If your cat scratches you when you pet it, this post will show you why and what you can do about it.
So, why does my cat scratch me when I pet it? Possible reasons why your cat scratches you when you pet it are that it wants you to stop petting it, you’re petting it wrong, it is playing, or that it is intimidated.
There are actually a number of possible reasons why your cat scratches you, when you pet it, 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 scratch me when I pet it?
Below are possible causes and what would make them more likely.
Your cat wants you to stop touching it
The reason why your cat does it could be that it wants you to stop touching it. This would be more likely if your cat also shows signs of being agitated when it does it such as by flicking its tail, moving away from you, pushing you away, biting or hissing.
You’re petting it wrong
Another possible cause is that your cat does not like the way that you are petting it and it either wants you to stop petting it or to pet it differently. This would be more likely if your cat does it when you pet it a certain way.
It could also be the case that your cat is actually playing. This would be more likely if it also grabs your hand and if it does not seem to be showing other negative signs such as biting, hissing or pulling away.
Related: Why does my cat scratch my bed?
Your cat feels intimidated
The reason why your cat does it could also be that it feels intimidated. This would be more likely if your cat seems to pull away from you and if it also bites or hisses. In this case, it could be the case that you are not being gentle enough or you are approaching it too boldly.
Things to consider about your cat scratching you when you pet it
Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main reason why your cat has been doing it.
If your cat always scratched you when you petted it
If your cat did not always scratch you, it would help to consider what else happened when your cat first started doing it. It could be the case that something changed that caused your cat to start doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be due to things such as a change in the way that you pet it.
What is different when your cat does not scratch you
If your cat tends to do it more in certain situations, it would also help to consider if there is anything special about the timing. For example, if it only does it when you are petting it a certain way, the cause might be that there is an issue with the way you are petting it.
What to do about your cat scratching you when you pet it
Below are a number of things you can do about the behavior.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
It might be the case that your cat has learned that scratches you gets rewards. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not scratch you and to avoid giving it things such as extra attention when it does scratch you.
Pet it differently
Another thing to try would be to pet it in a different manner. Often cats prefer to be rubbed below the chin instead of having their bellies or backs rubbed. It could help to try scratching below its chin instead.
If you have been petting it forcefully, it would also likely help to try petting it more gently.