How do you stop a cat from kneading?

@cassidy22 (2975)
United States
January 30, 2007 11:41am CST
OK, I know why he does it, he was weaned WAY too early. My husband found him when he was only 4-5 weeks old. He's generally a great cat, and keep the mice under control on our property. But he's 11 now, and he still kneads. He also has all his claws. The problem is, he sleeps with us and kneads in the middle of the night. Not only is he shredding our comforter, but the scratching noise wakes me up. We chuck him off the bed, sometimes I flick his paws, or usually we just try to snuggle him down until he settles in and starts to sleep. But really, is there anything I can do to get him to stop kneading? In the summer, he does it to us on our bare arms and THAT is not a pleasant way to get woken up!
9 people like this
41 responses
@sylviekitty (2084)
• United States
31 Jan 07
As far as I know, you can't stop them. And I realize you don't like it, but short of declawing him, why would you want to? Cats do it when they're happy, when they're content, when they're reminded of something from childhood (supposedly). Why take that away from them? I had a cat that lived to be nearly 18, and she did it her entire life. If you can't handle the claws, move the cat, spray the cat with water, or if you really must, declaw the front paws. (I'm not an advocate of that AT ALL, but some people will do that- and leave the hind claws, so they have some method of defense). Cats do this! I say let them!!
2 people like this
@rosie_123 (6118)
31 Jan 07
Totally agree with that - though I could never accept declawing. Well it is illegal where I live anyway. and in most countries apart from the US - but is it cruel and painful and totally unnecessary.
1 person likes this
@cassidy22 (2975)
• United States
31 Jan 07
No worries, I will NEVER declaw my cat. ever. Just like I would never get a dog's ears clipped. We'll just continue to trim his nails, and I'll just have to deal with it. It's too bad, I had an ex with a cat that was declawed, and he kneaded all the time, too... but it was nice, I managed to get him to knead my back, and it was like a mini masssage!
• United States
31 Jan 07
I'm against declawing as well. I also think it's cruel, which is why despite the fact my cats have shredded the carpets of every place we have lived in since we've had them, we have not done anything so drastic about it. There's no much you can do about it. It's maddening!!!!
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17870)
• United States
30 Jan 07
One of our two cats kneads (they are from the same litter). Besides trimming their nails, try providing a place for them to scratch. That has cut hers down some. Now she only kneads when you pet her or she is really happy.
2 people like this
@cassidy22 (2975)
• United States
30 Jan 07
We put catnip on the scratching post to keep him interested in that. But at night, he wants to be with us... I guess it'll just be something to live with while he's with us. Knowing me, I'll miss the noise when he's gone!
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17870)
• United States
30 Jan 07
I know it is annoying, but your cat is just tyring to show you that he loves you. You are lucky. I have a friend whose cats was weaned too early and she sucks on blankets and towels(the cat is notw 3 yeasr old). My friend is always complaining about teh cat laying next to her, sucking on the blanket, and when she goes to move the blanket it is all wet.
1 person likes this
@cassidy22 (2975)
• United States
31 Jan 07
I have seen that in other cats. Ours doesn't suck blankets, but when he gets to kneading, he totally zones out and he starts to drool. His ears are pinned back and he's just staring into space. It can be a little creepy, but whatever!
• United States
30 Jan 07
Clip his claws down so he doesn't destroy things. Oh, and in winter try putting a fleece blanket (not polar fleece) over your bed--cat claws don't get through that stuff as easily. Honestly I have no idea how to make a cat stop kneeding, at least not completely. My cat was a good 13-14 years old and STILL kneeded on occasion.
@cassidy22 (2975)
• United States
30 Jan 07
Thanks! I do have a big flannel blanket on the bed as well, one that's already torn, so I don't care if he shreds it more. The destruction is frustrating, but it's more the noise in the middle of the night that wakes me up. Makes me grumpy!
1 person likes this
@cowgirl2701 (2081)
• United States
30 Jan 07
Kneading is actually a cats way of showing they are happy and content. I clip my cats claws on a weekly basis. When you keep their claws trimmed they don't tear things up when they knead. They also don't hurt as bad as their sharp claws. I don't know any other way besides having them declawed.
2 people like this
• India
31 Jan 07
Keep him away from your bed room. Usually the cat would like to sleep in the day time. His sight is far brighter during night than in day time. So one remedy is don't allow him to sleep in day time. Just how he kneads during night and disturbs you during your sleep, you disturb him during his sleep during day time. Once his sleep is interrupted during day time, he will be having sound sleep during night, and you too, only if he can check the mice problem in day time. Wish you a sound sleep.
@cassidy22 (2975)
• United States
31 Jan 07
THe house we live in right now has no door on the bedroom. We are buying a farm this spring, and their will be a door on the bedroom, and he won't be allowed in it. That's more because I am allergic to him, and his hair all over the bed makes it hard for me to breath at night. But that's another story. And actually, we don't disturb him during the day. My husband and I both work full time, so he has at least 9 hours all day where we are not home. And I know full well my dogs sleep all day, lazy goofs, so no one is bugging the cat!! Oh well, was hoping there might be a trick, but I guess not. :(
• United States
31 Jan 07
If you pulled that with my cat, she would be so angry, she would paw at the door ALL NIGHT LONG just so you will open it. Trust me, NO PRIVACY with this one! We've tried.
