“Touch me,” meows your cat. You oblige, perhaps by petting her or, even better, by spending some quality time snuggling with her. Almost as soon as it begins, however, your cat jumps up and walks away. What’s up with that? This post will show you likely causes and what you can do about it.

So, why does my cat walk away when I pet it? Likely reasons why your cat walks away when you pet it are that it just wanted some attention, it wants you to give it something or that it does not like the way you pet it.

There are a number of possible reasons why your cat walks away when you pet it and it might be 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 walks away when you pet it

Below are likely reasons why your cat does it and what would make each of them more likely.

It just wanted some attention

The cause could be that your cat just wanted some attention or to be around you. This would be more likely if your cat comes to you when it has not been around you for a while. In this case, it could be due to some separation anxiety which would be more likely if your cat also tends to follow you around the house.

It wants you to give it something

The reason could also be that it wants you to give it something. This would be more likely if your cat does it more before you have given it food in the morning and if your cat walks to the kitchen when it walks away from you.

It was marking its scent

It could also be the case that your cat was marking its scent on you. This would be more likely if your cat also rubs itself against you but it only does it for a short time period.

It doesn’t like how you pet it

One possibility is that your cat doesn’t like the way you pet her. Some cats like to be stroked from head to tail, for example, while others prefer to be petted on the chin. This would be more likely if your cat shows signs of getting agitated such as flicking its tail and pushing you away from it.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.

If your cat has not always behaved that way

If your cat did not always walk away, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. For example, if it did it when you started petting it differently, the cause could be that it does not like how you have been petting it.

What is different when your cat does not walk away

If your cat does not always walk away, it would also help to consider what is different when it does not walk away. For example, if it does not walk away when you only pet it below the chin, it could be the case that it prefers you to pet it that way.

The body language it shows

It would also help to consider the body language it shows when it walks away. If it does things such as scratch or hiss, it would be likely that it does not like how you interact with it. Whereas, if it does things such as purr and only walk away slowly, it would be more likely that it just wanted some attention, to see where you were or to rub its scent onto you.

What to do about your cat walking away

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

Be calm with it

It could help to be calm with it and to pet it more gently and in a different manner. Generally, cats don’t like a full backrub and prefer to pet rubbed below the chin.

Avoid encouraging it

It would also help to avoid rewarding it when it walks away and to give it positive attention when it does not walk away. Doing this should help to encourage it not to walk away.

Leave it alone

It could be the case that your cat has been walking away because you have been giving it too much attention. It would help to observe your cat’s body language and to stop giving it as much attention when it starts showing signs of being agitated such as by flicking its tail.

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.