Why don’t cats like their paws to be touched?
20 April 2022 — Cats
You’ve probably already noticed that when you pet your cat’s paws, they try to avoid your touch, flee, or bite you. But why? A cat’s paws are covered with sensory receptors which make them very sensitive. These sensory receptors are essential for cats as they allow them to know which type of ground they’re walking on. Most importantly, these receptors help cats perceive all ground vibrations and can even help detect danger or prey.
However, sensitivity is not the only reason why your cat doesn’t like their paws to be touched. In a way, when you hold your cat’s paw, you’re neutralizing their defence mechanism: the claws, which makes your cat feel vulnerable and trapped, and that’s why they bite. In fact, biting is a reflex, and it has nothing to do with you!
To make sure you’ll be able to treat your cat if they get wounded, or to simply trim their claws, it’s important to get them used to getting their paws touched. Start gradually by massaging your pet’s paws and stopping when you notice they are getting uncomfortable or aggressive. With time, you’ll gain their trust, and they’ll understand that they’re not in danger.
To avoid sensory overload, cats walk on the tip of their toes; that’s why they are known for their quiet movements.