Why do cats generally dislike having their paws touched?

You may have noticed by now that when you try to stroke your cat’s paws or hold them in your hands, your cat tends to get nervous. Either he pulls them off immediately, as if you’ve hurt them, or its suddenly aggressive. But why such a reaction? 

Cats’ paws are very sensitive

The paws of our feline friends are of particular importance to them. And for good reason, they are covered with nerve receptors which make it possible to capture all the sensations on the ground. This extreme sensitivity allows them in particular to feel the vibrations. This allows cats to spot prey or potential enemies even before they see them.

In short, cats’ paws act as a complement to their other senses, such as hearing and smell. Without them, they could not survive in the wild so effectively.

But that’s not all. Cats can also, thanks to the sensitivity of their paws, immediately detect the type of surface on which they are walking, that is, changes in texture. Again, this is a particularly useful ability in order to be able to avoid dangers.

Thus, you now understand better why the simple fact of handling the paws of your feline can be surprising for them, even unpleasant …

Good to know : In order to avoid sensory overload when moving around, cats tend to walk on tiptoes. It is for this reason that their approach is so silent.

Touching a cat’s paws is like neutralizing its defence system

The fact that cats’ paws are so sensitive isn’t the only reason they don’t appreciate being touched. In fact, when you grab a feline’s paw in your hands, you simultaneously neutralize its main defense: its claws.

Yes, the claws of our furballs are used above all to defend themselves against predators or rivals. Without them, they are (almost) defenceless. The only way left for them to save their skin is therefore to flee. But then again they are unable to do so since you prevent them from moving by holding their paws.

Feeling trapped and vulnerable, our feline friends can therefore bite, because it is the only recourse they have left.

How to let a cat get its paws touched? 

Some care, especially during an injury for example, requires touching the paws of cats. In this case, the only solution is to gradually get your feline used to having their paws touched. How? ‘Or’ What ? By gradually gaining its confidence.

To do this, every day, gently perform small massages on its paws, so as to show them that there is no danger in letting you touch them there. On the contrary, it may even be pleasant for them.

Start with a few seconds of massaging, then gradually increase the massaging time as your cat’s days and reactions progress . And don’t hesitate to use treats to coax it!

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