Why Do Cats Reach Out To Touch You – What It Means


Often, when your cat is nearby, it’s 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?

Cats reach out to touch you to play and communicate with you. They also reach out and paw you to show affection or to gather your attention. Reaching out can also be a sign of aggression and a signal to stay away.  

Cats have lots of reasons for doing different things, so we’re going to talk about why your cat may touch you. Keep this in mind: there’s no one reason why your cat does things. If you notice that your cat does things for a different reason, keep reading to the end. I have you covered with that too! Join me as we talk about your cat’s habit of touching you. 

Is It Normal For Cats To Reach Out To You

It is normal for your cat to reach out to touch you.

If you don’t have a declawed cat, it can be a scary experience the first (or every time) your cat reaches out to touch you. Is she going to grab your sleeve? Scratch you? Pull you in to bite you? Not use claws at all? Who knows!

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 it’s happening. It’s a habit that is common for cats to have.

What Does It Mean When A Cat Reaches Out And Touches You

A cat reaching out to touch you is usually a sign of affection from your cat.

Humans give each other kisses and hugs to show affection. Cats, conversely, will reach out and touch you. My cat will usually touch my arm or the top of my thigh if I sit next to him.

This is your cat’s way of being affectionate if they’re not sure how else to do it. It’s a loving response to being near you!

Why Do Cats Reach Out And Touch Your Face

Your cat reaches out to touch your face often to check if you are breathing.

If you’ve ever been asleep around your cat, you might have noticed that your cat reaches out to touch your face around your mouth. That’s your cat’s way of checking to see if you are still breathing. Your cat may know that you are just asleep but is still making sure you’re okay. 

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. 

Why Does My Cat Grab My Hand And Bite Me

While touching is usually affectionate, sometimes your cat may bite your hand because he is energetic or angry.

As I mentioned earlier, sometimes you don’t know what your cat will do when he sticks his paw out. Sometimes your hand gets grabbed, and you get bitten, which is not the outcome we want. 

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. Young cats with lots of energy may do this on accident and then run away from you at top cat speed.

Your cat may also grab you and bite you because he is angry. If your cat is angry, it is up to you to figure out why. Did you step on your cat’s tail, tell him no to some cat treats, or do something else that he didn’t like? If so, you may simply be facing his wrath. 

Why Does My Cat Tap Me

If your cat is sleeping near you and reaches out to tap you, he is checking to see if you are still nearby.

When cats tap you in their sleep, I think they’re acting like children. He’s checking if you are still sitting with him. Your cat won’t touch you roughly or use any claws usually. He’ll stretch and feel around. Sometimes you’ll even catch your cat stretch out even further if you scooted away for him to have more space.

If your cat tried to tap you and didn’t feel you, you might notice your cat will wake up to check his surroundings and look for you. A quick peek to see where you may lead him to go right back to sleep.

Why Does My Cat Swat At Me

Your cat swats at you because she is unhappy.

Sometimes, your cat will swat at you. Your cat’s swatting may be provoked or not; there are times where cats will act on impulse, and unfortunately, swatting is often the result. Usually, your cat is swatting because she is mad at you.

Here are some reasons why your cat may be mad at you:

  • 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

Don’t worry because your cat’s anger probably will only last until her next feeding (if that).

Why Does My Cat Hit Me When I Walk By

Overly playful or aggressive cats will hit you when you walk by.

Playful and aggressive are two very different personalities for a cat to have, but these are commonly why you get hit when you walk by your cat.

First, a very playful cat may take any chance he can to swat at you. If you’re wearing short sleeves, your cat may see your sleeve flutter a little when you walk and use the chance the pounce. 

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.

Final Thoughts

As with all cats, your cat’s habits are going to be primarily dependent on your cat’s personality. Some cats love to touch their humans differently, while others couldn’t be bothered to do so. If your cat doesn’t do some things on this list, don’t fear that something is wrong. Your cat may not like to touch or swat at you. That doesn’t mean that something isn’t right with your cat.

On the other hand, your cat may love doing these things. You may have even learned that your cat is doing it for various reasons than I listed. That’s okay too! 

I have said in the past that cats are like humans. If you have multiple cats, you can probably agree that they are all so different, just like people are. Two cats may have two opposite reactions to the same event. One cat may be attached to your hip while the other scratches you every chance he gets.

When it comes to cats’ habits, I can tell you generally why cats do certain things, but cats are always going to be cats that break the mold. As a cat owner, it’s up to you to learn and understand how your cat reacts to different things and what his personality is like. 

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