Paw Prints

Question: Why does my cat, Gumbo, knead with his paws? Is this normal?

Answer: As an owner of way too many cats I can say that this is one of the cutest behaviors that cats keep into adulthood! I call it “making biscuits” and its absolutely adorable and completely normal. My kitties usually do it when they are relaxed and happy and just lounging around or about to fall asleep. This behavior stems from kitten hood, when your kitten used to massage his mom’s mammary glands to stimulate milk production and help with suckling. It is a genetically programmed behavior and helps kittens grow big and strong by letting them nurse better. Adult cats will continue to do it when feeling content and safe with you! 

Question: My pup likes to get into my cat’s litter box. Should I try harder to prevent this? 

Answer: Yes! But have no shame! Many dogs like to root around their kitty’s litter box looking for stray Tootsie rolls. Nevertheless, this isn’t a behavior that should be ignored or encouraged. There are no supplements or medications that will change the flavor or smell of your cat’s feces, so making it physically impossible for your pup to get to them is your only option. Consuming cat feces can give your dog a parasitic infection or give them an upset stomach. Opt for closed litter boxes with a swinging door or place them on a higher shelf or counter. Designating a closet for your cat with a small kitty shaped hole your pooch can’t get through may also be an option! 

Please send your questions to Dr. Marina Shepelev at

Dr. Marina Shepelev is an associate veterinarian practicing medicine at Owego Veterinary Hospital. She welcomes weekly questions concerning your furry friends.

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