Why does my cat put his paw on me? It is a form of communication. You can communicate with your cat if you learn how he communicates with you and if you can interpret what it is he is trying to tell you.
Why does my cat put his paw on me?
Numerous times, I have reached out to gently lay my hand on someone’s shoulder or arm. This gesture is in response to something happening at that moment.
To lay a hand gently on the shoulder or arm of another person conveys to them what I am thinking, depending on the moment. Sometimes I reach out and pat my cat’s back or head to tell them I am there for them, telling them how much I love them.
My reason for reaching out to gently put my hand on someone’s shoulder, arm, or hand is the same reason my cat reaches out its paw to me. What I am trying to convey to that other person is what my cat is trying to convey to me.
My cat/s puts a paw on me when
- They are content.
- When they want me to know everything is OK.
- When I am sick.
- When they want more of what I am doing, such as giving them a brush. The cat wants more brushing, so he will pat my arm.
- When they want treats.
- When they want food.
To understand why my cat is doing this, I look at my actions and why I would pat someone’s shoulder or arm.
What happened that made me do this?
To comfort the person.
To tell that person that everything is OK.
To give my approval to that person’s speech or actions.
To stop someone from doing or saying the wrong thing.
To give that person a thank you.
To show you care about that person.
To tell that person you want them to feel better.
To let someone know you are happy.
To express how sorry you are.
I have been a cat parent for over 30 years. I have years of accumulated knowledge and experience in caring for felines. I believe there is a very close parallel between cats and humans.
You and Your Cat Can Communicate with Each Other
To understand your cat’s communication, you must know your cat and bond with your cat.
I had to learn the basics of cat communication. A cat uses the following to talk to humans.
I use my touch, eyes, and voice to communicate with my six fur babies. Working on communication techniques with my cats is a form of training that reinforces our bond.
Lil’ Luke the Fence Jumper
For example, I have a privacy fence around our house, and my six cats can go outside anytime they want. My Lil’ Luke is the only fence jumper, and when it looks like he is going to jump, I say No, Luke!
He looks at me and proceeds to jump over the fence. He knows what “no” means but will not take any notice of me unless he is in the mood. He likes going to the front yard to rest on the outside steps.
A cat is going to do what a cat wants to, and there is little you can do or say to stop them.
When Lil’ Luke does stay within the confines of our fence, I will gently pat him on the head and say,” Good boy!” I believe he knows.
Stove Sitting Sophie
Another example is my cat, Sophie. She has a cat tree by my kitchen window. Unfortunately, it is near my stove.
She wants to be by the window and there is no other place to put her tree. She has a nasty habit of jumping on the stovetop, and I don’t want her there for obvious reasons. She knows when it is safe to do this and when she dares not do it. I still don’t want her there.
I tried everything to break her of this to no avail. I look at her sternly, eye to eye, and I firmly say, Down! Now! She looks at me and jumps down like a streak of lightning.
But, later on, there she is again!
Establish a One-Word Vocabulary for Your Cat
My cats know and understand the following words. Each cat knows its name and usually comes when I call them.
Do you want to eat?
Do you want to go outside?
Good boy (girl)!
Cat language is complex and can involve a mixture of several different aspects of communication. My cats can tell me what they want through the sounds they make, causing me to respond to their needs.
Body Language is Vital to Communication with Your Cat
Mia’s Paws and Claws
Paws without claws outstretched mean many different feelings of love, affection, and needs.
My cat, Mia, sleeps with me every night. I keep her treats nearby.
At about 2 AM, she will reach her paw out and pat my shoulder or arm with her paw pads until I wake up and give her a few treats. She then returns to sleep.
Cats who sleep all night may awaken for a midnight treat the same as humans may do. I don’t mind catering to her as she is my buddy, and if treats make her happy, I am glad to give them to her.
Sometimes, Mia will reach out and pat my arm and not want anything except to let me know she is there. I will reach out and pat her head or arm. I will say kitty kiss, and she stretches her nose to me so I can plant a little kiss on her head.
The hilarious thing is, I only get one kitty kiss per night, and I had better not ask again! If I ask again, she turns her head as much as to say, “Nope, one is enough!”
I have unintentionally made Mia angry. Her ears perk up, she lets out a hiss, and I soon see the fire in her big green eyes. I say to her, “Calm down; it’s OK, Mia.”
Paws with claws showing mean you had better move before you are met with a sharp scratch. The cat is irritated, angry, and upset, so it is best to ignore the action and stop what you are doing.
Most of the time, I’m doing nothing, and Mia reacts in this manner for whatever reason?
The Importance of a Cat’s Body Language
Cats can express themselves vocally and use their eyes, ears, paws, claws, and tails to communicate.
You must watch your cat closely to understand what they are telling you. Learn what your cat is trying to tell you when they use their body to communicate.
Like Humans, No Two Cats are the Same
Some breeds of cats are more vocal, while others rarely say a meow. Indeed, all cats use their body to communicate, much like I may use my hands while talking with a friend.
When you listen to what your cat is saying and how they say it and watch its body, you, too, can learn how to speak the cat’s language.