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Why do cats knead? Open

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Cats need to knead because it feels good. More accurately, they do it because they feel good. They did it to their mothers when they were tiny, adorable, nursing balls of fur in order to encourage the milk in the mammary glands to come into the teats. The theory is that as adults they continue this behavior because they’re content.

Here’s a whole article on kneading behavior in cats, including a couple of other theories about why they do it and what to do when the adorableness of it wears off and you want it to stop.