You’ve sat down comfortably with a nice cup of Earl Grey when you here a “chirrup” and up jumps your cat. He settles himself down on your lap, then gradually starts rhythmically kneading, trampling up and down with his paws, purring loudly all the while.
He’s in a blissful state, but – gosh – it certainly hurts when those sharp, needle-like claws pulse into your thigh! There’s no choice, you have to tip him off, only to discover a trail of drool left behind.
Why do cats act like this? Well, it’s because they are returning to that ecstatic state of kittenhood, when they were conditioned to knead their mother’s belly to stimulate the flow of milk – and the drool is the anticipation of the food to come.
Kittens learn very quickly that the movement of their paws on either side of the nipple stimulates and increases the milk flow.
It’s best, then, not to get too upset when he gives you a good going over on the lap department – he just sees you as ‘mum’!