A pet holding our hands is a sign of love and affection, and it is usually associated with dogs. Cats can be equally as interested in communicating with us on a physical level, sometimes placing their paw in our hands or grabbing our hands between their paws.
This usually means that your cat feels secure with you, and they feel safe enough to show that they feel comfortable being close to someone that they love. On some days your cat might refuse to have their paw held by you, whereas on other days they may initiate it themselves.
This can depend on your cat’s mood as how they are feeling plays a major role in how they act throughout the day and towards you. A cat that is feeling playful, seeking attention, showing you that you’re a place of security for them, or simply wanting to be petted may place their paw in your hand as a way to “hold” it.
The 4 Reasons Why Your Cat Holds Your Hand
1. To Get Your Attention
There’s no doubt that cats love attention, especially from humans. By placing their paw in your hand or grabbing your hand with their paws, your cat could be looking for attention. This attention that your cats looking for can be a simple acknowledgment from you, to wanting to be rubbed or picked up. Some cats will even do this when they are feeling hungry and know that this behavior might be enough encouragement to feed them.
2. Security and Safety
A cat that feels safe with you will not hesitate to show how much they love and care for you. You might be a form of comfort and security to your cat, so they will enjoy having you hold their paw without pulling it away, or they will simply place their paw in your hand willingly. Your cat could even be trying to protect you without being able to verbally express this. Instead, your cat may try to be near you and get your attention because they feel protected over you.
Some cats may also do this when they sense that you were acting differently throughout the day, perhaps as their way of asking what is wrong or seeking comfort to know if you are okay.
3. They Want To Be Petted
Most cats enjoy being petted, even if they get irritated with you after a few minutes. If you were petting your cat and suddenly stop, they will try to paw at you to get you to pet them some more. Some cats enjoy petting and your presence, so they will try to hold your hand to encourage you to keep petting them.
Other cats might do this when you are sitting down, and they take it as an invitation to try and get you to pet them. It is also common for cats to lick and paw at your hand if they feel that they do not want you to stop petting them because it feels nice for them.
To some cats, our hands look like toys. This is because cats can turn almost anything into a toy or fun activity, which includes pawing at your hand or trying to swat at it. This is just your cat being curious and playful, and they could be showing you that they feel like playing with something.
This would be a good idea to give them a toy to distract them from trying to paw and play with your hand, which can be quite sore if they bring their teeth and claws out if they get too excited.
Why Do Cats Hold Our Hands When We Are Sad?
While cats do not have the same abilities to express their emotions on the same level as humans, many cat owners believe that their cat’s extended paw is there to help them feel better in times when they are stressed or sad. When we are feeling down, we may be less energetic than usual.
This means we might spend more time sitting or lying down, which allows your cat to interact with us because they struggle to do it when we are busy. It is also possible that your cat could be sensing your unhappiness by changes in your facial expressions and behavior, and they may try to paw at your hands. This helps many cat owners feel slightly better knowing that their cats care about them when they feel down, and cats do this with love and affection.
If your cat decides to hold your hand with their paw, or they allow you to hold their paw in your hand, it is a sign that they trust you. A cat will show how they are feeling in various ways since they cannot verbally communicate with us in a way we understand and trying to get your attention or show you comfort by pawing at you is one of those ways. Although each reason behind a cat’s hand-holding is different, they are almost always positive.
Featured Image Credit: cottonbro, Pexels