If your cat has been climbing up your leg a lot, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.
So, why does my cat climb up my legs? Likely reasons why your cat climbs up your legs are that it naturally likes to climb, it is fearful of something or that it wants attention.
There are a number of possible reasons why your cat climbs up your legs and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Why does my cat climb up my leg?
Below are likely causes and what would make them more likely.
Your cat naturally likes to climb
Cats will naturally climb things because it would help them to escape and avoid predators in the wild. The reason why your cat climbs up your legs could be that it naturally likes to climb things. This would be more likely if your cat has been climbing up other things in a similar way.
Your cat is playing
It might also be the case that your cat is playing. This would be more likely if your cat does it more in the early morning or late evening when cats tend to have more energy or when it is running around the house.
It might also be the case that your cat climbs your legs because it wants to get away from something. This would be more likely if your cat tends to do it more at a certain time such as when there is a dog around or a loud noise inside the house.
Encouraging the behavior
A part of the cause could also be that it has learned that the behavior is rewarded. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention and you pet it when it does climb up your legs, it might be doing it more in order to get you to pet it more.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.
If your cat has always climbed your legs
If your cat has not always climbed up your legs, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be because it learned that the behavior is rewarded or because it started trying to avoid something around the house.
The timing of when your cat climbs your legs
If your cat seems to do it more at a certain time, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if it does it more when there are loud noises inside, it might be trying to escape the noises. Whereas, if it does it when it is also running around the house and playing with toys, it would be more likely that your cat is playing.
What to do about my cat climbing my legs?
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Avoid encouraging it
As mentioned above, it might be the case that your cat has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it climbs up your legs and to reward it when it behaves the way you want.
Give it other things to climb or scratch
It could also help to give it other things to climb or scratch such as by giving it access to a scratch post.
Limit reasons why it might be anxious
If your cat seems to be doing it due to something causing it to get anxious. It would also help to limit reasons why your cat might be anxious such as by letting it stay in a different part of the house.
Pick it up
If it seems to be climbing you because it wants you to hold or pet it, another option would be to pick it up before it has a chance to climb your legs.