No claws, please!

If your cat is using her claws to pull herself onto your lap, then a visit to your vet would be a good idea. Cats are normally very agile and should have no trouble at all jumping onto your lap, so you would need to find out if she has any injury.

If your cat sits on your lap and kneads and purrs, this is affectionate behaviour, which starts when the cat is still a kitten and suckling on her mother. She purrs and kneads as she suckles and, instead of growing out of it, your cat is carrying this behaviour over to make you her surrogate mother.

As this is completely natural behaviour, which gives your cat comfort, it is very difficult to change; rather equip yourself to deal with it better. You could teach her that she can only climb onto your lap if you have a certain blanket, or even a piece of carpet, on your lap – something that she can knead without causing you any pain. If she should jump up when you don’t have it on your lap, then just stand up. This way, she quickly learns when you are available for displays of affection, and when not.

Wendy Wilson, behaviourist

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