As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Every cat has a quirk and does something you can’t help but overlook. When your cat lifts a paw, your first instinct might be to laugh at your cat. But then you might want to research your question: why do cats raise a paw?
Cats raise a paw when they are eager to scratch or crush something. They also raise their paw when suffering from a slight injury or to reach something they see.
Lifting its paw is something almost all cats will do at least once, and you should be equipped to know why your cat is lifting its paw. To learn more about this strange habit, keep reading while I tell you more about it!
Want to check out the best cat litter boxes? You can find them by clicking here#ad
Why does my cat raise its paw
One of the reasons your cat is holding its paw up is because it’s injured.
Since cats can’t tell you when they’re hurt or in pain, they have to tell you another way. Lifting the injured paw is your cat’s way of showing you that he is injured.
A cat can hurt itself in many ways, and just because it’s hurt doesn’t mean the injury is serious.
Here are some ways your cat could be injured during a typical day:
- Landing a bad jump
- Stepping on you as you walk
- Fight or even play with another cat
- Stepping on something sharp or blunt on the ground
As you might have guessed by now, none of these injuries are usually life-threatening for cats, but they could cause some discomfort, causing your cat to lift or raise its paw.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to help your cat, and if you notice your cat limping for an extended period of time, you should speak to your veterinarian.
Why do cats raise a paw when they sit
Your cat raises one paw when it sits because it is showing anticipation.
Now that you’ve heard that, you might know exactly what I mean when I say anticipation. You can see the anticipation in your cat’s eyes.
Anticipation can occur when your cat is waiting for you to open a bag of treats. This could be your cat’s way of telling you to hurry up.
Anticipation can also be bad. Your cat might have its paw raised because it’s about to scratch or run over you, someone else, or another nearby animal.
Cats sometimes act fast and scratch, but there are other times when your cat is calculating its next move.
If you see this is about to happen, get away quickly! Now might also be a good time to tell your cat a “No!” before someone starts bleeding.
It can also be a painful experience to get hit by a cat like this. An angry cat will likely use nails – if they have any – and it could easily rip clothing or skin.
Why do cats lift their paws up and down
Just like lifting a paw, lifting the paws up and down is also a sign of anticipation.
In my house, raising and lowering the paws is the favorite movement of my cats. When I look into their eyes, I can almost see the building’s anticipation too!
I see the paw lift almost as if your cat is reaching out to you for something.
For me, this happens most often when I’m holding the bag of cat treats. My cats know what they’re getting and I can never move fast enough to keep them happy. I’ve seen this happen with cans of cat food too!
The up and down motion also helps your cat maintain balance. If standing or sitting on its hind legs, your cat may tip over forward or backward.
why is my cat paw up
Your cat is pawing in the air because it is trying to reach something.
Although cats have excellent eyesight, sometimes they cannot see how far away something is. If your cat tries to touch something, like a spider’s web or an insect, you can see it pawing in the air.
Your cat may also be trying to grab something that isn’t really there.
No, I don’t mean your cat is trying to catch ghosts in your house.
On the contrary, your cat may be trying to catch a ray of sunshine or the prismatic rainbow reflecting off of something.
For my cats, prismatic rainbows reflecting off electronic screens are some of the best “toys” we could use.
Your cat will look funny doing this, but once you see what your cat is catching it will all make sense.
What does it mean when a cat holds a front paw
Your cat holds a front paw when ready and eager to play.
When a cat is ready to play, you may notice that your cat exudes an almost playful energy.
Your cat may be like mine when I say he likes to hit while playing. Spanking isn’t mean or threatening at all.
My cat playfully slaps me with her paws without using claws. It’s almost soft in a way, and he’s not trying to bite me.
Your cat may lift one front paw first, then the other if excited. Some cats like to stand on their hind legs and start stomping with both hands.
Just make sure your cat doesn’t fall backwards as this has certainly happened to my cats in the past!
Why Cats Put Their Paws Together
Your cat puts its paws together in a prayerful motion because it’s trying to get your attention.
It may sound strange, but you may have seen a cat that rears up on its hind legs and puts its paws together. It looks like your cat is begging or praying, hence its name.
The simple fact that you can imagine your cat doing this movement means that it is doing its job. Your cat does it to get your attention!
When your cat makes this praying motion, he needs your attention and wants your help with something, whether he’s left in another room or is pulling his toy out from under the fridge.
If you think about it, it shows that your cat is almost like a toddler when in need.