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Home » Why Is My Cat Always ‘Making Biscuits’? Explaining Why Cats Really Need To Knead

Why Is My Cat Always ‘Making Biscuits’? Explaining Why Cats Really Need To Knead

February 6, 2023

Making biscuits. It’s an adorable habit that we’re sure your cats have done in front of you countless times. They are excellent chefs, especially when placed on a particularly soft blanket or pillow. But why do they keep doing this, and is it a sign that something bad is going on with them, or is it more like a nervous tick? 

To keep it simple, the answer is no, nothing is wrong with your cat, they are just being adorable. 

We give you, the top 6 reasons your cat loves making biscuits: 

  1. It's A Way For Them To Get Some Milk
  2. They Want Some Pets
  3. They Need To Mark Their Territory
  4. They Need To Get Comfortable
  5. They're Going Into Heat
  6. They're Going Into Labor

It’s A Way For Them To Get Some Milk

Yes, the most common reason for kneading is actually a throwback from their childhoods when they used the same movements to help extract milk from momma. This is a core instinctual behavior in cats that generally doesn’t dissipate as they get older. You will still find cats 15 years old kneading an old blanket. 

This doesn’t mean your cat is hungry or thirsty though, it simply means they are comfortable. It’s a movement they learned to associate with comfort and happiness. I mean, look how happy they are at regular feeding times. If your cat is lounging around and kneading the blankets, it means they feel safe and happy where they are at. 

They Want Some Pets

Yes, your cat might start kneading if they need some more of your attention than your currently giving. Usually, your cat will knead you, as in they are gonna get on your lap and start turning your thighs into biscuits. So let’s hope you trimmed your cat's nails recently or your legs will surely feel the pain. 

If they want you to pet them, you already know what to do. You can either gently pick them up and move them somewhere (you’re a cruel cat parent), or you can give them what they want. 

They Need To Mark Their Territory

Dogs pee to mark their territory. Luckily for us cat owners, this is not an action for marking territory for cats. Sure they will do this if they are in heat, but luckily in most cases cats have more gentle ways to mark territory. It’s one of the main reasons cats rub against you, and the same can be said for when they are making biscuits. 

Cats have scent glands in their paws that are released using their nails. It’s a common reason cats love scratching things, but the same effects are reached while kneading. Usually in their active hours you will see cats scratching, and in their quieter hours they stick with kneading. But they want to mark objects as theirs. 

They Need To Get Comfortable

So we now know that when cats start kneading they are in a safe, happy mental space and are actively marking their territory. This all comes in with the concept of getting comfortable, most likely for a nap. 

We know cats love sleeping all day, and they love mixing up their sleeping places throughout the day as well. So when they start making biscuits with a pillow or blanket, you best believe they have plans to nap there. 

You’re In For A Treat, They’re Going Into Heat

Yes, kneading is actually a behavior that can help owners to properly anticipate if a cat is going into heat. Kneading could be making their bed for the prospect of another cat, or could be a way for them to soothe themselves from their internal pain they are feeling with the onset of heat. 

If your cat is acting strange and kneading all the time, it’s very possible they will enter heat. If you haven’t had your cat fixed yet, it’s probably a very good time to get started ASAP. The fun will begin soon, and you will regret not getting them fixed. 

They Are Going Into Labor

Similar to when a cat makes biscuits before going into heat, they will do the same when nearing labor. This time, they definitely are setting up a nice bed for another cat. And they are doing their best to soothe themselves and remain calm. 

When cats give birth their maternal reflexes kick in, so it’s completely natural for cats to replicate their own kitten behaviors as a way to jog their memories. If you know your cat is pregnant and they start kneading a lot, you’re probably just a few days away from a litter of kittens! 

How To Help Your Kitten If They Keep Making Biscuits

As we said, there’s not much to worry about if your cat is kneading all the time, it’s a harmless trait of cats (unless they are going into heat). It’s also generally a sign of affection. If they have decided to knead the wrong items though (a homemade blanket from your grandmother or your expensive designer couch), you may need to put in some work to ensure they knead the right things. 

If your cat is kneading the furniture, you need to read our guide on keeping cats off furniture. If your cat is harming you because they keep trying to knead you, you need to make sure they have lots of surfaces to scratch to help keep their nails trimmed, or you can be the one trimming their nails. 

If they are going into heat, you need to get them fixed. And if they are having kittens, you need to prep a nice bed for them. 

If you want to make your cat more comfortable, try getting them cat beds that are soft. You can also donate some old clothes or blankets to them so they have something to knead that you don’t particularly care for. 


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