Why Do Cats Not Like Their Paws Touched?

Why Do Cats Not Like Their Paws Touched?

Why Do Cats Not Like Their Paws Touched?

Lack of Trust

You’ll have to explain your bond with the cat. Cats that trust you don’t mind having their paws handled for brief periods of time. They will get used to your presence since they recognize you are not a danger. Other folks, on the other hand, may react violently. Cats are known for taking their time gaining trust, which may be demonstrated in a variety of behaviors such as avoiding people. If a cat doesn’t trust you, holding its paws is out of the question. The same holds true for individuals who want to carry the cat in their arms!

General Temperament

Some cats are docile and don’t mind being touched. You could take them and do anything you wanted without the cat noticing. Other cats, on the other hand, just do not want any form of physical touch and will maintain their distance as much as possible. Some cats just do not have the temperament to endure this form of contact, which is why they get agitated when you touch their paws. Both sorts of behavior are natural and are determined by the temperament of the cat. Cats that want to be near you will be delighted to have their paws stroked. They may not like it for long, but they will believe you. Others, on the other hand, will just not have that kind of patience.

Your Cat Is Elderly

Another reason your cat may be resistant to paw squeezing and caressing is a disease known as osteoarthritis. Senior cats are more likely to have joint discomfort, and sensitive parts such as your cat’s paws may quickly get inflamed and stiff with age. While age might play a role in your cat’s joint pain, OA can also be caused by your cat’s general build, obesity, aberrant joint development, an orthopedic surgery, the quality of their dietary history, and, of course, previous traumas. Reluctance to have their paw handled may be an indication of pain caused by a disease like OA, and it’s important that you get your kitty evaluated on a regular basis to determine if this reluctance is due to a condition or a preference.

Past Trauma

If your cat has been wounded in the past and the pain was associated with its paw, it will be more resistive to others handling this region. This is the cat’s method of making sure that whatever occurred to it previously doesn’t happen again. This is particularly true for stray or rescued cats. Feral cats may have been exposed to risky conditions, while adopted cats may have been nurtured in an abusive household.

Sensitive Pain Receptors

Everything begins with the receptors in the cat’s paws. These sensors are intended to make the paws more responsive to their surroundings. Cats will often lick their paws to ensure that they are in good shape. While this is handy in certain instances, randomly holding their paws is not as pleasurable. Many cats have sensitive paws that respond to this form of touch, which is unpleasant. For example, if your hands are chilly, the cat will notice the difference quickly. They just do not want those receptors to activate. The cat’s pain receptors also detect overall pressure, and even tiny variations are detected.


If you’re accustomed to caressing your cat’s paw without getting a reaction, a sudden change of heart might be frightening. If you find your cat acting defensively about their paw, they may be in discomfort. It might be a scrape, a bump, or a bruise from rough play with his cat friends, or just a poor landing.

What Does It Mean When Cats Let You Touch Their Paws?


You may be certain that your cat is comfortable, happy, and pleased if it enables you to stroke its paws without hesitation. Cats are observant creatures that are always on the lookout for danger. If the kitty is ready to give up its primary means of fleeing, fighting, or avoiding danger, it will feel completely protected.


If your cat allows you to touch its paws, it probably trusts you. This specifically shows that your cat understands you mean good. You’ve shown that you will not purposefully harm it. Even though the cat is aware that this is unsafe (and somewhat unpleasant) behavior, it recognizes that you are the expert.


Kittens that have been highly socialized are more inclined to accept human touch. They’ll be used to being handled, whether on their tail, paws, or around their face. These cats are also more receptive to teaching and tormented by human contact. An highly docile cat, for example, may let you check its damaged paw even though it is uncomfortable. It may even agree to have its pads rubbed in exchange for a reward.

Why Don’t Cats Like Their Back Paws Touched?

Most cats, or at least a large proportion of feline partners, will not allow their humans, particularly strangers, to touch their front and rear paws. Any effort to touch their rear paws will most likely elicit the same response as touching their tummy. When I touch my cats down their back, I’ll go for their thigh and leg out of habit, and as I get closer to their back paws, they immediately use them to push my hand away. It’s a strange response, and their hind legs remind me of a cartoon rabbit, but I try to follow their preferences and stay on their back for as long as I can.


Because of the pain receptors in their paws, cats dislike having their paws handled or held. These receptors rapidly activate, making the cat feel anxious.