Having a pet is definitely a lovely thing. Especially if you get them from an early age, and you have the chance to observe how they develop into adult pets.
That being said, if you have a cat, you have probably noticed that it has a tendency of kneading. Intuitively, kittens start doing this at a very early age in order to stimulate the mammary glands of their mother. The question that naturally follows is, why does this behavior linger even afterward? Or, better said, why does my cat knead on me? And why especially me and not my husband, for example?
Why Do Cats Knead On People? Potential Explanations
At the moment, there is no scientific evidence indicating a specific reason behind cat kneading. To that end, what we have are potential explanations as opposed to concrete facts. Also, after reading the following reasons, you can make your own guesses and determine the possible causes why your cat kneads on you and not on other people.
1. Cats Prefer Kneading People with Which They Have a Connection
Kneading is a feline behavior that is associated with feelings of comfort, happiness, calmness, security. For the most part, positive emotions. And if your cat prefers to knead on you, instead of any other person in the house, then it might feel more connected and closer to you.
Presumably, you are also the person that feeds and looks after the cat. If you are responsible for feeding, grooming, and cleaning after your furry companion, then this will make your cat feel more connected with you.
In general, cats prefer to choose one specific person to knead on. This person is usually associated with their mother. As we already pointed out, cats develop this instinctive behavior from a very early age. Therefore, as you look after your cat, it will start to think of you as the equivalent of its mother.
2. Your Cat Needs You
When your cat chooses to knead on you, this might also be a sign that it needs you. You will notice whether this is the case for your cat as well if you take the time to analyze its behavior. For example, your cat might feel bored and neglected and, in this case, it might ask for your attention through kneading. It might want you to give it treats or pet it.
3. Your Cat Likes What You Are Wearing
Funny as it may sound, it is totally real. Your cat’s inclination towards kneading might have to do with the clothes you wear, or rather their texture. For instance, cozy, wool sweaters are a cat’s favorite. Hence, if you’re wearing something cozy, then your cat might suddenly start kneading on you.
How to Stop Your Cat from Kneading in the Middle of the Night?
Although it is very cute to know that your cat prefers you over your husband or any other person in the household, it can be quite frustrating to have your cat knead on you in the middle of the night when you are trying to get some sleep. At the same time, when your cat’s kneading behavior starts to become compulsive, it might be a source of annoyance. In this situation, perhaps you should try different tactics to address this issue.
Moreover, if your cat becomes aggressive or it starts salivating when it kneads, then you should definitely do something in this respect. Even if your cat’s kneading is rarely painful, it can be a nuisance at times. Therefore, you might even attempt to put an end to this behavior by redirecting your pet’s focus on something else.
First, note that there is no point whatsoever in punishing your pet due to kneading. This is primarily because this behavior is instinctive. In other words, weaning off the cat requires time. You should understand this before testing out different techniques.
Also, if you start yelling at your cat when it kneads, this will convey a wrong message. Ultimately, such an approach will make your cat feel alienated and might even lead to aggressive behavior. With that in mind, the most efficient technique is redirecting your cat’s kneading on something else such as a blanket or a pillow.
Still, at nighttime, doing this is not as easy as it sounds. Particularly because cats can be quite persistent when it comes to kneading. Therefore, perhaps your best bet would be to keep the door to your bedroom closed, to prevent your cat from entering the room to disturb you.
At the same time, whenever your cat is kneading at nighttime, it is because it is looking for some comfort. Hence, you might consider creating a comfy, cozy spot where it can sleep. Your cat might even enjoy sleeping on a pile of clothes if they smell like you, for example.
If your cat usually sleeps in the bedroom and it cannot break this behavior, then you will have to come up with another solution. Something efficient might be relocating it on a soft cozy pillow. This might not work the first few times. But you should be consistent, and, in time, your cat might develop a preference for the spot. It would be best if the pillow is a one recently used by you because then it will smell like you and your kitten will be more drawn to the new spot.
The Bottom Line
All in all, now you know some possible reasons why your cat prefers to knead on you instead of kneading on your husband. It would seem that your cat is more attached to you, as you are the member of the household that looks after it.
As for the ways in which you can prevent it from kneading in the middle of the night, you can try the tactics we included above. They may work, but not overnight – the key is to be consistent and patient! For more answers to mysterious cat behavior, visit Kittie Cat and read my blog post on “Why Does My Cat Lick Me Then Bite Me?“.