Skip to comments.Kitteh idiosyncrasies
Posted on 06/25/2012 11:20:00 PM PDT by boatbums
Everybody who has cats (or dogs) knows that they may have traits in common with other like animals, but each one has their own idiosyncrasies (idiosyncrazies, that is). My two and a half year old Birman male cat, Beaux, has this strange, but cute, almost OCD behavior that he does EVERY day, sometimes three or four times a day depending on how much time I happen to be home in a given day. If I have been gone most of the day, he will find the time to "fit in" his odd little habit at least once before bedtime. Here's what he does:
As I sit at the kitchen table working on my laptop computer, usually on Free Republic, he will jump up on the table and plant himself between me and the keyboard. With his head and belly facing me and his backbone up against the keyboard, he will tuck his head down into the crook of my left arm, close his eyes, brace his back legs against my chest and begin kneading me like I was his nursing momma, loudly purring the entire time. Like I said, he is compulsive about it and it seems like he MUST do this as often as he can. It will go on for about five or ten minutes after which he will stop and snooze, still in his tuck position.
Does anyone out there have a cat with the same habit? I think it is adorable and I kinda like that he wants to be so close to me. But, I worry, is he developing a compulsive disorder and should I discourage him? My other cat has NEVER done this nor have any other cats I have known. I had one who would knead my tummy if I was lying down on the couch watchng TV, but none like this.
What are some of your kitteh's habits that could be called "indiosyncratic"?
Yes, I have one that does it excessively. He’ll even get on the back of my recliner and knead my head if I try to watch television.
Yes. I have had three cats each with different ways of kneading and levels of ‘neediness.’ Your cat sounds like a real lover. Sweet. Enjoy as the cat is certainly enjoying you :).
My Angora used to do that all the time. It’s totally normal. He’s asserting ownership of you.
Are you familiar with the quote, “Dogs have owners. Cat’s have staff?”
yeah, its normal and a sign of love and looking for security.
I had a lynx point Siamese who used to do what we called ‘cat necklace’, he would lay down my chest, put one paw on each side of my neck, reach back and knead my hair (I have long hair) and nuzzle my neck and try to nurse, then he would pass out. Other times he would do like your cat and bury his head in the crook of my arm and knead.
Enjoy it, it means he loves you and is comfortable with you as ‘big cat’ in the litter.
Yes, and it is soooo true.
"he's possessed by the spirit of the old Italian baker in town....he never sung, but he hummed excessively while preparing the dough"
I think he especially likes the soft bathrobe I wear at that time after my shower. It might feel like fur to him. He lies in my lap ofter during the day, but he only kneads my lap when I wear that robe.
“I think it is adorable and I kinda like that he wants to be so close to me. But, I worry, is he developing a compulsive disorder and should I discourage him?”
Has he drawn blood? Have your carpets gotten hosed?
The why would you discourage him?
Hate to get preachy here, but this IS “FREE” Republic.
Discouraging disorders in order to create a more perfectly ordered kitteh?
Don’t go democrat on your cat!
My cat loved to knead me as well. He’d settle into my lap, bury his head in the crook of my elbow, and knead away. On occasion he might withdraw his head to regard me briefly with moist eyes, then tuck in his head and resume kneading, then fall asleep (and snore. Boy, did he snore).
I had a stray cat which had lost its mother at too young an age so it would try to nurse on you every chance it got. Darn thing would give you a hickey! An adult cat actually trying to nurse is not normal and is usually due to premature loss of its mother, but the kneading thing is a holdover from your cat’s infancy and is normal for any cat that is truly comfortable with you.
The kneading is also a handy habit they have which they use to skin squirrels... had a cat which would catch a squirrel, lay down beside it and turn it around to face him, then he’d start at the neck and eat the darn thing, kneading and kneading and peeling the skin back like a sock as he went until all that was left was a tail sticking out of a little pile of furry skin.
