Because cats can’t talk (or they simply refuse to do so), we have to guess what their intentions are. That’s why one of the mysteries of cat ownership is why do cats knead their paws on surfaces such as couches and someone’s belly?
One theory is that cats knead the same way dogs turn around in circles before laying down. Kneading is a way to pat down an area before resting on it. Another theory is that since cats have scent glands on their paws, kneading is a way of marking you as their territory, which is a lot better than getting marked with a spray of urine.