Why Does My Cat Reach His Paw Out To Me?

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Cats have a different way of communicating that is very distinctive. They can be more reserved – which doesn’t mean they don’t love their owners. They just have subtle ways of showing this affection. Their messages are often difficult to decipher. I’m sure you have wondered – why does my cat reach his paw out to me?

The more we are able to understand our cats, the tighter our bonds will become!

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Why Does My Cat Reach His Paw Out To Me?

So instead of wagging their tails and licking your face, cats will do strange little things such as reaching out their paws to show their affection.

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Below, we will go through many possible reasons your cat may be reaching their paw out to you!

1. They Are Asking To Be Pet

A cat getting his chin petted

This is probably the most obvious reason why your cat is reaching their paw out. While most cats are truly independent creatures, they still require a lot more attention than people give them credit for. So, this is essentially their way of saying ‘Hey! I need some attention over here!’.

Typically, by paying close attention to your cat’s body language, you will understand that they just want to be petted. If they start purring and rubbing their head on your hand – you’ve hit the spot. So why not give your cat a good scratch in their favorite place!

2. They Are Simply Stretching

Orange cat with his paw outstretched

Cats are notorious for taking long naps throughout the day, in all kinds of strange and uncomfortable-looking positions, although they, themselves, are perfectly content. But after a while, even cats need to stretch out their muscles.

So, your cat’s reaching paw could just simply be them stretching out their claws from a long nap. This isn’t a bad thing at all – it’s just their instinctive behavior, and shows that they are extremely relaxed. So if you notice your cat reaching their paw out before or after sleeping, it could just be a part of their stretching routine!

» Learn more about your cat’s sleeping position and what it says about them.

3. They Want Attention

They Are Simply Stretching

Some cats love lots of attention, while others don’t. So, different cats may require more levels of attention than others.

That being said, it is safe to say that every cat wants some degree of attention. There are endless ways a cat can ask for extra attention including sitting on your lap, kneading their paws into you, and reaching out their paws to you, these all have elements of attention-seeking.

Cat reaching up on the counter

So it’s key to pay attention to your cat’s needs, as they may be trying to get your attention for a particular reason, whether they are bored, lonely, or need help.

If this happens to you, then try to spend some quality time with your cat, even if he is just sitting on your lap, and show your cat the love it deserves.

4. Your Cat Might Be Hungry

cat on hind legs trying to get owner's attention

When cats are hungry, they are not shy to let you know. If you notice behavior such as meowing, frantically walking around you, or your cat reaching their paws out, it could be a sign that they are hungry.

Some cats will even walk you to their food bowl, and place their paws on the bowl – this could be his way of communicating that he is hungry.

In this case, you can give your kitty a treat or something to eat to make them happy – whilst reinforcing their instinctual behavioral pattern of tapping you when they are hungry.

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5. They Want Someone To Play With

Cat peeking over table reaching with paw

When cats are in a playful mood they are usually their craziest, goofiest selves. If they are giving you a tap with their paw and running away, it could simply mean they want to play. This is a common behavior among cats, where they will tap one another, and quickly bounce out of the way.

So it only makes sense that they will extend this behavior to their human companions. Lots of people think that only dogs can be playful, however many cats are extremely playful as well!

So, if your cat extends their paw to you, don’t ignore it, this behavior just means that they want someone to play with. Likewise, if they are reaching their paw to a particular toy, why not play together?

6. They Are Mimicking You

White cat lifting it's paw

Cats are extremely smart and observant creatures, and some theories have suggested that cats actually have mimicking capabilities. This could be an explanation as to why cats are reaching their paws out to you.

Think about it – every time we pet our cats, we’re reaching out our hands to do so. Consequently, from observing their owners’ behaviors, cats have learned to do it themselves and are possibly just returning the gesture.

Cat laying down reaching out

7. Your Cat May Be In Pain

Although this may be unlikely, another reason your cat is reaching out its paw could be because they’re in pain.

Cats are naturally curious animals, and whether your kitty is an indoor cat or an outdoor cat – it’s certain to get into mischief! Although, if you have an outdoor cat, they’re more likely to hurt their paws from sharp small rocks, splinters, and possibly sprains.

So, the best thing to do if your cat is showing signs of discomfort is to check their paws for any cuts or scratches and apply some ointment if needed. If it’s serious, or you’re unsure, you should immediately visit your local vet who will be able to help your cat.

Cat reaching out from bench

So, Why Does My Cat Reach His Paw Out To Me?

While reaching out their paws is a sweet and endearing gesture from cats; it shouldn’t be overlooked with a quick pat on the back. Your furry friend may be in need of your attention.

Whether they want some love, they are telling you that they’re hungry, or are simply stretching – knowing your cat’s behavior, and the context behind them, is key to a happy and content kitty.

Hopefully, this guide will help you figure out the context behind your cat’s reaching paws, so both owner and pet can remain in good spirits.

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Cat reaching its paw out

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