If your cat has been scratching 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 scratch me? Likely reasons why your cat scratches you are that it is intimidated, playing, it wants you to stop petting it or that it does not like how you are holding it.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your cat scratches you and it could 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.

Why does my cat scratch me?

Below are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause.

Intimidation

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.

It is playing

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.

Your cat wants you to stop petting 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 are holding it wrong

If your cat scratches you, when you pick it up, the cause could also be that your cat does not like the way you pick it up or that it does not like being picked up at all. It would help to be gentle when picking it up and to try and avoid surprising it.

You are 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.

A problem with its environment

Another possible cause is that something in its environment has been causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if your cat has been hiding and it scratches you when you approach it. If it has been being very anxious, in this case, it would help to take it to the vet for a checkup.

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 you

If your cat did not always scratch you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as something in its environment causing it to become anxious or a change in the way you interact with it.

What is different when your cat does not scratch you

If your cat scratches you more at a certain time, it would also help to consider what is different in the timing. For example, if your cat only does it after you have been petting it for a while, the cause would be likely to be that it is tired of you petting it.

What to do about your cat scratching you

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

Give it distractions

One option would be to give your cat distractions, such as toys, so that it is less likely to scratch you.

Avoid intimidating it

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.

Avoid encouraging it

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.

Limit reasons why it might be anxious

It would also help to limit reasons why your cat might be anxious. One way to do so would be to let it stay in a room that is quiet and where it can be safe from other pets.

Observe its body language

It would also help to observe your cat’s body language. If it starts doing things such as flick its tail and stop purring, it would likely be a sign that your cat wants you to stop petting it.

Why does my cat scratch me at night?

If your cat only scratches you at night, the cause could be that something has been causing it to get anxious at night or that you have been interacting with it differently at night. It would help to consider what else happens when your cat scratches you at night such as if it is when you are petting it or when a certain pet is around.

Why does my cat scratch me when playing?

The reason why your cat scratches you when playing is likely to be that cats will naturally scratch when playing because that is how they practice catching their prey.

Why does my cat scratch me when I’m sleeping?

If your cat scratches you when you are sleeping, the cause could be that your cat wants you to get up and give it something or that your cat has a lot of energy and is playing with you. In this case, it could help to get your cat to stay in a different room when you are sleeping.

Why does my cat scratch me in the morning?

If your cat scratches you in the morning, the cause could be that your cat wants you to get up and feed it. The cause could also be due to the way you interact with it or because it is telling you that it wants to go outside.

Why does my cat scratch me when I walk by?

If your cat scratches you when you walk by, the cause could be that it is playing and chasing your feet or that it gets intimidated by the way you walk past it.

Why does my cat scratch me when I stop petting it?

If your cat scratches you when you stop petting it, the cause could be that it is telling you to pet it more. However, it could also be due to things such as intimidation. It would help to consider the body language it shows. If it flicks its tail and moves away, it would be more likely that it is intimidated. Whereas, if it grabs your hand and gently bites it, the cause would be more likely that it is playing.

Why does my cat scratch me to wake me up?

The reason why your cat scratches you to wake you up is likely to be that it wants you to feed it. The cause could also be that your cat is playing, it wants attention, or that there is something causing it to be anxious.

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.