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Why Do Cats Reach Paws Out?

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Thinking why do cats reach paws out? What they are trying to communicate?

There are many ways cats express their emotions, but it’s not always possible for us to understand all the sign language.

So, even if you’re able to click one-third of it, it’s manageable.

In the same way, apart from grabbing attention, there are some reasons behind your cat letting her paws touch your body.

To remove a cloud of confusion from your head, we have filtered out the possible reasons that will help you to understand your feline pal’s psychology.

why do cats reach paws out

Theories Behind Cat Reaching Out Paws

Well, you find it cute when your feline pal stretches her paws towards you, but being unable to understand her sign language makes you helpless.

This sign doesn’t always mean that she needs your attention, some other reasons can also be there.

So, to clear your doubt, we have come up with some possible theories that can be there behind your cat reach her paw out towards you.

1. Sign That They Are Hungry

Cats are good observers, they understand when you communicate with them, so they know when you recognize their body language.

Your feline pal is hungry, or it’s her mealtime.

sign that they are hungry

She will give you reminders by standing close to you and letting her paws touch your body, especially when you are busy.

If this body language clicks to you, then she will follow the same to get her meals/food on time.

2. Play Time

Having a short playing session with your feline pal is a good idea, though they don’t have much stamina.

Still, a short session can help them to warm up their body or exercise.

So that they don’t feel, much, lethargic.

play time

There are chances that when your cat stretches her paws towards you, they want you to spare some time and play with them.

So, it’s advisable to give her company and have some fun activities.

In this way, both of you will not get bored and will enjoy the session.

3. They Want Your Attention

If you are busy with your work or in the middle of something.

That moment, if your feline pal needs your attention.

She will try to call you by stretching her paws towards you.

they want your attention

Not necessary that she needs your attention for petting only, for other reasons also they will call you.

If they observe that by stretching paws, they can grab your attention. Then whenever they want you to look at her, they will attempt the same behavior, so be attentive.

4. Showing Their Love

If you are sitting/lying next to your feline pal in bed or couch, and you are snuggling up with her.

Meanwhile, if she touches your body with her paws, it can be a good reason that she is showing her love/affectionate towards you.

showing their love

According to the research, it is also found that if your feline pal is reaching out her paws towards you and blinking their eyes.

It can be considered as one of the signs of expressing emotions.

5. They Are in Pain

Generally, your feline pal stretching her paws towards you is a sign of affection or relaxation.

But not always, if they come up to you and only reach out her paw. Then it’s quite possible that she needs your help, as she is suffering from any injury or pain.

they are in pain

If you notice some kind of limping, swelling in her paws, then take her to the vet for a check-up.

Sometimes, they might have cut her paws also while playing or something.

So, it is advisable to check the wounds, and give medication or consult with the vet.

6. Wants to Cuddle

Wondering why do cats reach paws out?

There are chances that your cat is letting her paws touch your body, and indicating to you that she wants to cuddle /snuggle with you.

wants to cuddle

Cat’s closer vision is not powerful, they cannot see a clear vision of close objects.

So, even if you are cuddling her at that time if she stretches her paws to touch your body.

That means she is giving herself self-confirmation, she is secure and comfortable around you.

7. Relaxing/Stretching

Cats frequently stretch her body, even when they are sleeping.

It helps to boost the blood flow and make them feel energetic/fresh.

So, if your cat stretches her paws in your direction, it can be a coincidence.

As it doesn’t always mean they want your attention. Sometimes when they are asleep they do this action.

relaxing or stretching

Even when they are awake, if they reach their paws towards you but do not look at you. It simply means they are relaxing their muscles.

8. Sign of Kneading

One of the possible reasons why do cats reach paws out?

Can be that your feline pal stretches her paws out before kneading.

Generally, they adapt this behavior from the kittenhood phase, where they used to knead on their mother’s stomach for milk.

sign of kneading

Adult cats sometimes do this kneading action with their pet owners.

When they are in a happy state, want to express their emotions with them.

9. Asking You to Do Something

It’s not always that they are showing love to you, by reaching their paws to your body.

Sometimes, it is an act of requesting you to do something like open a door for them, give their toys, etc.

asking you to do something

If your cat reaches her paws out to you, and continuously shows you direction as soon as you give attention to her.

This action simply means she needs something, she doesn’t want to cuddle.

10. Demanding Treats for Munching

Generally, cats love treats, so even if you’ve given them a meal, they will demand treats for their munching time.

They will let you know by touching your body with their paws continuously.

demanding treats for munching

If once you have given her treats, then she will keep this in mind and follow the same technique whenever she wants her favorite treats.

11. They Want to Go For a Walk

One of the possible reasons why do cats reach paws out?

It is that they are giving you a sign to take her out for a walk/explore outdoor areas.

they want to go for a walk

The majority of cats like to explore the outdoor world, so it’s a good option to take her out for a walk.

They like to observe things, and smell the surroundings, roll on the sand, grass, etc.

These activities refresh her mood.

12. They Are Copying You

According to the survey, it is observed that cats try to copy their owners, they try to adapt the body language and be replicants.

Such as when you are having water or something they will try to take a sip, when you sneeze they meow, etc.

they are copying you

Similarly, they have seen you petting her or any other animals.

In response, they mimic you by reaching out a paw or tap/petting your body.

13. Dropping There Smell for You

As we know, cats have very strong smelling power, their sense of smell is way stronger than humans.

To answer your question, why do cats reach paws out?

It is that when they like something whether it’s an object, people, whatever they just leave their scent behind as a mark that it solely belongs to them.

dropping there smell for you

Their paw has smell scent glands, so when your kitty is touching her paws to your body, she is simply leaving her smell by marking/scratching you.

It’s simply a sign of claiming that you belong to her, and you are part of her family.

14. She Trusts You a Lot

Like dogs, cats also have emotions, with time they also get attached to their pet parents.

Your feline pal can identify their enemies and well-wishers.

Generally, cats don’t allow everyone to come near her, neither she lets her paws touch their body.

she trust you a lot

So, if she reaches her paws near you, then indirectly she is saying to you that she trusts you.

Your feline pal knows that you are her bodyguard and will protect her from predators.


Expectantly, we were able to serve you the logical reasons behind why do cats reach paws out?

Like, your feline pal usually does this when they want to grab your attention, want to go for a walk, play with them, snuggle them, etc.

Sometimes, they want your help to open a door for them, feed them when they are hungry, or just show their love for you.

However, when they aren’t well or suffering from any muscle pain, they will come up to you and stretch their paws towards you.

So, it is advisable to look after them and call or visit the vet without wasting time.


  1. Why Do Cats Knead? — PetMD
  2. Top 10 Feline Paw Care Tips — Pet WebMD
  3. Why Do Cats Stretch So Much? — Wonderopolis

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