So, either your cat is as comfortable with you as it was with its mother, or it thinks you are an appetizer. :-)
K.C. - Krazy Kat - needs no one but has a fav soft baby blanket which she drags around the house. Several times a day she picks up a piece in her mouth and then there goes the four paws up and down for at least 30 minutes until I yell at her to stop it. Drives me crazy after a while. She was a sort of rescue kitten that we bottle fed for the first two weeks and I think she was taken away from her mom too early and not allowed to nurse long enough.
My oldest tortoiseshell girl, a red tortie, was orphaned too young. She and her sisters were found in a box in the parking lot of a pet shop down in Burbank at maybe a couple of weeks of age. The pet shop took them in, fed them, and I bought her at about 7 weeks of age.
She generally nuzzles and kneads my armpits, sometimes my boobs, depending on whether I'm sitting up or laying down on my side.
My first tortie, back in 1989 when I rescued her, would nurse on my neck a bit.
Have had other cats go a little nuts on nuzzling my armpits.
. I figure it means I'm literally a cat mama. LOL.
He wuuuuuuuuvs you. Wuv him back! ;o)
Seriously, why would you discourage such a sweet and charming expression of his love (well, okay, and his ownership) of you? Just make sure his claws are always clipped!
We have about eight cats, down from a peak of 13 due to very old age (one as old as 19). I say "about" eight because we have a couple of semi-feral visitors. One was a catch-and-release named Tribble that we had spayed after she dropped her kittens under the deck. We left her out there to make sure she wasn't replaced in our outdoor cat ecosystem. Now she comes in through the cat door and is a regular around the food bowl, although she never comes closer to people than about about six feet.
Except occasionally, around 3 or 4 in the morning she will come into our bedroom in the semi-darkness and rub her entire body up and down my legs for a few minutes and then sometimes do the same to my wife. My wife has actually gotten a hand on her to pet her. Tribble disappears as quietly as she came in, and then acts the rest of the day like she doesn't know us, although she stays inside to avoid the Arizona heat.
Whoa... it’s “LAZAMACAT”.......Hittin it!!
Appreciate your reply. I recently got a girl cat and she loves to knead me. Sometimes she will settle down on me. Used to drive me crazy but now that I understand why, I can accept it better.
I once read about a cat who would suck on one of his own nipples and knead himself.
I’ve witnessed various kneading behaviors over the years, but nothing as bizarre as that!
Now that is one cute Kitteh!!
I think some cats are just more insecure than others and it makes him feel better. Almost like a pacifier.
At least your cat doesn’t bark like a dog!
He’s asking you to leave that computer alone and pay attention to him. You are lucky he’s a cat and that that is his only way of demanding attention.
I had a “found” Schnauzer at one time. Since he was prone to having “accidents” in the house, I would always lock him in the kitchen when I went out. He quickly learned to squeeze through the bottom of the accordian gate that I installed to block the kitchen doorway. So, I put my typewriter case there to block the opening. (This was back in the late 1970s before home computers). I also was a reporter for the local newspaper and often attended late night meetings, dashing off my report early the following morning to meet my deadline.
One morning, shortly after we adopted this dog, I wrote up the City Council meeting. I left my typewriter on the kitchen table, blocked the gate, and dashed off to turn in my copy. When I got home, I found that that dog had jumped up on the table and POOPED on my keyboard.
Now, what do you suppose he was trying to tell me?
Birmans are affectioinate to the point of being almost possessive. They don’t like being left alone because the object of their affection isn’t there to rub up against.
Their sweet natures actually hide a blazing intelligence and reasoning power beyond the norm.
Mine would wait till we had company, wander the room checking them out, and sit at the feet of one, calmly cleaning himself. Then he would float onto their laps and settle in. What no one knew but me was that the one person he invariably chose was a confirmed cat-hater!
Smug little guy...(22 pounds)
That he was previously owned by Maureen Dowd, for whom he ghostwrote.
Catholic cats don’t do that. :-)
Alleyxandra Purrdita Po’ Tabby Trash Cat would wait until I was in bed, crawl under the covers and knead my, ahem, manly pectorals. I have a bunch of t-shirts with little rough patches on ‘em because of her.
She also interfered with freeping. She was the most clingy cat I have ever known.
