Why do cats "knead"?

I'm just curious: why do cats "knead" things? My cat is always "kneading" the blankets on my bed, I'm curious as to why she does this.

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Thanks!
Stacey from Orem, UT

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April 10, 20070 found this helpful

Kneading shows happiness and contentment - your cat has adopted YOU!

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April 10, 20070 found this helpful

It is similiar to when a kitten kneads its mother for milk. The cat is showing complete trust in you, like a kitten does to its mother.

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By Cath (Guest Post)
April 11, 20070 found this helpful

I was told that it is from 'kitten-hood' - they would knead their mother's belly to encourage the milk to flow. Landing on a soft, warm item as an adult triggers the kneading.

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April 11, 20070 found this helpful

Kneading begins when kittens are born and when they start feeding from their mothers, It helps to release the milk. It continues on as a sign of comfort when they get older. Another reason they knead is to 'soften' whatever they may be about to lie on.Okay, it might already be soft, a blanket, your bed..

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whatever.. but cats have primal instincts.. so virtually have instinctive collective memory of knowing how to try and soften a harder bed, the ground.. a pile of leaves, etc.
My grey cat has just finished kneading the quilt on my bed as I write!

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April 11, 20070 found this helpful

Purring is often linked to kneading, with the same origin.

O.

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By Michele (Guest Post)
April 11, 20070 found this helpful

Hi,
I asked a vet years ago the same thing. He said it is an instinct from birth, 'kneading' the mother cat for milk. It's the only reason I've ever heard.

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By Linda Valentine (Guest Post)
April 12, 20070 found this helpful

Glad my cat is content but I'm not when she starts kneading my thigh with all ten claws going!

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