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He’s Not Jealous But…Why Does My Cat Knead Me And Not My Husband?

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Why does my cat knead me and not my husband? It is because your cat is choosing you. He may be choosing you because you are the main carer for the cat in terms of feeding and general interaction. The cat bonds with you.

Cat kneading is part of a cat’s natural behavior. The way in which a cat kneads a person, is a very similar motion to that of kneading bread.

Not long after birth, a kitten will place his paws against his Mother’s mammary glands and knead gently to stimulate milk flow. That makes sense. Why then, is this cat kneading behavior carried on far beyond kitten-hood?

Another theory is that kneading is similar to cats marking their territory with scent glands near their paws. This may also explain why cats often knead on soft furnishings and blankets. They are leaving behind “scent” that marks your things as theirs. They also knead to make a soft place for a nest for giving birth and they knead before settling down in a location to sleep.

It is also advisable to try and discourage your cat from kneading on softer surfaces such as the sofa, because you don’t know how much damage your pet may be doing. For example, if he is ripping into cushions then this will become costly very quickly! We had a similar problem with the cat kneading/clawing the new leather couch.

Why Does My Cat Knead Me And Not My Husband? The Most Likely Reasons
1 The Cat Bonds With You
2 Cat Kneading Time
3 The Cat Knows He Will get more Attention From You
Stop Kitty Kneading In The Middle Of The Night!

Why Does My Cat Knead Me And Not My Husband?

I know this feeling all too well and it leads to other questions. Why did the cat always sleep tucked up against my pillow on the bed but not my partner’s pillow?

why does my cat kneading me and not my husband
Cat kneading her bed!

Another thing the cat likes to do in the middle of the night is have a good gallop around the house.
What is the reason for the cat getting up to antics at night?

The Cat Bonds With You

It probably isn’t just the kneading action from the cat, that is specific to you. It is the cats general behavior towards you. Your cat may see you as a source of comfort and security, while they view your husband as a potential threat.

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.

If your husband doesn’t participate in daily cat care, it’s likely that he won’t notice the kneading. However, cats love the attention and undivided attention from the people they feel close to. If your husband is not the type to participate in daily cat care, then your cat may be more interested in kneading you. 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 his meal times. 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 partner and I started sharing the feeding process. He gave the cat the twice daily 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.

Cat Kneading Time

Cats often knead to mark their territory, and since they see you as part of their territory, they may be trying to mark you as theirs. So essentially, your cat is choosing you.

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 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 sleeping place.

There are some things you can do to help adjust this behavior that keeps everyone happy.

 a cat kneading bedding

The Cat Knows He Will get more Attention From You

It is s possible that your cat has simply learned that they get attention and affection from you when they knead you so they continue to do it because it’s a behavior that’s reinforced by your reaction.

If you want your cat to stop kneading you, try ignoring them when they do it and see if the behavior decreases over time. Alternatively, you could try redirecting their attention by offering them a toy or scratch pad to knead instead of your body.

Don’t underestimate your cat They know what they want.

Your cat simply enjoys the way you feel when they knead you

It could be that your cat simply enjoys the way you feel when they knead you – after all, it feels pretty good!

They may also be trying to tell you something, like they want to be petted or that their food bowl is empty.

If your cat kneads you and then settles down in your lap, they are probably just showing you how much they love and trust you.

What if your cat pees on your bed? If your cat is unwell or a senior, that may be an explanation. Sometimes it may be your perfectly well and healthy cat that is peeing on your bed.

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. 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. 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 microwave warmed heat pad (specially for cats) underneath the bedding.

While we are on the topic of sleeping and cats – Why do cats like to sleep between legs. You just want to turn over but the cat is in the way.

Cats kneading behavior is very common and may happen at any time during the day or night. The person being kneaded usually takes care of the cat.

There are some things you can do to stop your furry friend from waking you up in the middle of the night with their kneading antics! Firstly, try the ideas given above. You could also try giving them a new toy for night-time playtime.

Petstages Nighttime Cuddle Plush Mouse Cat Toy with Catnip

If all else fails and you would like to know more about this behavior, we recommend consulting an animal behavior expert or a vet.

Two cats reading The Cat News
They really are trying hard to work out why we do what we do. Love the idea of the heated pad. I will definitely stop kneading for one of those.

This pad stays warm for hours when heated. Pop it into the microwave. It can be used anywhere the cat likes to sleep. A cat window perch is an ideal place for a heated pad.

Snuggle Safe Pet Bed Microwave Heating Pad

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