People living with cats may have seen his to make that particular gesture known as “make the pie”.
The movement the cat makes with his paws reminds what we do with hands when we knead bread; sometimes he opens the mouth and imitates suction. Obviously this attitude has an explanation.
If you have even watched a feline brood during the suck you will find that gesture. The movement of the small paws is a very powerful hormonal stimulant for the continuous production of milk.
At the meantime mother cat produces some Pheromone from mammary line that reinforce the link and are called pheromones of “satisfaction”, they are the C.A.P. ( Cat Appeasing Pheromone) that give sensation of wellness and calm.
They are the same pheromones found in some scents for cats to use in particular moments just to create again “that” moment of wellness.
All species adopt tactile and aural stimulants during the suck, just to induce and continue the production of milk and to reinforce the link mother/son. Even the purr released both by mom and the puppies during the suck serve to that aim. .
All the species do that, even if we don’t notice it. Calves for example, the ones who still have the luck to be nursed by their mother, make bumps with their head while they suck.
When our cat does that gesture as a adult he becomes a puppy again by recovering the sensations of when he sucked by his mother and it is a gesture of great love towards us. Pay attention and don’t let it become obsessive/compulsive, in this case it would become pathologic and have serious consequences.