What Does It Mean When a Cat Waves Its Paws?

"You'll be part of my dinner this evening."

"You'll be part of my dinner this evening."

Your fluffy princess has the oddest behavior: She waves her paws at you. She doesn’t speak your language and you don’t understand cat gibberish, so it’s the only thing she can do to let you know what she wants. Take it as a compliment. She wants to communicate with you.

I'm After Something

You’re just sitting there minding your own business when you look up and see Sasha sitting up on her hind legs, waving her paws in the air. She isn’t saying hello, she’s probably playing with that fly in the room or swatting at a spider that’s making its way down a web. Kitties are naturally mischievous and playful. While it may look like she’s waving at nothing, she’s most likely got her eye on something to play with.

Feed Me

Ever wake up nose-to-nose with your feline? She curls up on your pillow, sticks her face right up against yours and then purrs loudly until you wake up. Of course you just roll over and ignore her, but then she comes around and starts pawing at your nose. Cats are good about getting you to do exactly what they want. Erratically waving her paws in your face will surely get you up eventually, which is good for her -- she’s hungry and it’s time to feed her.

Play With Me

While you’re sitting in the recliner reading the morning paper, Sasha jumps up and starts whacking the paper with her paws. She’s not waving her paws around trying to block your view or make you mad, she wants to play. Put down the paper for a few minutes and pick up that dangly wand toy. Let her have at it for a few moments so she can get some of her energy out.

Leave Me Alone

Pay attention to the rest of her body language when she’s waving her paws at you -- she may be giving you a warning. If you reach out to pet her while she’s curled up getting ready to snooze, but she blocks your hand with a quick nails-out swat, she wants to be left alone. Flattened ears, low growling or a swift flick of the tail also let you know that your purring pal doesn’t feel like being affectionate right now. Give her some time to cool off and catch some z’s. After all, feline life can be very stressful and she needs a nap.

 

About the Author

Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.

Photo Credits

  • Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images