Why Does My Cat Put His Paw on Me?

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Cat parents like annoying and cuddling their furry little feline friends, but you can be sure they also enjoy bothering humans just as much. And one of the ways is by putting their paws on their human parents. So, your cat could be trying to convey various things using his paws. But what exactly he is implying by putting his paws on you may differ depending on the situation.

By putting his paws on your face, your cat might be trying to grab your attention, training you to understand his needs, showing affection, letting you know his time for a cuddle, or waking you up after sleep. He could also try to make you smell like him by touching you or simply wanting to maintain some distance.

If you are trying to understand why your cat keeps putting his paws on you, this article will help you find possible answers. So, go ahead and discover the various reasons and what you can do when your cat paws at you.

The Different Reasons Why Your Cat Puts His Paws on You

Cats putting their paws on their owners is one of those small gestures cat parents are well-acquainted with. However, it’s not always clear why they do it. So, here are some of the reasons your cat keeps putting his paws on you.

To Get Your Attention

It is common for cats to put their paws on their human companions to get their attention. Whenever your cat feels you are not bothering him, he will use all the tactics he knows to become your center of attention again.

Being sociable creatures, cats depend on people for everything, including food and company. Due to your cat’s social nature, he could be trying to tell you to play with him. Playing with your cat is healthy for him because it satisfies his biological urge for play and provides him with the activity and mental stimulation he needs.

To Train You

Since he has discovered that it works, your cat may occasionally paw at you to train you. Your cat wants to teach you to react when he puts his paws on you and wants you to understand his needs.

Cat owners stated that their cats would use their paws to evoke a wide variety of reactions from them. It could include arm lifting cuddling the cat, picking him up, and placing him on their lap. If you do this when your cat puts his paws on you, you have been trained to comply with your cat’s mild instructions.

To Wake You Up

The cat may put his tiny toes on your cheek in the morning to wake you up after a restful night’s sleep. This is because your cat could be hungry in the morning, so he wouldn’t want to wait until you wake up. However, he may do the same whenever he feels hungry at night.

Ensuring your cat is full at night will give you undisturbed sleep. You also wouldn’t have to wake up to your cat’s paws on your face. So, before bed, ensure your cat has enough food in his dish to prevent him from disturbing you during the night or in the morning. A timed automated feeder like PETLIBRO Cat Food Dispenser is another option to prevent your cat from waking you up with his paws.

To Maintain Some Distance

Due to their velvety fur and attractive features, cats are incredibly alluring to human beings. We love to touch them to express our affection for them. We usually show our love by playing with cats, stroking and rubbing their ears and fur.

Although rare, your cat may sometimes want to keep his distance from you and won’t want you to get any closer to him. It could be because you have something in your hand that he doesn’t like and wants you to keep away from him. Other times, he may not be in the mood to cuddle with you.

To Make You Smell Like Them

You may think that you are the owner of your cat. However, for the cat, you are his family who feeds, loves, cares for, and looks after him. Cats typically use their scent glands on their faces, heads, tails, flanks, anal glands, and paws to leave their fragrance on their prized possessions, including particular objects, feline companions, and you.

Your cat may eventually try to make you smell like him as it makes him feel comfortable and safe and gives him a familiar feel. So, if your cat puts his paws on you without any other reason, it could mean he wants you to smell like him.

To Cuddle with You

Cats prefer to sleep close to their owners since they feel safe. One surefire indication that your cat trusts you and wants to cuddle up to you is when one of his resting postures involves putting his paws on you while he sleeps.

Your cat demonstrates his love and trusts for you by kneading you with their paws. It’s how they express their love. Putting his paws on you shows that your cat is extremely happy and content in your presence.

Things You Can Do When Your Cat Puts His Paws on You

Here’s why your cat puts his paws on you and what you can do about it.

Why Cat Puts His Paws on You?What Can You Do When Your Cat Puts His Paws on You?
Wanting your attention to cuddle with youSpend some quality time with your cat every day. Allot specific times each for cat play. Shower your cat with plenty of attention and love.
Trying to train you or wake you upSet times for feeding, playtime, and other activities so your cat doesn’t have to nudge you.
Trying to keep a distanceKnow what triggers your cat. Avoid approaching your cat when he is not in a mood.
Making You Smell Like ThemLet your cat do it because it signifies that he loves you and considers you part of his family.


If your cat puts his paws on you, it can mean several things. Sometimes it’s affection and other times, he wants something from you. Whatever the reason is, make sure your cat feels loved. If you find something troubling your cat and that’s why he paws constantly, consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

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