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Why Do Cats 'Make Biscuits'?


Have you ever wondered why cats do the things they do? Some of their behaviors can be really cute and others can be a little bit weird. For instance, every time I get cozy with this one soft blanket we own, my cat Pickles will wander over and start ‘making biscuits’ on it. You know, that cute thing cats do when they gently and rhythmically press their paws back and forth into a soft surface and it kind of looks like they’re making biscuits or kneading bread. It’s cute, right? Unless... their nails aren't trimmed and it’s your sofa or lap that’s taking a hit. Once again, I took to the internet, in search of answers!

‘Making biscuits’ is definitely an instinctual habit, newborn kittens will knead their mothers' belly while nursing. An older theory was that if an adult cat did this, it was a sign that it had been weaned from its mother too early. But seeing as this habit can be observed to some degree in almost all adult cats, we’ll have to leave that one out. Here are three other theories as to why cats ‘make biscuits’;

Scent glands on their paws - Your cat has several scent glands (near their cheeks, at the base of their tail and paws). As they knead they leave their scent on the surface, indicating to other possible cats that this spot is theirs. Next time your cat is sitting softly in your lap and your cringing through the pain of its sharp claws as it ‘makes biscuit’, just remember, this is just another way your cat tells you “I love you” (or “I own you”).

Just getting comfy for another nap - Notably cats always knead soft or squishy surfaces. Possibly an instinctual habit from its wildcat days, where cats may have patted down tall grass or shredded leaves in order to prepare a spot for sleep. I’m not sure about this one, as I’ve seen my cat and other cats sleep in the most ridiculous spots (like, there’s no way sleeping on a foosball table is comfortable, right?).

Just because they’re happy - ‘Making Biscuits’ can often be accompanied by loud purring and/or drooling. Their trance like state makes many believe that they do this simply because they are happy! Could this simply be an indication that your cat is feeling relaxed, secure and content? I think so!

"I Just knead to do it!" - Chef Cat

In the end, no one really knows for certain why our cats do it. I do know however that these can be some of the most affectionate moments with you and your cats. So, enjoy it! Let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree with these theories.

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