If your cat has been clawing your legs, this post will show you why and what you can do about it.

So, why does my cat claw my legs? Possible reasons why your cat claws your legs are that it sees your legs as prey, intimidation, it wants you to stop touching it, or that it is playing.

Your cat might actually be doing it for a number of possible reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Reasons why your cat claws your legs

Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.

Pleasure

When cats are happy, they will start to do something called “kneading” which is where they pat their paws up and down and extend their claws. If your cat does this to you, when you are petting it, it would be likely that your cat is doing it because it is happy. This would be more likely if your cat does it when you are petting it, it’s sat on your legs and it is purring.

It’s playing

The reason why your cat does it might be that it is just playing. This would be more likely if your cat does it when you are walking or when you are moving your legs while sat down.

Intimidation

The reason might also be that your cat feels intimidated. This would be more likely if your cat does it when you are touching your cat with your legs, your cat seems to pull away from you and if it also scratches, or hisses. In this case, it might be the case that you are not being gentle enough or you are approaching it too boldly.

It wants you to stop touching it

If your cat claws your legs when you are touching it, with your legs, the cause could be that your cat wants you to stop touching it with your legs. This would be more likely if it also tries to move away from you, it scratches, and if it hisses.

It sees your legs as prey

Your legs move about like a mouse might. The reason why your cat grabs your legs might be that it sees your legs as prey. This would also be more likely if it does it when you are moving your legs around.

Affection

Sometimes, cats will also do things such as bite claw when they are being affectionate. The reason why your cat has been clawing your legs might actually be that it is showing you affection. This would be more likely to be the reason if it does it when it is showing positive body language such as by purring.

Things to consider about your cat clawing your legs

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.

If your cat has always clawed your legs

If your cat did not always claw your legs, it would help to consider what else happened when your cat first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might have something to do with a change in the way you have been touching your cat with your legs.

What is different when your cat does not claw your legs

If your cat does not always claw your legs, it would also help to consider what is different when it does not claw your legs. For example, if it only does it when you are moving your legs, the reason would be more likely to be that it is playing and sees your legs as prey.

What to do about your cat claw your legs

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Get your cat to sit somewhere else

If your cat claws your legs when you are sat down, one option would be to get your cat to sit somewhere else. One way to do so would be to put a cat bed somewhere for it to lay down in.

Give it distractions

Another option would be to give your cat toys that it can be distracted by so that it is less likely to claw your legs.

Why does my cat scratch my legs?

If your cat scratches your legs, it would be more likely that it is doing it due to intimidation. However, it might also be because it is playing. It would help to consider the body language your cat shows when it does it.

Author

I created and currently run Kitty Cat Tips, the website that you can go to when you have questions about your cat's behavior. It's my hope that you find Kitty Cat Tips to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your cat. You can read more about me and my website here.