Why Does My Cat Reach His Paw Out to Me?

Often, when your cat is nearby, its not uncommon that your cat reaches out to touch you. Your cat can place his paw against your arm or leg or may use his claws to grab your skin or clothes. You noticed this is a habit that your cat has, but you ask yourself this: why do cats reach out to touch you?

What we do know is that it is perfectly normal for your cat to reach out to touch you like that, even though it might be scary when its happening. Humans give each other kisses and hugs to show affection.

Even though this habit might wake you up during the night or your nap, remind yourself that your cat is merely doing it out of love. While touching is usually affectionate, sometimes your cat may bite your hand because he is energetic or angry. If your cat grabs and bites you, he may have gotten a burst of energy where he got a little too crazy, and the claws came out.

You scared her You walked too close to her You accidentally stepped on her foot or tail You stopped playing with her before she was finished Conversely, aggressive cats someone swat or hit for no good reason. If you walk by your cat too closely, you may get hit just for simply avoiding his space.

Your cat may not have planned to see you walk by and could have gotten startled, which solicited an aggravated reaction. Some cats love to touch their humans differently, while others couldnt be bothered to do so. If your cat doesnt do some things on this list, dont fear that something is wrong.

Cats are fascinating companions, with a range of cute, quirky and sometimes downright baffling behaviours. The midnight zoomies, the vacant stare that seems to be directed at an empty corner; the headbutts, the nuzzling and the friendly extended paw. Cats have many ways of telling us how theyre feeling and showing affection its just a pity that we frequently cant understand them. While not everything a cat does has an explanation, theres often a good reason for odd little gestures and behaviours that your cat displays. Finding out just what is behind your cats activities can offer a window into feline psychology.

The cat frequently performs a big stretch that ends up with one or both paws towards his human friend, apparently by coincidence. My British Shorthair tom likes to hop up on the sofa next to me, stretch luxuriantly, and then pat my knee with one round grey paw.

My tom will sometimes stand near me and bat at my feet or ankles to get me moving, so Ill fetch a toy and engage him in a fun game of chase. Rather unnervingly, locks of human hair can sometimes awaken that predator instinct that all cats possess to one degree or another. They arent always terribly careful about their claws (I once had to go to school with a livid scratch on my nose because one of our cats got a bit carried away).

Cats use their paws to communicate a range of things the way we humans do with our own paws. When a cat places his paw on your face or your arm, it might mean one thing to one cat, and one thing to another. It can mean different things at different times. A person who touches you with his fist is not communicating the same thing as a person who caresses your cheek, or shakes your hand.

Its a gentle paw, barely a touch at all, but it does elicit a response from mom: some raised eyebrows, an air kiss. Luna responds with a more languorous head bunt, and a bit of allorubbing (a behavior similar to head bunting in which a cat rubs the side of her body against a family member) and then walks off.

Of course, we dont know what Luna is thinking at that moment, but it could have been that she was satisfied with the level of attention she received from Mom, or she might have gotten frustrated and given up. Cats are social animals [5] who rely upon their humans for absolutely everything, from food to companionship. Experts are divided about how much time and attention a cat really needs, but I like this recommendation from PetMd.com: four 10-minute play sessions per day.

What cat owner has not been woken by a kitty-paw alarm at some ungodly hour, asking for breakfast? If you havent experienced the joy of being woken by a cat paw on the face, here is Nemo to demonstrate how its done. In the examples mentioned at the beginning of this post, cat owners reported that their pets used a paw to elicit a whole range of specific responses from their owners – from lifting an arm to allow the cat to snuggle, to being picked up and placed on a lap.

(Note: as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases) If food is all your cat is after (and you’d like another hour of sleep), you can consider getting a gravity feeder, which ensures a continuous supply of dry food, like this PetSafe model. In this video, a pet cat, who clearly has a comfortable relationship with his guardian, is using his paw in a completely different way. We humans love to touch to show affection, and cats, with their soft fur and adorable faces are absolutely irresistible to us.

Scent glands in the paws release pheromones that deliver chemical messages when a cat scratches or presses his feet on someone or something [9] . Depositing scent on an object or person is not really about marking territory, claiming possession, or dominating, as some people think. Claudia Fugazza, an ethologist at Etvs Lornd University in Budapest had been studying do as I do training in dogs.

Fugazza was working on this research with a Japanese dog trainer who also happens to own a pet shop and cat, named Ebisu. The cat, who is highly food motivated, liked to sneak into her owners dog-training classes at the shop for dog treats. Ebisu could perform do as I do behaviors, like opening a plastic drawer and biting a string.

Google why is my cat putting his paw on me? and youll get all kinds of crazy, anthropomorphized answers, like:

Unfortunately, these messages can be sometimes hard to decipher because one vocalization or action can mean different things. For example, when a cat reaches out his paw to you, that action can signify different things.

When your cat reaches out to you with his paw , it can mean that he is asking you for something, expressing his affection, telling you that he is sick or injured or is marking you as his own. Cats may seem aloof and independent but they rely heavily on their humans for their different needs, from food to affection.

