Last Updated: 5 months ago

Why do cats stand, reach their paw out to you, and look at you with their piercing eyes?

That’s a funny cat habit, but you might be curious if it means anything.

Fortunately, we’re here to unravel this mysterious cat behavior with eight unbelievable reasons why your cat reaches out to you.

8 Reasons Why Your Cat Reaches Their Paw Out to You

There’s something magical about cat paws. It’s the only logical explanation of why we can’t resist massaging these cute toenails whenever we have the chance.

Joking aside, cats often use paws to communicate with humans. Think about it for a second.

Your cat kneads with their tiny claws to show happiness and contentment or scratches you bloody when they’re displeased or want more attention.

While we can never be 100% sure what goes through a cat’s mind, we’ve got 8 guesses about what your kitty wants when they reach out a paw to you. Let’s see them.

#1 Wants Food

cat eating

Does your cat reach their paw out to you while you’re holding food?

Then your clever feline wants to have a bite or is trying to steal a piece from your plate.

It doesn’t matter what you’re holding and if it’s something your cat will eat.

Your kitty has to check to make sure that they aren’t missing out on something delicious.

Think about your cat’s reaching paw as a gentle reminder that you have to share.

If you refuse to do it, your kitty might use other tactics to distract you until they can grab a piece.

If you share your food with your cat, you’ll be sharing it for the rest of your life. There would be no escaping the grabby paws or the insistent meowing.

Moreover, human food has ingredients that can irritate your cat’s stomach. So, it’s not a good idea to give your cat food scraps.

#2 Stretching

cat lying on bed

Cats are remarkably flexible creatures that could sleep in contorted positions or cat loaf position without getting uncomfortable.

But sooner or later, cats have to stretch to get their muscles moving.

Sometimes, before or after a good stretch, you might notice that your cat extends a paw.

In such situations, it might seem as if your feline is trying to reach you, but they’re just doing their daily dose of exercise.

All you can do in these situations is admire your cat’s agility and be a little jealous that they can sleep all day while you have to work.

#3 Needs Attention

Make your cat love you

Cats might have a reputation for being aloof and independent, but they still need attention and can be miserable or jealous when you neglect them.

If you’ve been ignoring your cat, you might notice that they’ll do all sorts of cute things to attract your attention.

There’s a cat licking hair, some attack your legs, or lie on top of you to express that they’re lonely and want company Others might get as far as to bite your fingers, pee outside the litterbox, or chew on your computer’s cord.

Reaching a paw out to you might be how your cat tries to attract your attention without being too demanding.

But if you continue to ignore your cat, your kitty might be a clingy cat and get obsessed with you. That’s why you should ensure that you spend some quality time with your feline every day.

#4 Requires a Petting

why does my cat reach his paw out to me a

Does your cat love it when you pet them and cuddle them close?

Your kitty might reach a paw out to you because your feline wants you to pick them up and pet them.

Not all cats hate it when you hold them. Some breeds, such as Ragdolls and Ragamuffins, don’t mind when you carry them around like babies and go limp in your arms.

If you have such an affectionate cat, they might remind you that it’s cuddle time by reaching out with their paw towards you.

You’d better comply, or your cat might find another person to snuggle.

#5 It’s Time to Play

declaw cat playing with toy

Being in a playful mood might be another reason why your cat reaches their paw out to you. While cats are good at entertaining themselves, they might want you to join in the fun.

After all, it gets boring to run around the house or push things on the ground.

If you’ve seen kittens playing, you might notice how one kitten will poke the others with a paw to make them get up.

Your kitten might try to engage you in the same way when they want a company for their games.

While it might be cute to let your kitten bat at your arm or “attack” your hands, you shouldn’t encourage it. It can turn into a problem when they grow up.

#6 Wants Something

Are you wondering how to quiet your talkative cat because your kitty is driving you crazy with constant meowing? Check out these 7 superb tips!

Since cats don’t speak our language, they have to come with crafty ways to make us do their bidding.

Reaching out a paw might be your cat’s way to attract your attention before expressing their desires.

For example, your cat might reach their paw out to you and then go to the door.

That’s a clear sign that you have to get up and open the door.

#7 Likes You

lady cuddling with her cat on the bed

I’ve heard owners say that a cat might reach with a paw to show affection. However, if you’ve noticed how cats interact, you’ll see that they rarely express their love by petting other animals.

Licking your face/hair, rubbing on your legs, scratching, and biting are signs that your cat loves you.

But when a cat reaches out a paw and hit you, they’re probably mad or anxious about something.

It’s all about body language. If your cat’s tail is swishing back and forth and they sit and stare at you, a reaching paw isn’t a good sign.

However, if your cat gently pats you, they might be showing how much they love you or your kitty simply wants you to get up and feed them.

#8 Injury

cat with health issues

Does your cat keep their paw in the air out of the blue?

Then your kitty might be hurt, and they’re reaching their paw out to you so that you can help them.

While cats are excellent climbers and jumpers, they can be clumsy and fall badly.

Pulled muscles, a sprained paw, or nerve damage might lead to problems with the leg.

You should get your cat to the vet if you notice that they’re holding a paw in the air more than usual.

As you can see, if your cat reaches their paw out to you, it can have many meanings.

It’s also possible that we’re reading too much into a simple gesture, and it doesn’t mean anything.

Or your cat is messing with you to see how much they can freak you out.


When your cat reaches their paw out to you, it’s a sign of affection and trust. They’re communicating their desire for attention, petting, or playtime.

Understanding your cat’s body language and behavior can help strengthen your bond with them and improve your relationship.

So the next time your furry friend extends their paw, feel free to reach back and enjoy the special connection you share!

What do you think about these 8 reasons? Does your cat ever do it? Share your ideas in the comment section.


Wondering why your cat reaches their paw out to you and looks at you with their piercing eyes? Read on for 8 potential reasons!
Olfa T
Olfa T

Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration.