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Why Do Cats Make Biscuits?

Red tabby cat making biscuits

Cats love to make biscuits or kneading, as a sign of affection for their owner, but there are other reasons behind this feline behavior. Let’s see why do cats make biscuits?

Kneading is used to develop the gluten in dough in order to make a delicious pizza or a chewy piece of bread. However, to make biscuits we don’t need to overwork the dough through kneading.

So, by putting the dough under your cat’s paws, she or he will definitely do a good job, but will not make biscuits.

It seems that domestic cats of all ages like to make biscuits on soft surfaces like a blanket, pillow, or even your stomach.

Making Biscuits: Why Do Cats Knead?

A cat makes biscuits by rhythmically pushing the area with its paws. If the area chosen by the cat is your abdomen, the rhythmic movement might hurt a bit if your cat isn’t declawed (I hopefully isn’t).

Those tiny punctures will not hurt you too much, especially if you know that cats do this to show their love.

This cat behavior is one of the most observed behavior in cats along with purring and meowing.

Reasons why cats make biscuits.

1. To reduce stress

Experts in cat behavior, suggest that one of the reasons why cats choose to make biscuits (kneading), is a way for them to reduce stress.

Researchers studying the behavior of laboratory cats, found that cats love pillows. Once pillows have been added, cats immediately chose to use them for sleeping. However, it seems that cats started to make biscuits only after the arrival of the pillows, and they did this for almost an hour every day.

Kneading or making biscuits is a behavior that cats only do on soft surfaces like pillows, blankets, and laps. However, the main reason for this behavior has something to do with de-stressing.

2. Kittens do this to stimulate their mother’s milk production

Making biscuits is also a kitten behavior that cats continue doing into adulthood.

It seems that kneading is a form of tactile communication used by kittens. They use their paws to push against the soft surface on their mother’s abdomen to stimulate her mammary glands to produce milk.

This could mean that adult cats making biscuits on our lap, consider that we are the mommy, and this way they are trying to stimulate us to feed them.

3. As a sign of affection

Making biscuits is a sign of affection that a feline gives to its owner.

Kittens have a strong relationship with their mother, and when they grow up, we are taking the role of their mother. For this reason they start making biscuits in our lap to show us their love.

If you don’t like what your cat is doing (because it has sharp claws) put a pillow on your belly to protect your skin.

Don’t stop your cat from making biscuits because she will quickly understand that you don’t accept her love for you. Be happy that your cat has feelings for you, and never reject her.

4. To dissipate their nervousness or discomfort

When your kitten or adult cat is nervous due to the presence of a certain person or other pet in the house, it may start making biscuits on a pillow or blanket.

If the cat needs your protection, it will jump in your lap right away and will start making biscuits there.

5. For emotional bonding

Domestic kittens not only need other cats or surfaces, they also need the presence of the humans.

Cute cat making biscuits on her owner's belly

Cute cat making biscuits on her owner’s belly, image source: pixabay.com

Making biscuits or kneading is a behavior specific to kittens that have been properly socialized. This happens when they are habituated to human companionship from an early age.

Being accustomed to human companionship, and you are the person providing food and comfort, it is normal for your cat to associate your presence with the presence of their mother when they need food, protection, comfort and affection.

6. When they are in pain

A cat in pain is looking for self-regulation and serenity in order to minimize the feeling, so they can start making biscuits to overcome that painful moment.

The faster they knead, the more intense is the discomfort.

6. Pheromones

Cats communicate with each other using pheromones. These are chemical compounds produced by tiny interdigital glands and are used to establish patterns of coexistence with each other.

If you have more than one cat, you will quickly notice that for some of them, it’s easier to find a good place in the house to place their pheromones, while others will use more secluded places in the same house.

Cats can secrete pheromones from their paws, chin, cheeks, lips or whiskers. When a cat starts making biscuits in your lap, be sure that it will transfer some of the pheromones on your clothes too, and this is its way to tell others that your are her or his property.

These are messages written in cat language for other cats to know who owns that territory (the house and the people living there).

Why Do Cats Make Biscuits On Soft Blankets?

Cats start making biscuits at a very young age, while sitting with their mom and siblings before weaning.
Giving the fact they make biscuits (kneading) on their mother’s belly to stimulate the mammary glands to produce more milk, cats are used with soft surfaces.

This way, when they grow up and their mother is no longer there, they will search for the same soft surface to make biscuits.

A soft blanket can imitate perfectly their mother’s belly, so they will use it like when they were very young.

Why Do Cats Knead On Their Owners?

When making biscuits (kneading) on their owner’s lap, cats are trying to show their affection, and the fact that they are searching for comfort and security, something similar to what their mother offered when they were only kittens.

Another reason for your cat to knead in your lap is to tell other cats that you belong to her, you are her property, so it will mark you with pheromones.

What Happens When A Cat Kneads On You?

Despite the fact that not everyone likes this, when your cat starts kneading (making biscuits) on you, you will feel right away small punctures in your skin due to her claws.

If you don’t like the feeling, you can use a blanket or a pillow to no longer feel the claws, but try to never reject the cat from making biscuits on you because she is only trying to tell you that she loves you and the fact that you belong to her.

If we talk about an indoor cat, you can trim its claws, and this way when she kneads on you, you will no longer feel that your skin is punctured.

Why Do Cats Make Biscuits On Your Stomach?

Your cat starts making biscuits on your stomach because this is how she tells you that it loves you very much.

If we talk about a cat that haven’t been spayed, when she goes into heat or estrus, she will use your stomach to make biscuits (release pheromones), which will signal males that she is ready to mate.

So your stomach becomes this way the place used by your cat to signal males that she is ready.


Cats make biscuits on soft blankets or pillows to release stress, to place pheromones, when they are in pain or seek emotional bonding.

However, if you have become the target, and the cat uses your lap to start making biscuits, be sure that she does this to show how much it loves you, so never reject her. Be happy that your cat cares about you, others seek this but receive nothing in exchange.

Article written by:

Darius Savin is a lifelong animal lover and protector and the chief editor of Checkmember. He writes and edits articles and is also the creator of the distribution maps for all the creatures featured here.