If your cat scratches you for no apparent reason, this post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.

So, why does my cat scratch me for no apparent reason? The most likely reasons why your cat scratches you for no apparent reason are that it is intimidated, playing, kneading, or that it has an injury.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your cat might scratch you for no apparent reason and it might do it 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 scratches you for no apparent reason

Below are a number of possible reasons why your cat might do it and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.

Intimidation

The reason why your cat has been doing it might also be that it feels intimidated. This would be more likely if your cat seems to pull away from you and if it also hisses and bites. In this case, it could be the case that you are not being gentle enough or you are approaching it too boldly.

It is tired of being petted

If your cat starts scratching you when you are petting it, the cause could also be that it is tired of being petted. This would be more likely if your cat tends to start scratching you when you have been petting it and if it starts showing signs of being frustrated such as flicking its tail and leaning away.

It is playing

Sometimes, cats will scratch when they are playing and this might be the reason why your cat has been doing it to you. This would be more likely if your cat also does things such as roll onto its back and purr when it does it.

Kneading

When cats are happy, they will start to do something called “kneading” which is where they pat their paws up and down and extend their claws. If your cat does this to you, when you are petting it, it would be likely that your cat is doing it because it is happy. This would be more likely if your cat does it when you are petting it, it’s sat on your legs and it is purring.

Injury

It might also be the case that it has gotten an injury and you have been touching it where it is injured. This would be more likely if your cat has started doing it suddenly and if it does it when you touch it in a certain spot. In this case, the best option would be to get help from a vet.

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 scratched for no apparent reason

If your cat has not always done it, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started. If your cat started doing it suddenly, it might be due to things such as getting an injury or a change in the way you have been petting it.

What is different when your cat scratches

If your cat seems to scratch more in certain situations, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if it does it when you touch it in a certain way, it could be the case that your cat does not like it when you touch it like that.

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 scratches you because it wants you to leave it alone. Whereas, if it does things such as roll onto its back and purr, it would be more likely that it is playing.

What to do about your cat scratching you for no apparent reason

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

Avoid intimidating it

If your cat seems to be doing it due to getting intimidated, it would help to try to pet it more gently and to approach it less boldly.

Pet it differently

If your cat has been scratching you when you pet it, it would help to make sure that you have been petting it in the right way. Often, you will find that cats prefer to be rubbed under the chin instead of having a full back rub.

Get help

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

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.