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That clawing thing cats do when they sit in your lap

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Anybody know why they do that? I read somewhere on this board that they have sweat glands in their paws that help them to mark their territory, when my cat claws into me before she gets ready to lay down is she marking her territory? Speculation is more than welcome! Oh, and Ive never posted here before, so hello everybody!
post #2 of 13
Hi, hello yourself and welcome! Well, you are right, they do mark their territory that way, though more often do that by rubbing the sides of their faces on things (or you). But they also do something else (well, a lot else, of course :-), which is called kneading (like making bread), and it's what they did as kittens to stimulate their mother's milk. It sounds like that's what your cat may be doing... a sort of left-over instinct when they're in a nice cushy place like your lap - so you're cat may consider that your her 'mother' now - flattering, isn't it! Enjoy!
post #3 of 13
Welcome to TCS

I think Larke is right - your description sounds like the kneading thing they did as babies. It's a comfort thing and a sweet gesture (though lots of them do it claws out!)
post #4 of 13
Welcome to the site!!, sounds like kneading to me too, although it hurts your kitty is just showing you how much she loves you
post #5 of 13
yep kneading, hehe when i woke up last night had my cat came got on my stomach and started doing that to my chest ,, heeh then the wife cat came over and started doing that to my arm(first time he has done that)
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yeah, that sounds like it. Shes still a kitten so it makes sense. Thanks for the answers everybody! That question has been on my mind since I was little, but I never thought to look into it until just the other day. Aw, Im somebodies mommy
post #7 of 13
Yep to kneading too! Mooch will knead me till I bruise if I let her! She also tends to wait till I'm laying down and either go for my tummy or my ummm...ma gurls...both hurt!
post #8 of 13
That's something that all cats do and continue to do for their whole lives. Some do it more than others. It's best to keep their nails clipped short so that it doesn't hurt.
post #9 of 13
I have a 5 month old queen and ıve NEVER seen ANY cat "knead" this much!! She always lies down on her side when shes on my lap, so this way she mostly has access to my arm, my breasts or tummy. Position stabilized, she starts to press her arms on my arm and begins the "dough kneading" act!! I usually set myself a record time for how long ı can stand it! She seems to go on forever unless I stop her!!It doesnt hurt actually,its just that my arm gets sore from all that rubbing, and ıf ı havent trimmed her claws,then it gets a teeny bit "ouchy! But the interesting thing is that she doesnt actually use her claws ; they just seem to stick out involuntarily.But instead its her paws itself.
Sometimes she does it to my right or left breast! And ı feel really wierd!! I get the impresion that ıf anyone sees me theyll think ıve lost some marbles! But heyy ıts my kittys fault not mine !!

But no matter what, I LOVE IT WHEN SHE DOES THIS!! I kinda figured out why they do this as soon as she started kneading my arm cause ı remembered this cat who had just given birth and her kittens were always pawing at their mothers tummy when they were suckling. It looked like they were trying to squirt the milk into their mouths!

Anyway, its quite nice to feel like a mom for an instant! Call me crazy for this if youlike but ı actually feel like im bonding very deeply with my kitty when she does this! Shes a lap addict,ı love lap cats, but when ı saw her do this im practically stuck with glue to her right now!! LUVV YOU BABE
post #10 of 13
I call it making biscuits...

Topanga does this at night just before she goes to sleep. She curls up under the covers with me and does this to my tummy. Sometimes she sucks on the end of my nightshirt. It doesn't bother me, I think it's sweet that she loves me like a Mommy
post #11 of 13
all my cats do it. i read somewhere that it's comfort thing for them. when they were kittens, they'd do it to the moms tummy to encourage milk production. don't know if it's true. i know my babies do it when they're completely content. Sunny will even do it when i've got her upside down and i'm petting her tummy. she'll just pluck at the air and purr like a little chainsaw.
post #12 of 13
Originally Posted by Teri9672 View Post
I call it making biscuits...
Yeah! We call it making biscuits too!!! Ezzie Bear likes to do that all the time. When we adopted her, that's one of the reasons we picked her out of all the other cats.
post #13 of 13
There is a variant more on this, not so well known. They open och close their paws.
Feks they laying down, me standing nearby and talking friendly to them. They opens and closes their pawns with nails out.

It is a friendly gesture.
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