Why Does My Cat Reach His Paw Out To Me?

Cats are curious creatures, each with their own personalities.

They make wonderful companions, and although they may not greet you at the door each day, you can be assured that they will look for your attention soon thereafter.

Owning a cat makes for a fun experience, especially watching their quirky behaviour change.

One moment they may be resting peacefully, and the next they are tearing through the house like something fierce is chasing them. Some of their behaviors can leave you wondering why.

One of those behaviors is when your cat reaches his paw out to you, almost as if it’s trying to bat something away. What does he mean?

Some might think that with the number of times a cat reaches out, perhaps he wants me to shake his paw or pet him, but cats likely hate their paws being touched. So, why?

In my universal with cats, there are several theories as to why a cat may reach out his paw to you. Today, I would like to share with you some of those. Hope they help you understand your cats more.


Cats love attention, some more than others. They want attention even more if you ignore them. Cats have a funny way of trying to get your attention from meowing, jumping up on your lap to pawing at you.

So, if your cat reaches out its paw to you, it is more than likely begging for your attention. 


When cats get comfortable they tend to stretch.

It might appear as though it is reaching for something, or trying to touch you, but stretching is part of a cat’s daily routine, especially when they are relaxed and half asleep.


Cats can be very playful, to the point of sometimes swatting at you like you’re the toy.

I once had a cat’s paw come up through the sections on the sofa, playfully swatting at me until he scratched me. It wasn’t fun anymore at that point.

If your cat wants to play, try directing his attention to a toy to avoid being scratched.


Cats will show their affection by lying next to you, purring when you are petting them, and rubbing their bodies against you.

If a cat reaches its paw out to you during any of these times, it is genuinely showing you affection and probably hoping to receive some in return.

Why does my cat put his paw on my face when I hold him? – YouTube


If you allow your cat to sit next to you when snacking, don’t be surprised if it reaches its paw out to you. Your cat is probably trying to tell you it wants a taste of whatever you’re eating.

Perhaps it’s telling you to fill up the empty food bowls.


Cats can get bored easily and have lots of different ways of showing it. Swatting at anything that moves comes naturally to cats, and that can even include you.

Your feline friend just wants you to know that they are bored, and you need to schedule some much-needed playtime.

Marking Its Scent

 Cats can distribute their scent by touching objects with their bodies. The paw pads contain scent glands, so it might just be that your cat is reaching out its paw in order to mark you with its scent.

If a cat releases their scent on you, it means that they feel safe and comforted with you.

The Cat Is Trying To Shush You

 Cats don’t like loud noises. If you are talking too loudly, or making weird noises, your cat might ask you to be quiet by placing its paw on your mouth.

Muscle Cramps

Just like us, cats can get muscle cramps too. If your cat is constantly stretching, it could be a way of releasing a painful cramp.

Check for signs of tremors and if your cat displays any signs of pain, consult with your veterinarian.

Entryway is closed

This is not necessarily the same as putting a paw out to you, but it is still a great way to get your attention.

If your cat is used to going into a particular room and the door is closed, it may place his paw on the door and meow while it waits for it to open. I’m speaking from experience on this theory as my cat does this quite often.


How great would it be if cats could speak. Just imagine the stories they would have to tell. Perhaps the reason a cat reaches out to us with their paw is to ask us for something.

Cats are very intuitive, so if they are reaching out to you, stop and think, is it feeding time? Maybe they just want to go outside or show you something. 


Once in a while when petting your cat, you might hit a sensitive spot. Don’t be surprised if your cat reaches out and swipes you with its paw, it’s just a cat’s way of telling you to back off. 

Scratch or pet

Cats love to jump up in their owners lap. When they do this, and reach out to you, they are definitely looking for some love. Pet them or scratch their favorite spot for some bonding time. 


 Your cat may have days where it just wants to be left alone. If you get too close or invade their space, they might just let you know by giving you a smack with their paw. 

Why Is My Cat Reaching Out With Extended Claws?

You may notice your cat extending its claws when you pet it. Sometimes a cat can get hyped up when it gets excited, and not meaning to, extends its claws.

Refrain from petting your cat for a few minutes until your cat calms down a bit and start over. It’s also a good idea to clip your cat’s nails to avoid being scratched.

Final Thought

Cats can be unpredictable, but it’s not all that uncommon for a cat to reach out their paws. Your cat may do this for any of the above reasons or because of something totally different. Either way, your cat is trying to signal you for some reason.

Pay close attention to your cat’s body language, and as long as it doesn’t display pain or aggression, then it’s perfectly fine for your cat to continue reaching out to you. It might just be its way of saying I love you.

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