Eleven year old Jean Long, asked why her two cats like to knead, especially when she work a thick sweater at the monthly meeting of Spokane Cat Club on February 24.
The answer came from cat expert, John Monroe. “Many people ask that question. Many and many theories are out there. .The most accepted theory though, is that it comes from the cat’s kittnehood. When a kitten suckles it will in fact knead the stomach of his/her mother to force the milk flow more easily. As the kitten grows up the habit of kneading still stays with him/her, and so as an adult cat he/she will continue to knead. This practice is called milk kneading, and is one the main reason why cats knead.”
John Monroe added, “There is also another fairly dissimilar theory as to why cats are kneading, and that being that kneading started back to the cat’s wild ancestors who had to tread down grass to make a provisional nest in which to rest in. When the cat kneads he/she compresses downwards with his/her paw and exposes his/her claws. The feline closes his/her claws as he/she lifts the paw and the course of action takes between one and two seconds. Many cat owners see kneading as a problem, simply because it can be quite painful for the cat owner when the cat is kneading sitting in the owners lap.
Many cats purr when they are kneading, so this may be an indication that the cat is actually enjoying itself when kneading, “he added with a smile