If you are sitting beside your cat or he is on your lap and he begins to reach out to you with his paw, it means that he is trying to show you that he loves you. When your cat reaches out to you with his paw after coming home, the first thing that you need to do is to inspect it for anything that may be causing your pet any kind of pain. Reaching out to you with a paw may be a symptom that your cat is suffering from a condition known as feline calicivirus.

This condition, also known as cat flu, affects a kittens joints and causes pain. If your cat is injured, apply the appropriate first aid measures first, and if the injury is severe, bring him to the vet for the appropriate treatment. In a way, this helps establish social order and prevent unnecessary conflicts.

Requests for Food and Objects

Sometimes that outstretched paw can indicate a request for something — and that something is often a treat. If I’m eating something my cat thinks looks tasty, he’ll sometimes raise a paw or reach out towards the food to see how I respond. The answer is usually “no”, because I try to avoid feeding him from my plate. Once I’m done, though, I’ll often fetch him a small treat.My cat will also reach out a paw to me if I’m holding something that’s interesting, such as an item that could be a toy. This happens sometimes when I’m knitting. I’m sure those wool balls look like great kitty toys. In this sort of situation, I’ll fetch one of my cat’s own toys to distract him. (Yarn and cats really do not mix.)The outstretched paw is often an indication of where the cat’s attention is and what he wants. It can also be an attempt to catch your eye. A cat might stretch out a paw to get you to look at him; once he has your attention, he’ll let you know what he’s after. It’s a fairly polite way to get you to focus on the cat and to engage you without being too pushy about getting your attention.

Making a Connection

Not all cats like physical displays of affection. Some really object to being handled or petted. These kitties do have their own ways of showing affection, though. My much-missed Siamese mix never wanted to be on my lap and couldn’t take more than a few light pats before becoming agitated, but she still liked my company.She’d usually sit somewhere nearby, often on a perch where she could see what I was doing, and purr amiably. That was her comfort zone and I learned to appreciate her own unique way of showing me that she loved me. Sometimes she would stretch out a paw in my direction — not in an attempt to get me to pet her, but just to be a little closer without getting uncomfortably near me.As you see, the outstretched paw can be a way of reducing the distance between cat and human without compromising the cat’s personal space. It can be a very sweet gesture from a cat who’s not very physically affectionate. It shows that even if they don’t want to climb all over you, they like you and want a connection.

1. Solicitation

Cats may seem aloof and independent but they rely heavily on their humans for their different needs, from food to affection.Cats are highly observant, especially to the people around them. Through observation, they learn the habits and routines of their human family. They can even learn which person feeds them and which one is liberal with the treats.More importantly, they can learn which type of language to use to get what they need. And in this case, your pet has probably learned that the best way to capture your attention is to use his paw to touch you.As with most cat behaviors, it is vital to look at the context to help you understand what your cat is trying to tell you.For example, if your cat is reaching his paw out to you at around feeding time, it means that he wants you to fill his feeding bowl for his next meal.On the other hand, your cat may be reaching out his paw to signal that he is ready to play with you. Usually, an invitation to play begins with a quick tap of a paw followed by running away from you. You will also notice that his body language is energetic,If you allow your cat to roam outdoors, a tap with a paw can indicate that he wants to be let out.

2. Show of affection

If you are sitting beside your cat or he is on your lap and he begins to reach out to you with his paw, it means that he is trying to show you that he loves you. Some cats even touch their human’s face to show affection.Your cat may also be reaching out a paw to you so that he knows exactly where you are. Although cats have an exceptional vision that they use for hunting, they are far-sighted and cannot see things that are close to them. To compensate for that, they can use their paws to judge distance.Reaching out with a paw may also indicate that your cat is asking for pets and cuddles. If your cat is in an especially affectionate mood, he might even knead you also called making biscuits.Kneading takes your cat to the time he spent with his mom and littermates. This behavior can indicate that your cat loves and trusts you.

3. Disease or injury

Although some cats do their best to hide any pain or illness that they are experiencing, there are others that know how to ask for help from their humans.When your cat reaches out to you with his paw after coming home, the first thing that you need to do is to inspect it for anything that may be causing your pet any kind of pain. Look out for splinters, wounds or bone or muscle injuries.Reaching out to you with a paw may be a symptom that your cat is suffering from a condition known as feline calicivirus. This disease affects the respiratory system and is usually contracted from other infected cats. The disease can also be contracted from direct contact with prey like birds.Aside from causing respiratory problems, feline calicivirus can also cause lameness and pain in the paws.If your pet is still a kitten, it may be possible that he is reaching out with his paws because he is suffering from a condition known as limping kitten syndrome. This condition, also known as cat flu, affects a kitten’s joints and causes pain.If your cat is injured, apply the appropriate first aid measures first, and if the injury is severe, bring him to the vet for the appropriate treatment.

4. Marking behavior

Apart from marking his territory with his urine, your cat can also mark objects and humans found in his territory using the scent glands found in his paws, cheeks and other body parts.In multiple cat households, a feline can leave his scent on the objects that he wants to claim from other cats. In a way, this helps establish social order and prevent unnecessary conflicts.When your cat is marking you, he is laying his claim on you and recognizes you as a member of his pride. Usually, this type of marking is accompanied by head butts and rubbing.