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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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obsession with kneading

I have a 5 month old male kitten, yet to be neutered who is obsessed with kneading my neck. He uses his claws whilst doing this, and even when I try to push him away to stop him, he climbs right back. He pushes his face right against mine and drools all over me. It's gotten to the stage that everytime I pet him, he wants to do this. Why is he doing this? Will he stop this behaviour? My poor neck can't take any more!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 09:13 PM
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He loves you! Kneading is a comforting things cats do that reminds them of their mothers. In a way, you've become his mother and he's showing affection for you. Its a very loving thing. My cat gets really into it early in the morning (when I want to sleep!) so I know it can get annoying, but don't discourage him from doing this. Its almost like turning away a loved one who wants to hug you.

Do you keep his nails trimmed? This can really help with your neck. Maybe you can just make it so he kneads somewhere else? You really should feel special though


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 09:21 PM
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If this annoys you, he should eventually outgrow it, but Jessie is right, it's a natural behavior of comfort and affection, and it wouldn't be right to try to stifle it. Keeping the claws trimmed will help if it's scratching your skin, and if that isn't enough, there's always "Soft Paws"
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 12:05 PM
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My cat Pfeffa does the same thing to me (she's been doing this since she was a little 8-week old kitten...she's almost 8 years old now).

Lately it's when I'm sleeping—she steps onto my chest and puts a leg on each side of my neck and licks my chin, my lips, and especially, my ears.

The whole time she is doing this, she is kneading around and on my neck and head (very painful, even with clipped nails) and occasionally I get a paw on my face as she "assists" me in allowing her to reach the opposite ear. She purrs and purrs the whole time, and really seems to lose herself in the moment.

I have always allowed her to do this for a little while, as it does seem to give her such comfort and pleasure. When it gets to be too much, I push her off and she *usually* will accept this and settle into the crook of my arm. The only thing that helps my neck, is wearing turtlenecks, or bringing the blanket up and around my neck. I also lightly hold her legs while she's kneading to try and prevent any big scratches and to avoid having my face stepped on.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 02:43 PM
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Man.....I want one of the nice cats like that!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 02:44 PM
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The Soft Paws really do help in this situation.

One question, though -- why are they sooo obsessed with kneading necks?

Any ideas?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 02:54 PM
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I think, in Pfeffa's case at least, that she's actually after my ear lobes, and my neck is just in the way of her kneading feet—she'll knead the pillow behind my head if she's close enough to reach it, and she will occasionally grab and pull on my head (OUCH) to get me to turn my head one way or another, or to push her face closer to mine.

It's very sweet. Just really painful at times.

Why my ear lobes? I don't know - she was a foster kitten, so I've always kinda thought that she somehow associated my ear lobes with her bottle? or lack of a mom's nipple? I have NO idea though.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 03:06 PM
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I'm not sure why necks, but I know that when Assumpta's sick or feeling poorly, she curls up on my chest with her nose buried in my neck. I always figured she did that because it was a good nestling spot (I have long hair) and she could feel my pulse with her nose.

Assumpta usually kneads on my chest, though occasionally she'll start migrating towards my neck. She doesn't lick me though, just drools on my face.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 03:11 PM
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Awe that is so cute!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 04:17 PM
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I'm kinda confused here...does 'kneading' mean 'headbutting'? Where they try to leave their scent on you by rubbing their cheeks against us? Or is it an action where they continuously 'adjust' themselves while balancing on ur lap?
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