If your cat keeps putting its paw on your leg, this post will show you why and what you can do about it.

So, why does my cat keep putting its paw on my leg? Possible reasons why your cat puts its paw on your leg are that it wants something from you, it makes your cat feel safer, it is showing you affection, or that it wants you to stop doing something.

Your cat might put its paw on your legs for a number of different reasons and it could be the result of a combination of causes. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Why does my cat put their paw on my leg?

Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely.

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 leg might 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 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 leg 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 your lap or next to you and if it shows signs of being happy when doing it such as by purring.

Security

Another possible cause is that your cat feels safer when it is touching 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 you to stop touching it

Another possible cause is that your cat wants you to stop touching it. This would be more likely if your cat does it when you are touching it with your legs and if it leans away from you when it does it.

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 reason why your cat has been doing it.

If your cat has always put its paw on your leg

If your cat did not always put its paw on your leg, 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 a change in the way that you have been interacting with it or because it became more comfortable around you and started showing you affection.

The timing of when your cat puts its paw on your leg

If your cat seems to put its paw on your leg more at a certain time, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if your cat tends to do it more at around the same time that you are feeding it, the cause could be that it is trying to remind you to feed it or because it is asking for food.

How to get my cat to stop putting their paw on my leg?

Below are some options you have when getting your cat to stop doing it.

Pet it differently

If your cat has been putting its paw on your leg when you are petting it and it seems to want you to stop petting it, it would help to make sure that you have been petting it correctly. It would help to pet it gently and to make sure that you have been using the right technique. Often, cats prefer you to pet them below the chin instead of rubbing their entire backs.

Get it to sit elsewhere

It might also help to give your cat another spot to sit or lie down in. One way to do so could be to put a cat bed near to where it usually sits down.

Give it distractions

Another option would be to give it things to be distracted by such as toys.

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.

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.