffer intense pain. To minimize this, place a thick and soft barrier between you and your kitty. Another method is to place him on the back and pet the belly if it gets too painful for you. Whatever you do, you must not punish the cat for its behavior. You can trim its nails with nail clippers. Another way is to buy nail guards to protect yourself.Exercise
Cats are good at exercise and they do it almost all the time. They knead any object if their shoulders turn sore. Kneading is to them yet another way to keep themselves fit until the next nap. The activity also helps them to sleep. This harks from their ancestral days when cats used to locate a soft spot to rest and give birth in. They also preferred a high position to observe the coming in and going out below them. It follows that your lap represents the same function.You are its territory
Your cat has scent glands in its paws. It means when it kneads you, it also marks you as its personal human. Your cat is sending out the message to all other cats that you are now officially its personal property. Your cat may also knead you if it believes you are paying too much attention to other things like your laptop or gaming device. Kneading is a way to get attention.