Why Does My Cat Reach His Paw Out to Me?

Why Does My Cat Reach His Paw Out to Me? Here’s Why!

Have you ever been sitting on the couch, watching TV and your cat has reached out its paws for you to get attention? When a cat gracefully demonstrates its need for approval by extending its paws, what is it trying to say? It’s hard not to think of this as an invitation. If this sounds like something your cat has done before, you may be right. 

Looking for attention

If your cat is reaching out his paw to you, it’s probably because he wants your attention! Cats use their paws to communicate with people and other animals. So when your cat does this, it’s his way of getting you to interact with him. So the next time your cat does this, pet him or give him the attention – he’ll appreciate it!

He is stretching

When your cat reaches out his paw to you, he may be stretching. This gives the impression that he is reaching out to you, but it’s just a coincidence that his paw happens to be near you when he stretches. Cats often stretch when they wake up or after a rest. So if your cat stretches his paw out at you, it’s probably because he feels relaxed and comfortable near you.

He wants to eat

It’s quite possible that your cat is reaching out to you because he wants something – and that something is probably food. We often called this behavior “begging” and is your cat’s way of trying to get what he wants. So if your cat is constantly pawing at you, be sure to check his food bowl. It could be empty or it could be almost mealtime. 

He wants to play

Cats are often playful creatures who like to bat around toys or other objects. If your cat reaches out to you, it’s probably an attempt to engage in a little friendly interaction. Try throwing your cat a toy to chase, or play “fetch” with him. You’ll be surprised how much fun you can have playing with your cat. 

Leaving his scent

Scent is an important means of communication for cats. They use their paws to “mark” their territory, leaving their scent on the people in the household. Cats have scent glands near their paws that produce a substance called pheromones. This helps them identify other cats they associate with as friends or foes. 


Cats knead when they are happy and content. When they knead, they press their front paws up and down on a surface. Cats learn to knead at a young age. They do this to their mother’s mammary glands to help the milk come out. Because it is a soothing feeling, many cats continue to do it into adulthood.

He might be in pain 

A cat lifting its paw can also mean it is not feeling well. The cat may raise its paw to get your attention, comfort, or because the paw hurts. Cats are very good at hiding their pain. So if you notice any other symptoms of pain in your cat, be sure to take him to the vet and have him examined. There can be many reasons why your cat is in pain, from a simple injury to something more serious, so it’s best to get them checked out as soon as possible.

He is mimicking you 

Cats learn by watching what you do. They may reach out their paw to you just as you reach out your hand to them. Cats are much smarter than we give them credit for. My cat reaches out his paw to me in the morning purring and I always wonder why. When I put my head in bed, he actually touches my head like how I pet him. It turns out he is just trying to mimic the way I interact with him. There are so many things cats can do, and it’s time we start appreciating them for more than their silly antics. 

Memories of nursing as a kitten

Your cat will reach out his paw to you because he remembers the comfort and security of nursing as a kitten. Cats are instinctively attracted to the warmth and human contact of their mother, and your touch echoes that feeling. So the next time your kitten rubs against your leg or paws at you for attention, take it as a sign of your fur friend’s love and appreciation.

It is a sign of trust

Cats use their paws to explore and test the world around them, just like any other animal. If your cat trusts you enough for this type of interaction, he will approach you with his paw. For example, my cat will extend his paw when I am eating chips (yes, he loves the smell of potato chips) or holding something he finds interesting. 


Cats will stick out their paws to get your attention – for some reason. It may be because they want food or petting. Cats also do this to play or to be loved. All of this means that the cat is happy and comfortable. However, it is likely that cats will also point their paw at you for help. Watch when they do this and if there are other signs of distress. To learn more about cats, read the next article or drop your email below to get notified when we have new posts!

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