If your cat reaches its paw out to you a lot, this post will show you a number of possible reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why does my cat reach its paw out to me? Likely reasons why your cat reaches its paw out to you are that it wants you to stop petting it, it is showing affection, it is stretching, or to spread its scent.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your cat reaches its paw out to you and it might be due to a combination of reasons. 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 reaches its paw out to you

Below are likely causes and what would make them more likely.

Your cat wants you to stop petting it

If your cat reaches its paw out to you while you are petting it, the cause might be that your cat wants you to stop petting it. This would be more likely if it shows other signs of wanting you to stop such as pulling away from you or getting agitated and doing things such as flicking its tail.

Your cat is showing affection

If your cat does it when you are petting it, another possible cause is that your cat is showing affection back to you. This would be more likely if your cat seems to be ok with the way you are petting it and it also starts purring.

It could also be the case that your cat is showing you affection if it puts its paw on you when you are not petting it. This would also be more likely if it shows positive body language such as purring or kneading.

Your cat is stretching

It might also be the case that your cat is just stretching. This would be more likely if your cat extends both its paws and it does it when it is not sit with you.

Your cat wants something

It could also be the case that your cat does it because it wants something from you. This would be more likely if your cat does it before getting fed and less afterward.

Your cat wants you to pet it differently

Another possible reason is that your cat wants you to pet it differently. This would be more likely if your cat reaches its paw out to you when you pet it in a certain way. Often, cats do this when people are petting their heads and backs but they actually want their chin to be rubbed.

To spread its scent

Cats have sweat glands on their paws. The reason why your cat reaches its paws out to you 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.

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 reached its paw out to you

If your cat did not always reach its paw out to you, it would help to consider what else happened when your cat first started doing it. If your cat started doing it suddenly, it might be due to things such as a change in how you pet it or a change in how you sit with it.

What is different when your cat does not reach its paw out to you

If your cat tends to do it more in specific situations, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if it only reaches its paw out to you when you pet it in a certain way, it would be more likely that your cat does it because it either likes or dislikes the way that you are petting it.

The body language your cat 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 reaching its paw out 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 reaching its paw out to you

Below are options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Pet Your cat differently

If your cat reaches its paw out when you are petting it, 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 uncommon for cats to reach their paws out. 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 extend its paw out to me?

Your cat might extend its paw out to you for any of the reasons mentioned above. It would help to consider the timing of when your cat does it and 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.