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Why Won’t My Cat Let Me Touch Her? 

A cat has the same senses as you, such as vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. It is proven that a cat’s senses are ten times greater than yours. It would be difficult for you to understand how intelligent and crafty these fantastic animals are towards human beings if you never lived with a cat. You do not know how acute their finely tuned senses are and the ultra power of these senses of a cat. Darkness is no problem for a cat as their vision is heightened in the dark, unlike yours.

Cats have one more ability that you do not have: to sense your unspoken emotions, future events before they happen, and impending dangers that you cannot see or foretell. Researchers say that while a cat may not actually possess this sixth sense, it is undoubtedly more sensitive to the world in which it lives.

  • A cat can see spirits or ghosts.
  • A cat can predict when someone is going to die.
  • A cat can pick up a disease in a human before the doctor, or you know you have a severe health issue.
  • A cat can sense when you are sad, depressed, happy, or sick.

While this sixth sense has not been proven by science, thousands of cat owners attest that cats indeed have a sixth sense. Some cats have an uncanny feeling that makes them not want to be touched by you, and the question remains,

Why Won’t My Cat Let Me Touch Her? 

What does your cat’s behavior say to you?

If you wonder why your cat does not want you to touch it, look at your cat’s behavior. Cats can and do communicate with you. You need to be more attuned to what they are trying to say to you. When you adopt a cat, it is impossible to tell whether that cat was abused or what its life was like before adopting it. If the cat loses trust in any human, you must work hard to earn its trust back. If the cat trusts you, and you do anything to lose that trust, it will take a good long time to get your cat to trust you again. All it takes is one harmful action by one human being towards your cat.

In the last 30 years of my life as a cat parent to over 40 different cats, I have run the gamut of what cats like and do not like. Just because you enjoy touching your kitty, your kitty may not like this attention, or it may thrive on being touched. It all depends on the cat. All cats are different, as seen in the following examples.

  • Loves to sit on any lap
  • Loves to sit only on your lap
  • Refuses to sit on laps
  • Loves to have its head gently scratched
  • Hates it when you touch its head, but likes its back stroked
  • Does not like to be touched anywhere?
  • Allows one hand to touch it, but not two
  • Does not care if you use two hands or one hand

It is essential to know at least a few likes and dislikes of your cat and know that each cat is unique in its own right. It is unlikely that you will change the cat’s way of thinking. If a cat experiences negative connections to people, it will take time for your cat to accept you. It took Mia three years to fully trust me, as I mentioned earlier.

The following two stories are my experiences with cats and their like or dislike of being touched.

Mia the Barn Cat

I found that as a cat parent for over 30 years, my cat must trust me first before it will allow me to touch it. I adopted Mia, my cat, in 2012 from our vet. I found that Mia, a three-year-old adult cat when I adopted her, did not trust people, and I never knew why. This was her story, as told to me by our vet.

The medical representative for my vet had a farm, and Mia was their barn cat. This representative believed that Mia was too nice of a cat to live in a barn and took her into his home only to find that his wife was highly allergic to cats. This gentleman took Mia to my vet to see if he could find a good home for her.

I fell in love with Mia and adopted her. It took me three years for her to trust me enough to use only one hand and stroke her head. It took me another year before she trusted me enough to use two hands on her body.  Now Mia allows me to give her a kitty kiss on her nose every morning and night, and she looks for me to brush her in the evenings. She allows me to wrap my arms around her for her daily hug, but I dare not hug her long, pick her up, or expect her to be a lap sitter.

Mia’s mood can change quickly for whatever reason. If I give her too much attention, she starts to thump her tail, and fire develops in her eyes. If I do not back off, she will take a swat at me. When she does this, she immediately runs away. But, in a few minutes, Mia is back again and purring for attention.

Mia spends 80 percent of her time in my bedroom, and the other cats know that this is Mia’s domain. Occasionally, she allows the other cats into the bedroom if she wants them there. She does wander the house in the evening and gets along well with my other five fur babies.

Sammie’s Abandonment Story

Another cat I adopted lived two houses from me. The lady who owned Sammie had a heart attack. When this lady was discharged from the hospital, she was put onto a plane and flown to another state to live with her daughter. Sammie never saw his mama again and never knew what happened to her. The adult grandchildren nailed Sammie’s cat door shut so he could not get into the house and literally put him on the street with no food or water.

I found out about Sammie’s dilemma when he showed up on my porch one summer day. Sammie wanted me to pick him up. He buried his head in my neck and would not let go. He yearned for a trusted human contact and trusted me to help him. Sammie must have been living under a car because the fur on his back had motor oil in his hair. Sammie was hungry and thirsty.

I went to his house and gave the supposedly adult grandchildren a piece of my mind. I asked them what happened and if they knew where Sammie was. They told me he ran away and wanted to know if I knew where Sammie was. I told them that Sammie was now under my care and they would never see him again. In this case, a cat lost its beloved owner, his home, security, and everything he ever knew.

Even though it took Sammie a while to recover, he trusted me and accepted human touch and attention from the first day he came to me. He was a year old at the time. I was honored to care for Sammie until he died at age 20. Every day, he would walk to his old house that was now a rental and sit on the steps for a spell before returning home. It broke my heart because I knew that Sammie still wondered what he had done to deserve this treatment.

Situations with each cat are different, and you must take each unique situation into account. You must also realize that while some cats need to be touched, others can never appreciate you touching them, and you must find another way to show your love to your cat. Unless you know the cat’s life history, you never know what that cat went through before it came into your care.

H-2 How To Get My Cat To Let Me Touch Her? 

If the previous owners had your cat as a kitten and frequently held it or gave it pets, this cat may be more accepting of human touch. If your cat was born in the wild or in a feral family with no human contact, it might grow up to not appreciate your hand touching it.

The following are a few tips for you to try to get your cat to accept your touch. Your cat will let you know when it is comfortable enough to let you touch it. However, do not be too disappointed if they never accept a touch. Cats do understand essential communication.

  • Gently speak to your cat and make eye contact. Never stand over your cat and look down on it.
  • Offer treats from your hand. If not, lay the treats down by you and enticing play toys.
  • Never force the issue of touch.
  • Be patient with your cat.
  • Use a bit of catnip to entice your cat.
  • Keep your hand contact to a minimum.
  • Be sure to place an article of clothing with your scent near your cat.
  • Gently reach your hand out and let the kitty come to you. Use the top of your fingers to gently stroke the side of its face.

Never let your patience run out. It took me three years and daily talking and interaction with Mia to get her to trust me. I did what I could, and I kept trying until she accepted us as her trusted family.