Why do Cats Knead and Bite Blankets? 5 Reasons

Common wisdom usually explains it thus: The kneading comes from a kitten‘s action meant to stimulate milk production in its mother.

A kitten will knead a mother’s teats in order to assist with getting milk out. That, you may be fascinated to hear, is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

There are several reasons cats may knead or bite at their blankets, including one or two that may require a closer look. Sometimes, a cat’s biting may be a sign of a problem.

One aspect carried over from the wild is the fear or threat when cats are asleep. After all, being hyper-aware of any danger is important in the wild. As a result, cats are naturally a little anxious about letting their defenses down.

Relaxation & Anxiety

They could be kneading a blanket in order to claim it. Cats’s paws have scent glands underneath them. It would make sense that kneading on a favorite piece of material would be a good way to mark it.

Territorial Claims

Some behaviorists suggest that it manifests more in cats that were separated from their moms too early. The result is that they intentionally seek to replicate this behavior on a surface that feels vaguely like their mother’s belly would.

Nursing Memories

In the wild, cats may have simply taken to leveling or softening the ground upon which they lay.

Natural Wild Behavior

Trusted Companions

When they do relax, they can show it by settling down to a calm sleep or chill session. The kneading of the blanket assists with this, especially if it is familiar—and when you’re nearby, even better.

Swipe up to read the rest of the article.

Subscribe to The Discerning Cat Newsletter and we'll send you a free 50 page ebook Why Do Cats…. Common Cat Behaviours Explained