General Question

Bluefreedom's avatar

Could someone explain my cat's behavior?

Asked by Bluefreedom (22931points) November 3rd, 2008

Whenever I place fresh laundry on the bed for folding or my cat jumps up to her wool sleeping pad on top of the dresser, she begins to knead the clothes pile or her sleeping pad for several minutes.

Does anyone know why cats do this before they lay down and get comfortable? I’ve seen this on many different occasions and it has always intrigued me.

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10 Answers

KatawaGrey's avatar

This is because when they were kittens, they would knead their mothers’ stomachs when they were hungry. It’s a comfort thing. My cats do it when they are feeling especially affectionate whether or not they are about to lie down.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

In my house we call it “making biscuits”. Kitty used to always crawl into my lap to be petted, and then do this to my belly or my leg while I petted him. It’s SOOO adorable!!!

To clarify a little further on what Kata said, when they push on mommy-kitty’s belly, it makes the milk come out, like milking a cow, so that’s why they do it as kittens. I think they do it in adulthood whenever they’re feeling warm and cozy or affectionate, as she said.

P.S. I love cat-related questions! They always make me go “aw!”

Siren's avatar

I think it’s also because of the fresh scent and heat coming from the laundry. I have a small kitten who’s always trying to sleep in the laundry basket, so it could just be also that clothes are soft in general.

jsc3791's avatar

@ La_Chica_Gomela: Lurve to you for “making biscuits”!

Talk about going “aw!”

dalepetrie's avatar

Had never used “making biscuits” before. My wife always called them “oobie doobies”, don’t know where that came from either.

bodyhead's avatar

We say “making biscuits” at my house too. It’s called that because of the manner in which you knead the dough when you are actually making biscuits.

waterbearer's avatar

We call it “the kitten dance” at my house. I had a female who went into a trance-like state when doing the kitten dance and her head moved back and forth with the rhythm and her eyes tight shut. She usually did it for 10–15 minutes straight and then went to sleep. All my cats do it when they’re happy and comfy. When we’re holding them and they start “the dance”, while upright, my hubby calls it “kitty fists”. We’re weird cat people…. : )

mizkendall3939's avatar

maybe there just trying to get comfortable and know the place where they sleep. i don’t really know but that is my guess. good luck :)

majorrich's avatar

I am suspicious that he is tenderizing me for when he eats me in my sleep.

Chihirolee's avatar

A cat releases their scent from their paws, and they do that as a way to mark territory. Clean laundry is different scent then she/he is used to, so as a way to reaffirm its territory, he/she will do that in order to feel safe. I don’t think I need to explain what cats do as kittens to get milk (since I see that explained multiple times), but cats are wonderful creatures with odd habits and always have a way to make you go “awww” or scratch you head and wonder.

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