If your cat has been putting its paw on your hand, this post will show you a number of possible causes and what to do about it.

So, why does my cat put its paw on my hand? Possible causes of your cat putting its paw on your hand are to spread its scent on to you, to show you affection, it wants you to stop doing something, or to make your cat feel safer.

Your cat could put its paw on your hand for a number of reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. 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.

Reasons why your cat puts its paw on your hand

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

It is spreading its scent on to you

Cats have sweat glands on their paws. The reason why your cat puts its paw on your hand could be that it is spreading its scent on to you. This would be more likely if your cat also rubs itself against you when it does it.

It feels safer

Another possible cause is that your cat feels safer when it touches you. This would be more likely if your cat touches you a lot, if it follows you around and if it tends to do it more when other animals are around that it does not like.

It wants something from you

It could also be the case that your cat does it because it wants something from you such as food or for you to pet it. This would be more likely if your cat does it before getting fed and less afterward or if it puts its paw on your hand when you stop petting it.

Kneading

Another possible cause is that your cat is actually kneading which is where it presses its paws into you and pats you with its paws and claws repeatedly. This would be more likely if your cat does it when it is sat on or next to you and if it shows signs of being happy when doing it such as by purring.

It wants you to stop

Another possible reason is that your cat wants you to pet or hold it differently or that it wants you to stop completely. This would be more likely if your cat puts its paw on your hand when you pet or hold it in a certain way and if it seems to lean away from you. Often, cats do this when people are petting their heads and backs but they actually want their chin to be rubbed.

It’s showing you affection

The cause could also be that your cat is showing affection to you. This would also be more likely if it shows positive body language such as purring or kneading.

Things to consider

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

If your cat has always put its paw on your hand

If your cat has not always put its paw on your hand, it would help to consider what else happened when your cat first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be because of things such as becoming more comfortable around you or a change in the way that you pet or hold it.

If your cat always puts its paw on your hand

If your cat seems to do it more in certain situations, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if your cat does it when it is sat next to you, the cause could be that it is showing affection and that it makes your cat feel safer.

The body language it shows

It would also help to consider the body language your cat shows when it does it. If it shows signs of being agitated such as wagging its tail and moving away, it would be more likely that it is putting its paw on you because it wants you to stop petting it. Whereas, if it does things such as purr and rub its head into you, it would be more likely that it likes the way you are petting it, it’s rubbing its scent on to you or that it is being affectionate.

What to do about your cat putting its paw on your hand

Below are some options you have to help deal with the behavior.

Pet and hold it differently

Since your cat might be doing it because it wants you to pet or hold it differently, it would help to make sure that you have petting it appropriately. It would help to pet it gently, and cats often do not like it when your stroke their entire backs. Often, cats prefer to be rubbed below the chin.

Let it do it

It is not unusual for cats to put their paws on their owners. If your cat has been showing positive body language when doing it, it would likely be ok to allow your cat to continue doing it.

Why does my cat hold my hand?

Your cat might be holding your hand for any of the reasons mentioned above. However, it would be more likely that your cat is doing it because it is showing affection, putting its scent on to you and because it feels safer when it touches you.

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.