Why does my cat knead me and not my husband? That is because your cat is choosing you. It may be because you are the main carer for the cat in terms of feeding and general interaction. The cat bonds with you.
The way in which a cat kneads a person, is a very similar motion to that of kneading bread. Cat kneading is part of a cat’s natural behavior.
Not long after birth, a kitten will place his paws against his Mother’s mammary glands and knead gently to stimulate milk flow. Why then, is this cat kneading behavior carried on far beyond kitten-hood?
Why Does My Cat Knead Me And Not My Husband?
I know this feeling all too well and it leads to other questions, for example – Why did the cat always sleep tucked up against my pillow on the bed, (during the day) but not my husband’s pillow?
a) The Cat Bonds With You
It probably isn’t the just kneading action from the cat, that is specific to you. It is the cats general behavior towards you.
If you are the person who is primarily in charge of feeding the cat, a strong bond is forged as the cat sees you as safety.
In addition to feeding the cat, this includes the general care of the cat. In any household this naturally seems more likely to fall on one partner rather than being evenly shared.
There is nothing inherently right or wrong with this, it is just the way it is.
When our cat developed diabetes, the feeding process that had been in place for years, changed totally. We had to suddenly adopt a strict time schedule for feeding him. This time schedule was in order to give him the necessary twice daily insulin injections before he could eat.
Prior to the diabetes diagnosis, I had always fed the cat. Now , I had to overcome my fear of giving the cat an injection. My husband and I started sharing the feeding process and in fact he gave the cat his injections for the first couple of months.
Now that we are both feeding the cat, the cat has developed a far stronger attachment to my partner then he had before.
b) Cat Kneading Time
So essentially, your cat is choosing you. That’s fine, if it is okay.
Some people don’t like to be woken up by kitty deciding that 2am is perfect cat kneading time. When cats knead it is usually accompanied by purring so it’s a double whammy. Now you are Awake, Awake!
However we also don’t want to be mean to kitty by getting cross with him because he is just saying is that you are his safe place. He isn’t thinking about disturbing your sleep.
Even is the cat is not specifically kneading you, he may be kneading the bedding near you, then walking in a circle before more kneading. This can carry on for quite some time before the cat has made his happy sleping place.
There are some things you can do to help adjust this behavior that keeps everyone happy.
Can I Stop Kitty Kneading In The Middle Of The Night?
Here are two suggestions. The same basic principle applies in both suggestions.
Move kitty to a more acceptable space that has your scent and where he feels secure. How?
1.Put a comfy pillow on a chair or somewhere that is near the bed and if kitty starts being problematic in the middle of the night relocate him to the pillow. Our kitty has a love of all things white, so there was a fair chance that a white comfy pillow would do the trick. I can’t say it was successful 100% of the time but some mornings I was surprised to see that he was still there.
2. Have a soft fleece rug nearby, at the end of the bed and as soon as the cat starts kneading, move him to the blanket. If the blanket or cushion/pillow is one that you use, it will already have your scent. The cat will like that. In cold weather consider a warmed heat pad underneath the bedding.
More Cat Behavior Articles.
Does your cat love a good gallop around the house? Ours certainly does!
What is the reason for the cat night crazies?