Clint Junior Lightning prefers to shove things under the refrigerator and then meow at me until I get them out. If we put a refrigerator magnet less than a yard high on the icebox he’ll swat it off and under the refrigerator — and then ask me to get it out.
He also will bug me until I follow him to the sink and make the faucet drip so he can drink from it.
Love my kitteh!
I had a vanilla and orange tabby who used to do that. Usually the recipient of this brand of affection was wearing something like a Navy blue suit. In fact, he had been "found" cat who wandered up onto my deck in the middle of the night years before and settled into my husband's tool box as he was working on some project. My husband had always maintained that he hated cats, prior to that, but that orange tabby became his cat before he became the family cat.
Cats “knead” you to determine if you are ripe enough to eat. Be very thankful that cats are smaller than us.
Sometimes cats do this because they have been taken away from the litter at too young an age...they associate you and that behavior with their moms...
What you are describing is NOT a Kitteh idiosyncrasiy. It is standard, NORMAL behavior for pet cats.
I’ve had many cats as pets since childhood and have two now. They ALL love to curl up in your lap or belly and knead and purr. Some more than other but still ALL of them. They like the affection and it makes them feel safe and secure. It is a remnant of their kitten nursing and bonding habits with their mommies.
They will do it quite a bit if you are home a lot. If you are gone a lot they will want to make up for lost time.
They need warmth and affection just like dogs do.
My cats are all over me. Great little pals. LOL
How well I remember the nice clothes that were worn out the door, with the owner threatening to send me the cleaning bill to get the cat hair off.
I laughed at the derps!
The inner thoughts of a cat.
From recent Kitty Ping List.
Watch all 3 episodes. Only 2 minutes each.
Too many great quotes to even start to list them.
You have a beautiful loving cat. Thanks for sharing.
Multiple theories exist that explain why cats knead. Kneading may have an origin going back to cats’ wild ancestors who had to tread down grass or foliage to make a temporary nest in which to rest. Alternatively, the behavior may be a remnant of a newborn’s kneading of the mother’s teat to stimulate milk secretion. Since most of the preferred “domestic traits” are neotenous or juvenile traits that persist in the adult, kneading may be a relic juvenile behavior that is not lost in modern adult domestic cats.
Kneading is often a precursor to sleeping.
Many cats purr while kneading. They also purr mostly when newborn, when feeding, or when trying to feed on their mother’s teat. The common association between the two behaviors may corroborate the evidence in favor of the origin of kneading as a remnant instinct. Some experts consider kneading to “stimulate” the cat and make it feel good, in the same manner as a human stretching.
My “found” stray tortie, Patch, occasionally puts her front paws on the keyboard of my laptop if I’m using it instead of paying her attention. She also will rear up while you stroke her head, as if she’s trying to get her head closer to her hand. Haven’t ever noticed her kneading, but in general she’s a very affectionate kitty.
Our shelter adoptee, Apple (orange tabby), who as far as we know was pretty much always a house cat, has the rather annoying habit of swatting at your hand when she’s tired of being petted. And sometimes she’ll try to nip at you. But when she wants affection, she’ll smother you with head bonks when you pick her up.
The two kittens, Janis (lynx-point) and Monkey (dilute torbie) (both are Patch’s kids; we’ve since had her spayed), haven’t developed any idiosyncrasies aside from normal kitten playfulness.
It's good to know I am not alone in “all things feline” and it only shows what I have always believed...cats have individual personalities and no one cat - out of the billions that have ever lived - is the same as another. Kinda like people. ;o) All the more reason to love them and be grateful for every life that God brings into ours. Thanks for the comments!
Absolutely! It's fun getting a new kitten and watching that personality, with its quirks, develop.
Your Beaux is one beautiful fella. You can tell he's aware of his gorgeousness and is deigning to pose for the camera, LOL.
The first Siamese (now sorely missed) loved rubber. He ate all the rubber tips off all the door stops. luckily they would pass through his system. He also liked yarn and string, which occasionally would require “help” with removal, to my wife’s disgust.....
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