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Julia Albright, an associate professor in the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine, recently addressed the question “Why do cats like to pat their paws on a soft blanket?” for The Conversation. Some cats shift their front paws back and forth just before settling down for a nap—a behavior sometimes referred to as making biscuits or kneading dough.


Scientists who study cat behavior call this distinctive paw action kneading and believe it to be a sign of a relaxed cat.

Albright explained how cats begin kneading, how the motion helps them relax, and how it may be a form of communication between cats and their people. Read the full article on The Conversation.

UT is a member of The Conversation–an independent source for news articles and informed analysis written by the academic community and edited by journalists for the general public. Through our partnership, we seek to provide a better understanding of the important work of our faculty.



Lindsey Owen (865-974-6375,