@Stephanie5 (2953)
• United States
30 Jan 07
Well, I don't have cats, but my step-mom has about 10 of them and is a cat fanatic, so I called and asked her for you... She says use a squirt bottle with water in it. When the cat does ANYTHING you do not want it to, give it a little squirt and it will cut down on it, if not stop it. Now, I don't know if this would work or not with you becuz your cat is much older. But, it's worth a try, right? Good luck
@cassidy22 (2975)
• United States
31 Jan 07
I can give this a try too, just need to make sure I squirt the cat, and not my sleeping husband!! :)
@TerryZ (22147)
• United States
30 Jan 07
No you cannot break this habit of kneading. Thats like asking you to stop breathing. It is bread into them. I suggest you keep his nails clipped short thats what I do. I clip my cats nails once a week.
@cassidy22 (2975)
• United States
30 Jan 07
Thanks! my husband does clip his nails. This cat loves attention so much, he doens't fuss, either. I just need to remind the hubby to do it more often.
@sbeauty (5871)
• United States
31 Jan 07
Cats are going to knead. That's part of their cat personality. I've heard that you can get caps to put over the claws now which should help. If you sleep with him, you have to accept that he's going to do the things he does. Otherwise you need to put him somewhere at night so that you can get a good sleep.
1 person likes this
@meeoww (1174)
• United States
31 Jan 07
My last kitty didn't knead too much, but when he did, he didn't usually use his nails or not very much. He seemed to have been trained what's called "velvet paws", in which when they play, they don't extend their nails. This is done by pinching the pads of their paws when they are playing and they extend the claws. Pinching the pads makes them reactively withdraw the nails. If you can keep up on that, then maybe he'll learn, although, your baby is no kitty! When my Little 1 did use his nails, I'd literally smack his little paws on the top (while I'm yelling ow!ow!ow!, of course) and tell him that that hurts. As long as I didn't push him away, he'd start kneading again, but would draw back on the nails at least enough where they didn't go all the way through the blanket! Heehee! But I'm one that insists that cats definitely know exactly what we're saying to them. And knowing that he's kneading because he's utterly comfortable and showing that he loves me, how could I possibly push him away!! Aloha!
1 person likes this
@tictac714 (976)
• United States
31 Jan 07
I agree with everybody that you can't get him to stop kneading. My kittens do it and they purr the whole time, it's really sort of sweet. They have their claws, but don't seem to put them out while they knead, and I really hope they don't start!
1 person likes this
@not4me (1713)
• United States
31 Jan 07
My cat is about 5 or 6 and he does this only on my stomach and rarely on a soft blanket. I look at it like he thinks I'm his mama, or at least trusted family and I find it endearing because afterwards he does a circle on my chest, lays down and then tucks his head under my chin and hugs my arm with his paw all stretched out. If your cat's toenails are kept trimmed then it shouldn't make any noise. Maybe trim them up and try out those softpaws! Here is a link to that :www.softpaws.com/ - it might help some.
1 person likes this
@Larina (457)
• Singapore
31 Jan 07
I guess kitties are all like that, if you manage to find a way with the help of the forum members, please let me know as well ;D
1 person likes this
• Singapore
31 Jan 07
I dont think anything can be done. One of my cats whois 5yrs old still kneads me in bed too. I usually shift him away and hope he doesnt do it again on me
1 person likes this
• Oman
31 Jan 07
If the noise is bothering u, how about wearing ear-plugs. Thats what i do because my cat loves to get up and play in my room in the middle of the night so I dont get disturbed. When she wants to wake me up she comes and tickles my face with her whiskers
1 person likes this
@Island_Geko (3760)
• Canada
31 Jan 07
matures cats kneads to show its contentment and pleasure. If your cat is kneading it means they are happy and content. Quick background, young kittens need to stimulate their mom’s mammary glands in order to have the milk flow. So they knead on her. Once they grow, the behavior is a demonstration of happiness and contentment. Keep kitty purring.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Jan 07
My fat cat loves to do this! He will sit on my tummy and squish me and stick me. But he is as happy as can be when he is doing it. I just let him do it. If he hurst me to much I will pick up his feet. My cat I got when she was 5 weeks old, doesn't do this to me as often. She just likes me to stand and hold her. She is like a baby.
1 person likes this
@webduck (238)
• United States
31 Jan 07
It is something all cats do, not just yours. My cat is 14 and he does it when he is feeling calm and comfortable. Your cat doesn't do it to bother you, or to wake you up. He does it because he is happy.
1 person likes this
@vicky1 (241)
• United States
31 Jan 07
My cats do this all the time. But never on us. Mine that would hurt. My cats are in house cats and would like to declaw thier front paws but it really cost a lot of money.
1 person likes this
@pilbara (1436)
• Australia
31 Jan 07
Sorry but there is no way you are going to stop him now. Our cat does the same thing
1 person likes this
@babykay (2133)
• Ireland
31 Jan 07
I have had cats all of my life and they all knead, regardless of how long they spent with their mothers, its their way of saying all is well in their world. My only suggestion is to get a wooly, preferably mohair, jumper or blanket and have it at the end of the bed. They usually love these kind of things to knead on. Or else throw him out of the bedroom altogether. Please be very careful when trimming his claws, this can be painful if it goes wrong. And never, ever declaw a cat. It is very cruel, they cannot defend themselves out of the house and they get very depressed.
1 person likes this