Colloquially called "making biscuits", kneading is a common behaviour among cats, in which cats push in and out with their front paws on soft surfaces, including pillows, blankets, other animals and even people. Here are some of the top reasons why cats knead:
According to Catological, some cats knead when they are stressed out. The rhythmic motion, sometimes accompanied by purring, creates a sense of calm.
Cats are natural yoga masters and love to work out the kinks of muscles. PetMD says, cats keep themselves limber and knead prior to getting settled in for a nap.
Cats are territorial creatures, and experts believe they are marking their territory with scent glands in their paws. By pushing their paws in and out, they excrete their own scent which other cats will read.
Kneading behaviours may also have an origin, tracing back to cats' wild ancestors who had to prod grass or foliage to make a cosy nest in which to rest or lurk in whilst also poking around for prey, predators or anything dangerous.
Kneading is also one of the many ways that cats say "I Love You".