Cat kneading blanket
With endless cat products out there, how do we chose the right ones and how can it enrich your cats' life?
Why do cats need kneading blankets?
There are many reasons to enrich your cat’s environment with a kneading blanket. Among them are to enhance the cat’s natural behaviour; they don’t knead with the sole purpose of ruining your thighs or furniture. What seems annoying for someone who doesn’t speak cat is kind of an adorable gesture.
Kittens knead their mother’s nipple to make it erect and stimulate milk flow; however, felines don’t stop kneading when they grow up, despite leaving the nipple behind.
Cats knead when they are emotionally comfortable, such as with meowing and purring. They do all of those things from an early stage but continue doing it through association.
It is a way for them to show that they are comfortable around someone, as they are treating them like they used to treat their mother. They have adapted from socialising with other cats when younger to socialising with humans too. However, their ways of showing gratification have not adapted, so they simply talk to you in cat language.
Another reason they knead on humans and other things is to mark territory with pheromones that they produce with specialised glands. This is also one of the reasons they rub their face and body on things.
Cats knead before they go to sleep to make their bed more comfortable and stimulate blood circulation, much like stretching.
However, by kneading, the cat might tell you that it loves you and that you belong to them now. Although, that doesn’t change the fact that it hurts when they do it on your thighs. Another nuisance is that it ruins your furniture. So, what can you do to improve the situation?
How do I get my cat to use the kneading blanket?
Cat's don't like change and it can take a while for it to start using it appropriately. You can teach your cat to use one, either by introducing them to it from an early stage or moving them to the blanket whenever they are kneading something else. But remember, do not punish your cat for its kneading.
Cats are self-willed and stubborn, and when they knead on you, it is with good intentions. They will feel insulted if you punish them for it. Such an action might damage your relationship. So how do you train your cat to not knead on you or your furniture?
You can buy a specialised kneading blanket that you put on your lap when your cat sits there. If it kneads on the furniture, gently move the cat to the blanket. It will take some time, but it will eventually understand. If you need a more efficient way, you should invest in clicker training.
Read more: Clicker training: How does it work, what’s the advantages?
Read more: The importance of enriching your cat’s environment.
Read more: Enrich your cats’ environment: Cat-TV!
How do I find the right cat kneading blanket?
In practice, you can buy any sort of blanket for your cat to knead on. However, robust material with a solid fabric will probably last you a lot longer than a polyester blanket. You can find designated kneading blankets in most pet shops, or if you go into a carpet shop, you can ask them for a piece of robust fabric. An advantage could be to explain the purpose of the blanket.
DIY cat kneading blanket!
Use an old rug or floor matt and cut out a rectangular piece of fabric that suits your lap. If you intend to use the rug elsewhere, like on a wall or the side of your stairs, measure the right proportions with a measuring tape. You can staple the blanket to the wanted destination.
If you do not want to attach the rug to your inventory, use a piece of wood with the correct measures. Either glue or nail the blanket to your piece of wood. Simply put it on the ground where you want your cat to knead.