Why Cats Knead Your Leg | Find Out the Truth

Wondering why cats knead your leg? Slow and methodical marching in place makes kitty seem very strange! They look like little bakers or winemakers in fur coats. Some do it more often than others, and they’re surprisingly good at it too. Why do cats massage their humans anyway? The answer may surprise you! Find out the truth behind the massaging, kneading, and stomping.

Waking Up to Kitty Kneading My Thigh

I woke up to find my cat vigorously kneading my thigh a few nights ago, and it felt really good! I had ridden my exercise bike that day, and my leg muscles were tight and sore. Kitty’s massage felt great, and I just laid back and let her keep stomping grapes.

I always said my cat was a natural healer. However, kitty had a different reason for kneading my leg like a bread baker. It’s nice to think that it’s merely an expression of love, but kitty has a reason for marching in place on bedding, people, and even the dog.

Why Cats Knead Your Leg, Your Stomach, and the Dog

What if your cat starts stomping like a winemaking fool? The practice of moving their legs up and down as if they’re stomping grapes or kneading bread dough begins at birth. It’s how kittens stimulate their mother’s milk flow while nursing. At times you’ll see a row of kittens all massaging mama’s belly.

So, why do cats knead humans, other animals, bedding, and other soft things? They aren’t trying to nurse, of course. The reason why cats make biscuits on your leg goes back to kittenhood.

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Pet Parents and Cats That Knead Them

When trying to figure out why cats knead your leg, the dog, blankets, and other soft things, it may seem as if they’re being affectionate. They are showing affection, but for them it’s more of a self-comforting act. That’s why they also manipulate inanimate objects.

However, they do look to you for their needs – and their ‘kneads‘ too! It’s kitty’s way of saying, you make me feel comfortable, safe, and secure, and I love and trust you. Kitty sure wouldn’t knead the leg of someone he or she didn’t trust.

Do all cats purr while kneading? Most cats do, but some also meow. Check out Butters happily kneading, meowing, and purring up a storm. 😀


Kimberly Dalessandro (a.k.a. Crystal Ray) began her online writing career in 2005 with PageWise Incorporated and went on to become a top writer for both Associated Content and Yahoo Voices under the pen name Crystal Ray. In early 2017 she launched Blue Crystal Sky ~ Everything Under the Sun. She is continually coming up with new ideas to share with the world.

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