If your cat meows when you touch it, this post will show you why and what you can do about it.

So, why does my cat meow when I touch it? Likely reasons why your cat meows when you touch it are injury, intimidation, it does not like the way you touch it, previous experiences, it is showing affection back to you or naturally not wanting to be touched.

Your cat might meow, when you touch it, for a number of different 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 meows when you touch it

Below are a number of likely reasons why your cat meows when you touch it and what would make each of them more likely.

It is being affectionate

It might be the case that your cat is showing affection back to you. This would be much more likely to be the cause if it also does things such as purr, knead and it does not try to move away from you.

Injury

The reason might be that it has injured itself and it does not want you to touch it because it hurts. This would be more likely if your cat has started doing it suddenly and it has been showing other signs of being injured such as not moving as much as normal or walking in an unusual way. In this case, it would help to take it to a vet. 

Intimidation

The cause could also be that it becomes intimidated. It might be intimidated because of the way you approach it, how loud you are or how aggressively you touch it. This would be more likely if your cat does things such as try to move away from you. Instead, it would help to be gentle with it and to be calm around it. 

Previous experiences

The cause might also be that someone mistreated it in the past, causing your cat to not like being touched. This would be more likely if you adopted it as an adult. 

It might also be the case that you hurt it when you touched it before and now it does not want you to touch it again. This would be more likely if it started meowing suddenly after you hurt it.

It does not like the way you pet or hold it

The issue could also be with the way you pet or hold your cat. This would be more likely if your cat does not meow sometimes but it does meow when you touch it in a certain manner and it also tries to move away from you or it scratches or bites.

Things to consider

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

If your cat has always meowed when being touched

If your cat did not always meow when you touch it, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started meowing when being touched suddenly, it could be due to things such as getting injured, someone intimidating it or a change in the way you have been touching it.

What is different when your does not meow

If your cat does not always meow when you touch it, it would also help to consider the timing of when it does it. For example, if it does not meow when you touch it in a certain way, it might be the case that it meows when you touch it in a way that it does not like.

The body language it shows

It would also help to consider the body language your cat shows when it does it. If it shows positive signs such as purring, kneading and rubbing itself against you, it would be more likely that it is showing affection back to you. Whereas, if it does things such as push you away, hiss and bite, it would be a lot more likely that it does not like the way you are touching it.

What to do about your cat meowing when you touch it

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

Be gentle

When petting it, it would help to pet it gently since it could be the case that you have been petting it too strongly.

Pet it differently

It would also help to consider the way you have been petting it. Generally, cats prefer it when you rub their chins instead of rubbing their whole backs.

Get help

If your cat has started doing it suddenly and it seems like it could be due to an injury, it would help to take it to a vet for a checkup. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular cat and to rule out the possibility of it being due to injury.

Let it do it

If your cat seems to be doing it because it is happy, another option would be to continue letting your cat do 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.