Because of their hybrid nature, Savannah cats have traits that closely align with both their wild serval half and their domesticated cat half. Much like your average house cat, Savannahs can show their happiness and contentedness in similar ways, such as through kneading.
Savannah cats do knead, just like a regular cat does. There are many reasons why they may knead, though this action often only occurs when they are very happy and content with their surroundings and life. Sometimes, it’s also something they do to prepare themselves for sleep.
In this way, Savannahs don’t differ from other house cats who knead when they are content. Below, we will discuss all of the different reasons Savannahs may knead and what this means.
Why Do Savannah Cats Knead Things?
A Natural Action
All cats have the capability to knead on blankets or their owners, and Savannahs are no different in this regard. Kneading is an action where a cat paws one spot over and over again, sometimes resulting in their claws digging into the fabric or human they’re kneading on. It’s an odd circumstance that many first-time cat owners find very interesting.
There are many different theories as to why cats knead things. If your Savannah kneads a blanket or spot over and over again right before they lay down in said spot to sleep, this could be a ritual they do to prepare themselves for bed. Their wild ancestors do this to flatten their sleeping area, and this could be a hereditary trait.
Other times, your cat could simply be expressing how happy and content they are in the moment. Often, cats don’t knead unless they’re actually content with their situation and their life. A nervous or angry cat probably won’t be kneading on your body, though cats are interesting creatures (and this can always happen). Generally, a Savannah cat only kneads when they’re happy!
Memories Of Their Mother
Many also theorize that Savannah cats, just like all cats, knead blankets or people because that’s what they used to do to their mother to stimulate milk production. It’s yet another action that cats do as an adult that they also used to do as a kitten. When your Savannah kitten used to do this, they were safe, warm, and well-fed — and when they do this as an adult, they remember these feelings.
This theory also falls hand in hand with the conclusion that Savannah cats are happy and content when they knead. They love to knead blankets, and you’ll find that any type of fluffy or fuzzy blanket will be their go-to kneading blanket. However, don’t be surprised if they also knead on you or the human they especially love!
For the most part, kneading is not done unless your Savannah is happy and pleased with their life. So, if you’re new to raising a cat and have never experienced this odd yet interesting action, don’t stress! It’s just another one of those interesting actions that cats do.
What Does It Mean When Savannah Cats Knead You?
When Savannah cats knead you primarily, this is often seen as their way of attempting to communicate with you and show you their love. As we mentioned above, cats often knead because they are happy, content, and remembering that they used to do this to their mother when they wanted to stimulate milk production. These memories remind them of when they were safe, fed, and loved.
Safe And Secure
So, when they knead you or a part of your body, they’re also feeling safe and happy — and they’re trying to let you know. Often, you can also hear your Savannah begin to purr as they knead, which is yet another sign that they’re happy and they love you. While purrs can mean almost anything with a cat, a purr while kneading almost always signifies their contentedness.
So, when a Savannah cat kneads you, they’re simply trying to tell you they love and appreciate you. They’re doing the action they used to do to their mother to you now. And while it sometimes might hurt a littlewhen they paw you with their claws, that little pain is well worth the love and affection they’re sending your way!
Savannahs Kneading While Drooling
Sometimes, cats can get really into their kneading. Savannahs are no different. When cats knead for a while, they can sometimes fall into something of a meditative mood, and some can even end up drooling during this happy process! Many Savannah owners have found that their cats also drool during their kneading and purring exercise.
Savannahs have also been known to even put the blankets they are kneading on into their mouths and drool, all while purring and kneading. If your Savannah also does this, there’s no need to worry. This is just another way that they’re showing their happiness with their life.
Some Savannahs are even known to go a little overboard on their kneading — and owners have stated that their cats are always looking to knead them! All Savannahs and domestic cats are different, so there’s no telling exactly what your Savannah will do. And if they don’t knead, don’t worry. This doesn’t mean they don’t love you. In fact, only 1 in 100 cats knead as adults!
Savannahs Kneading Other Animals
Often, if your Savannah is really thrilled with their situation, they won’t just knead you. They’ll also knead the other pets in your house that they really like! It’s not rare to find your cat kneading other cats or even other dogs that they especially love being around and really appreciate.
Again, this is nothing to worry about. This is just your Savannah attempting to show their housemates how much they love and admire them. While your dogs may not understand what’s going on at first, your cats will probably just let your Savannah knead away on them. And after a while, we’re sure your dog will grow to love the action, too.
Savannahs will knead anything they really love, including people, other animals, or even their favorite blankets and pillows. Some owners even give their Savannahs their own stuffed animals that they can go back to, time and time again, to knead!
What About Aggressive Kneading By Savannah Cats?
Generally, cats only knead when they are content. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, cats will also knead aggressively and even compulsively for many reasons. Often, this is seen in male Savannahs more than females, but any Savannah can begin to aggressively knead.
Spaying And Neutering
For the most part, only Savannahs who aren’t spayed or neutered will aggressively knead. This aggression can come across as compulsive, almost like your Savannah can’t stop kneading, nor do they want to. Spaying or neutering your cat will greatly diminish their kneading as a whole, almost certainly ridding them of their aggressive kneading in the process.
Another way to limit your Savannah’s aggressive kneading is to interact with them and play with them more. Savannahs always like to play, so bringing out their favorite toy when their kneading gets to be a little too much can divert their attention. Kneading isn’t a bad thing, so you don’t want to punish your cat if they’re kneading too much. Instead, just divert their attention!
Male Cats And Aggressive Kneading
While female cats can aggressively knead too, it’s mostly males that do this, and for many reasons. This kneading is not aggressive in nature, it’s only aggressive because your cat won’t stop doing it! While harmless, this compulsive action can quickly become annoying. However, never scold or punish your cat for kneading, even if they are doing it all the time!
Often, male Savannahs do this if they’re trying to mark their territory. This might be an issue if they are not the only animal in the house. They can also do this as part of a mating ritual, and this is probably the case if you have a male Savannah that isn’t neutered. They’ll aggressively knead if they are looking for a mate.
Remember how we mentioned Savannahs that bite blankets and even drool when they’re kneading? While a sign of their happiness and meditative mood, this can also be a common situation for male Savannahs who are aggressively kneading all the time. They can do this as they search for a mate if they aren’t neutered. Neutering can often rid them of this constant kneading, though.
For the most part, Savannahs only knead when they are very happy and content with their lives. They can knead blankets, pillows, people, or other animals whenever they are feeling particularly safe and secure. Sometimes, Savannahs will even have their favorite stuffed animal that they love to knead. It’s just their way to show you their love and affection!