Why don’t cats like you touching their paws? Most cats do not like you to touch their paws. Have you seen cats letting you touch them until you reach their paws? Especially their back paws. Have you wondered why? This is the subject of this article.
Cats’ paws have a combination of nerves ending, whiskers, glands, and sensible materials. Paws are used as shock absorbers, sweating points, and they are used as sensors to perceive what is going on around them; therefore, cats’ paws are highly sensible places.
When touching a cat’s paws, cats can get overstimulated and feel like tickling. Cats rely on a lot of their paws for self-defense. They have claws in them and can rely on their paws to jump and run. Something touching their paws is seen as an imminent danger and an attempt to weaken them.
Let’s go deeper into it.
WHY DON’T CATS LIKE YOU TOUCHING THEIR PAWS? 5 REASONS
I don’t deny it. Those paws are adorable. I have been tempted many times to touch them, hold them, and massage them. One of my cats has those cure pink paw pads sticking out; she really looks like a small little piggy.
It is hard.
It is hard to refrain from touching them and play around with them. What does my cat have to say about it? Well, one of my cats, the oldest and the shy one, is totally contrary. He would use his claws on me and try to bite me. The younger would allow me some touching and would let me hold her paws for a litter bit. I think I can raise her to trust me and let me touch her paws.
I also notice that both cats would let me touch more the front paws, but they would not let me touch the back paws. They seem to be very sensible back there. Therefore don’t be surprised if you try to do it and if they would start biting you. It is a dangerous business!
Why don’t cats like you touching their paws? Here are all the reasons:
Cat’s pads are made of firm skin since they walk on them and protect them from the ground temperature and various dangers. But, it is sensible enough to be used as a sensor for cats to perceive what is going on under their feet, and around them, they can feel vibrations and other sensations.
A human hand touching those pads could overstimulate cats and create an instant reaction.
2. WHISKERS SENSIBILITY
Did you know some cats have whiskers on their paws? Some cats are susceptible when it comes to touching their whiskers. Even if their whiskers are touching something, they may not like it. Some cats do not eat their food because the whisker in their face is touching the food bowl.
Therefore if your cat is whisker sensible, he would not tolerate anyone touching his paws because their whiskers are coming in contact with something. Part of the sensibility when touching cats’ paws can come from this factor for some cats. Cats use those whiskers mainly to perceive the environment, especially when hunting. They are a sort of antenna for them.
Cats’ paws contain scent glands and are the sweating point for cats. Cats regulate body temperatures by sweating through the scent glands in their paws. Therefore when you touch their paws, you can touch places where all of those things are happening. If cats are too hot, or too cold, or they do not want you to mess with their scent placement, they may not let you touch their paws.
Cats have a very high protective instinct. A great part of their protective mechanism comes through the use of their paws. They have powerful claws, feared even by dogs. They can jump and run quickly. In case of escape, they can count on their paws to move silently and not be heard.
If your cat has experienced bad handling of his paws, he will not allow anyone to come close or touch them. For example, someone may have tried to trim their nails or have stepped on some of their paws. Many things could have happened to your cat that now he doesn’t let anyone touch his paws. To come close to his paws, you have to gain his trust again and make him comfortable around you.
Why don’t cats like you touching their paws? Have you observed more reasons why your cat doesn’t let you touch his paws? Let us know in the comments below.
Here some ideas to keep your cat paws fit
DO CATS LIKE THEIR PAWS MASSAGED?
I believe some cats would enjoy their paws massaged, unfortunately not many cats. I think the best is to get cats used to your touch since when they are a kitten.
My little one would let me do it when she comes to sleep on me. When cats are relaxed and sleeping next to you or on you and seem more comfortable, it is time to pet them and touch them. When cats are in this good mood, they may let you touch and pet their bellies; they may roll on their back and invite you to scratch their chins and belly.
This is the moment when you can go for one paw and gently touch it, then massage. Your cat may get used to it over time and may start to like it. After all, their paws are subject to a lot of stress, and if cats go through the trust issue, a little massage can help them.
Of course if a cat let you touch his paws, belly and other forbidden parts of his body, your cat really trust you.
Here some related questions to: “Why don’t cats like you touching their paws?” and related answers:
- What does it mean when a cat lets you touch its paws?
If a cat lets you touch its paws, for sure, it means that that cat trusts you. It also means that it doesn’t have sensibility issues with his paws. When cats a kitten still, they may let you touch more of their bodies and may grow up trusting you with your touches. Some cats may extend their paws and touch you when they are near you or on you; in this case, they want your attention, and they are marking you with their scent.
- Can cats be ticklish?
Cats do not seem to be ticklish, but in fact, there are a few places in their bodies that can create this sensation in them. Based on my experience, this can be the belly and the paws. Those are the places where cats can have a strong reaction. I also saw my cat reacting similarly when I touched the base of the tail.
- Why don’t cats like their back legs touched?
Cats, in general, do not like their paws touched. However, I have seen that while they may get a bit more reasonable with the front paws and legs, they become really upset with the back legs. My cat will start mowing and growl if I touch his back paws.
He is really sensible there. I assume that cats have more nerves and ending there, and they rely more on their back legs. Again some cats do not mind. But most do mind, and it is better to pay attention to their reaction if you try touching their paws.
- How do I get my cat to let me touch his paws?
To get your cat to let you touch his paws, you have to gain trust and be patient. Try to gain overall trust and love from your cat. You have to start bonding. For example, give your cat some treats and while he eats them, start petting your cat. Get him used to your touch.
When he sleeps, pet him a bit under the chin on his head, see how he reacts. Soon he will let you pet him, and you can then move to the back, paws, and belly. You have to be patient and get your cat to interact with you. If you feed him, give him treats, and play with him, he will start getting used to you and trust you enough.
With some cats timid cats, it may take a while to get them comfortable enough, but it can be done. I have a timid cat too. It is worth to try.
- How come some cats don’t mind having their paws touched but others do?
Cats are different and yet similar! What can I say? I think it is because of their personalities. One cat is shy. The other is open to human contact and immediately friendly. The other has to smell you and live with you for years before deciding to give you 5 minutes of purring. One licks you immediately when you pick her up. The other complains when you do it with him. One jumps around the vet office, the other growl and meows like he is being killed.
Personalities. Cats have personalities and are different. Some cats are amiable and will let you mess with their paws.
Why don’t cats like you touching their paws? What is your experience with your cat’s paws? Does he let you touch his paws? Please leave it in the comments below.