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post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have a kitten and had a cat who kneeds when he/she is purring. My mother said that this comes from when they were nursing and was a way to help get the milk out. I believe her but my husband doesn't, so I was looking for some confirmation ar an answer. Why do they do this happy thing?
post #2 of 7
Your mom is right, it goes back to mom. We call it making bread, but they knead on their mothers. Some kittens hang onto this as it makes them feel very relaxed and comfortable. When they do it on you, it is a very big compliment. It is like saying you are like mom.
post #3 of 7
my kitty does the same thing, except she bites a tiny piece of her favorite white blanket while kneading...she seems to be in kitty-heaven...
post #4 of 7
Also, the kneading behavoir has a practical purpose too. As they nurse, the kneading brings more milk to the teat. So, whent the supply runs low, or to keep an even supply, kittens knead while nursing.

I think as they get older, this behavoir reminds them of bliss of kittenhood & nursing.
post #5 of 7
It is so weird how some do it and some don't. My female cat is very aloof and she won't do it. My male cat,Romeo, on the other hand, has to do it every day. It's his compulsion!! When Romeo does that kneeding, he gets this dreamy look in his eyes. It's almost as if he is in a trance!
post #6 of 7
Both my cats (4 and 6 years)do this kneading when they are happy - always with purring as an accompaniment.

However, my 4 year old male takes things to extremes - he not only kneads, but tries to suck on anything vaguely resembling a teat (buttons are one of his favourites, as are pieces of soft material). I read somewhere that cats who do this have been taken away from their mum too soon. This isn't the case with him, as he was 8 or 9 weeks old when I got him.
post #7 of 7
Hey Penny-
I read that cats that do this have been taken away from their mother before 12 wks. It's not bad for them to be taken away before 12 wks. but I guess they are not fully weaned. My cat Romeo was found as a baby with no mother or litter or food and he makes the best indoor pet. It sounds silly but he is greatful I took him in. When he kneads, my mom calls it his "mommy complex".
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