what does it mean when a cat paws at you

More often than not, when your cat paws at you, they’re usually seeking your attention for interaction or affection – and you can oblige with playtime and petting. It’s essential that your cat receives plenty of physical and mental stimulation, as well as love, for their overall well-being.

To Get Your Attention

Most of the time, your cat is just trying to get your attention when it paws at you.

They will occasionally paw at you in an attempt to get a hug, pet, or scratch. Your cat probably wants some affection from you if they continue to paw after you, such as by rolling over on their back or nudging you with their head.

Other times, your cat may paw at you and then run towards their food or water dish, telling you that they are hungry or thirsty. Although it is important to feed your cats at once or twice a day, you need to make sure they are being fed on your schedule. If your cat gets food, water, or a treat every time they paw at you, the pawing will become a habit down the road.

A lot of times, cats will paw and knead due to their natural instincts.

When nursing, kittens will knead on their mothers’ stomachs to ensure they are getting an adequate amount of milk.

Other times, before they lay down, cats might knead the blanket or carpet. Some people theorize that in the wild, cats would knead the grass to create a cozy spot to rest.

A cat is probably just kneading you or on you out of instinct. On the other hand, this indicates that your cat identifies you with its mother’s love or the coziness of a warm spot to unwind.

Your cat is showing you that they trust and love you by kneading on you. They express their affection in this way, even though it comes from instinct. Remember that your pet loves you the next time it curls up on your lap and rubs against you!

Sometimes your cat might accidentally paw at you.

Cats like to stretch, and when they do, they usually stick out their paws completely. It was probably just an accident if your cat is pawing at you and stretching close to you.

Moreover, it is obvious that they didn’t mean to paw at you if they avoid making eye contact with you or do something else after they pawed.

Another reason to be softly pawed at by your cat is playing. Cats are animals, and they love to play fight with other animals and even their humans.

Cats can have just as much fun swatting at you as they can with toys. However, using your hands as a toy is never a good idea as it can encourage the cat to bite and scratch.

What Do We Mean by ‘Pawing’?

Cats perform several actions which can be described as pawing. They might just tap you with their feet or they might yank your arm in their direction with more forceful pawing motions.

Pawing is sometimes referred to as “kneading,” which is a common feline behavior in which the animal repeatedly and rhythmically pushes its paws in and out of a soft object while alternating legs. It is also referred to as “kneading dough” or “making biscuits” because of the similarities to these actions.

While most cats use their front paws to knead, some use all four. Cats frequently purr, their claws may extend and retract simultaneously, and some even begin to drool!

Kneading is an innate behavior that begins in nursing kittens, when their paws press against their mother’s mammary glands to stimulate milk flow and production. Adult cats also frequently engage in this behavior.

Now that we know what pawing is, let’s examine some specific instances of cats pawing and the occasions in which it indicates a need for assistance:

1. Pawing for Attention and Affection

Despite the widespread misconception that cats are aloof, independent animals that don’t care for their owners, the majority of cats actually build strong relationships with people and value our company. Thus, it’s possible that your cat is just pawing at you to get attention in return.

Cats that don’t like to sit on people’s laps will often pat you on the arm to get your attention. This is a common tactic used by cats who want attention but would rather sit next to you.


Why is my cat pawing me?

Cats tend to use pawing as a form of communication. Cats paw at us out of instinct, by accident, to give or get affection, and to get our attention. Most times, when cats paw at us, it means nothing serious. Sometimes, however, they are getting our attention to tell us that they are sick or in pain.

What does it mean when a cat puts their paws on you?

Your Cat Is Showing Affection Cats are not as expressive as dogs but have their ways of saying, “I love you.” One is putting their paw on you, a sign of trust and intimacy. Your cat may also purr, blink slowly, or rub their head against you to show affection.

Why does my cat push my hand away with his paws?

Some cats do this when they’re overstimulated and don’t want to be pet anymore. They’re just being nice about it and pushing your hand away instead of biting you.

Why do cats dig their claws into you?

When your cat is kneading on your lap, they may be trying to show you love and let you know they are content and happy. When a cat kneads on their owner, it can be painful if their claws are digging into your leg or your stomach. The better a cat feels, the harder he or she is likely to knead.