Why Do Cats Not Like Their Paws Touched?

Your cat’s paw touch poses a threat to your feline’s health.

If their paws aren’t touched, they don’t smell or feel properly. As a result, they may bite or scratch themselves.

To prevent this, you must teach your cats to love their paws.

So, why do cats not like their paws touched?

Your cat feels your touch as an invasion. Cats have very sensitive whiskers that they use to feel their environment.

These whiskers are very sensitive to touch, so when you touch your cat, it can feel your touch as an invasion. Cats can also feel tingly sensations on their body, so when you touch them, they can feel as if you are holding an electrical charge, which, for a cat, can be scary.

Let’s dive in.

Why Do Cats Not Like Their Paws Touched?

Lack of Trust

You’ll have to explain to your cat that you are only going to stroke or scratch its paws and not its entire body.

Cats that trust you don’t mind whisker-stroking and are even willing to have their paws touched.

They will get used to your whisker-stroking gradually.

Cats are known for taking their time gaining (or losing) trust. So, don’t expect your cat to instantly love its paws being touched.

Fear Of Pain Some cats fear being touched by their human.

This fear stems from a lack of trust. The feeling of pain from touching can be alleviated by stroking the cat gently. You can show your cat that it won’t (and shouldn’t) be hurt by petting it gently.

If a cat doesn’t trust (or like) being petted, it will run away.

General Temperament

Some cats are docile and some are aggressive.

You could take them and whisker-stroking them until they get used to the sensation. However, if your kitty has an aggressive temperament, you could risk injuring yourself.

Other cats, on the other hand, just do not like you to touch them.

Some cats just do not have the temperament to be petted.

Both sorts of behavior are natural. However, aggressive behavior towards humans is often learned. So, don’t be surprised if you cat runs away or growls when you attempt to pet it.

Cats that want to be near their humans will curl up on their human’s lap.

They may not like it , but they will tolerate it.

Your Cat Is Elderly

Another reason your cat may be resistant to whisker-stroking is because it’s elderly.

The elderly often have arthritis, which makes their joints stiff. As a result, they will usually avoid being touched.

If your cat is elderly, you’ll need to give it time to get used to you touching its paws. You may only be able to pet its paw for a few seconds, but be patient.

It will get accustomed to whisker-stroking.

Senior cats are more likely to have joint discomfort, so don’t be surprised if your cat doesn’t like to be touched.

While age might play a role in your cat’s joint pain, OA can also result as a direct result of obesity.

Reluctance to have their paw handled may be an indication of pain caused by a communicable disease.

Past Trauma

If your cat has been wounded in the past and has become fearful of you, it may also demonstrate similar avoidance behavior when touched by your paws.

This is the cat’s method of keeping things the way they are.

This is particularly true if you do not have other pets that share your home.

Feral cats may have been exposed to communicable diseases, such as feline leukemia or feline AIDS, but they will be more likely to hide their illness and will rarely seek comfort from humans.

Sensitive Pain Receptors

Everything begins with the nociceptive system, which regulates pain, temperature, touch, and movement.

These sensors are intended to sensitize or “kick in” to tissue damage.

Cats will often lick their nape, tail, and paws to clean themselves, but they do it in such a way as not to scratch the skin.

While this is handy in certain situa-tions, cat owners must be aware that some animals, especially kittens, may instinctively bite if they are being picked up for the first time.

Many cats have sensitive paws that sensitize to the slightest pressure on them.

For example, if your hands are hot, the cat will withdraw its paw.

They just do not sensitize to the cold the way humans do.

The cat’s pain receptors also sensitize when the animal is anxious.


If you’re accustomed to caressing your cat’s mane, you’ll find that if you suddenly pull on it, the cat will pull back its head.

If you find your cat acting irritably, it may be hurt or ill.

It might be a scrape, a bump, or a wound from fighting. If your cat is injured, it may react to your touch with aggression.

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


You may be certain that your cat is accustoming itself to petting.

Cats are observant creatures that accustom themselves to their environment.

If the kitty is ready to give up feistiness, it will let you know.


If your cat allows you whisker-stroking, it’s a sign that it’s ready to trust you. Your cat will learn to associate your touch with good things. It’s a sign that it’s becoming accustomed to being petted.

This specifically shows that it wants you to pet it.

You’ve shown that you can be trusted. As your kitty grows accustomed to having its paws petted, it’ll become easier and easier for you to pet it.

If your cat keeps its claws retracted, it may be trying to tell you that it’s too shy to be petted.

However, if it’s trying to communicate this, it’ll be more likely to tuck its paws into its body.

Even though the cat is aware that this feels better, the gesture is also a form of self-defense.


Kittens that have been highly socialized are more likely to approach their owners.

They’ll be used to being handled, so don’t be surprised if your kitty greets you at the door, begs for attention, and purrs contentedly.

These cats are also more tractable, so don’t be afraid to groom them or pick up their feet.

An highly docile cat, for example, may yowl in pain when you try to trim its nails.

It may even agree to accustom to its coat being brushed, but it will take a long time.

Why Don’t Cats Like Their Back Paws Touched?

Most cats, or at least a large proportion of thcm, don’t like their back paws touched.

Any effort to touch their rear paws may evoke aggression.

When I touch my cats down their back, I’ll go for their thigh instead.

Cats like to be stroked around their face, but they don’t like to be touched anywhere else. If your cat avoids being petted, it may simply be a quirk of its personality.

Often, they’ll let you pet them for a few minutes, but then they’ll stop.

Some cats simply don’t like being touched. It’s likely that they’re simply not accustom to it.

It’s a strange response, and their hind legs remind me of siamese, so they are soft, but they won’t let me touch them.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Cross Their Front Paws?


Because of the pain receptors in their paws, cats don’t like their paws touched.

These receptors rapidly activate, sensitizing their nerves.

Furthermore , cats don’t like their paws touched because they’re frightened.

Other cats dislike being touched because they feel ashamed. Some cats have such a fear of being touched that they growl or bite.

To get rid of these fears, many cats learn to hide their pain.