why cats
trample, knead or make their paws?

Why do cats massage us?

There are other expressions for this behavior: the cat makes its paws, the cat makes its paws, the cat makes its paws, the cat kneads...

Sometimes, some people will confuse this gesture with scratching or looking for a place to replace the litter. Don't be fooled!

An innate gesture from birth to weaning, this is the origin of this gesture. 

Kittens start kneading right after birth. This instinctive behavior is done during breastfeeding to stimulate the production of colostrum and later breast milk. Kittens apply pressure around the cat's teats by pressing with their front paws alternately. The kittens open their fingers to extend their retractable claws, then close them while continuing to knead throughout the feeding.

Until the moment of weaning, which is approximately between the sixth and eighth week of the kittens, this routine will be carried out.


So why do adult cats massage us?

It is good to know that often this gesture is accompanied by purrs and a drowsy look.

Several theories exist and can explain why:

A happy cat

Cats do this when they feel comfortable and safe. When they feel physically and emotionally well. Massage is a comforting behavior for cats, but above all soothing. We could compare this behavior to a good hot soup from grandma, tasty and comforting!

Show an emotional connection

Cats will knead not only people or other cats, but also dogs for example.

When they are in a context of relaxation and comfort or in a context of calm with a person, cats will tend to undertake the ritual of massage. This way of showing affection is soothing for the cat and pleasant for the person receiving the massage. It is true that this behavior can also be seen towards soft objects, such as a blanket or even a cushion, as we will see later.


Relaxation ritual before the siesta

You've seen cats do the milk dance (another name for this stomping behavior) seconds before dozing off. This behavior would provide a feeling of relaxation to cats, which would help with sleep.

yoga for cats

This behavior would also have a role in the stretching so characteristic of cats. You may have noticed that cats love to stretch.


You're mine !

Cats do this to mark their territory by depositing pheromones. It is true that synthetic pheromones are increasingly popular for calming and generating well-being in cats, however, did you know that cats particularly like their own pheromones! That's why they sow it everywhere.

Dogs have a master, cats are kings and masters of the household.

Trampling helps deposit pheromones on things like you. You may not know it, but you belong to your cat. You live with him, but unfortunately you have to pay the mortgage.

If you have multiple cats, you'll also see this behavior frequently, as it's a nice way to mark territory between them. Territory marking is also done when cats rub their faces or flanks on the corners of the wall, for example.

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