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Why Does My Cat Paw Under The Door? The Reasons For This Behavior

If you’re sitting in your room with the door closed and hear a scratching sound, chances are you’ll know what’s causing it if you own a cat. A small furry paw from under your door may be a common occurrence for you, and you may wonder why your cat does this. The main reason is they likely want to be let in the room to be close to you.

Cats are affectionate creatures who often want to be close to their owners. This is even more true for cats who may be suffering from separation anxiety or can relax the best when around their favorite person. If they want to be around you, but the door is closed or they want to get into the room you’re in, if there’s something in there they want (like their food bowl, for example), your cat will paw under the door as a clear signal that they want in.

Cats can put their paws under a door for a variety of reasons. The main reason (and the clear message) is that they want to be let in, and they’re probably trying to open the door themselves, to varying degrees of success.

If you’re playing with your cat using a toy, such as a feathered “fishing rod” style toy, your cat might paw under the door to try to reach it.

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Why Does My Cat Want to Follow Me?

Your cat might want to follow you around everywhere for a few different reasons, the main one being that they want your attention. Most cats are more independent than dogs; they’ll come to their humans for attention and petting on their terms.

That’s not to say that some cats aren’t clingy. In fact, some breeds of cats, such as the Ragdoll and Nebelung, have been described as “dog-like” in their behavior. This is because they love to follow their owners around from room to room.

Some cats may also suffer from separation anxiety. This is a condition that affects both cats and dogs and means that your cat will become anxious without you there, resulting in behaviors such as:

  • Crying
  • Pacing
  • Self-mutilation (biting or scratching themselves obsessively)
  • Excessive grooming
sad lonely cat lying on bed
Image Credit: medveda, Shutterstock

Another sign of separation anxiety is obsessively following their owner around.

However, there may be another, more pressing reason your cat doesn’t want to leave you alone. For example, your cat might be following you because they’re trying to get your attention or want something.

Usually, a cat who wants their dinner (right now!) will sometimes follow their owners around and meow, usually as a way to get them to take notice of them. If you’re holding something your cat wants, such as a treat or a treasured toy, they might also follow you about and even get under your feet.

Sometimes, your cat may be trying to get your attention for a more sinister reason. If your cat is unwell or is in pain, they may be trying to tell you. Following you may help them feel safe if they’re feeling vulnerable, which they will if they’re unwell or in pain. Usually, there will be other signs or symptoms associated with this, such as crying, lameness or turning to an area often, or other symptoms of illness.

If you’re worried about your cat in any way, or if they have a sudden change in behavior, you should take them to the vet. Sudden clinginess can signify that your cat is very unwell and because they can’t tell us directly, interpreting the behavior is one of the best ways we can figure out if something is wrong.

Sad Cat
Image Credit By: g3gg0, pixabay

Why Does My Cat Meow at the Door For Me?

Your cat might start meowing at your door for you if it’s closed for the same reasons they’ll paw underneath it: because they either want to get in or they want something out of the room. Cats meow to indicate they want something specifically from humans; cats developed the meow almost exclusively to communicate with humans, and it’s a learned behavior from mother cats to kittens. The meow is your cat’s way of saying they want your attention specifically.

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Final Thoughts

Your cat may paw under the door because they want in and are trying to open it, to reach a toy that’s being brandished underneath it, or if they’re trying to reach you through it. The message is pretty clear, though: your cat wants in, and the pesky door is in the way. They might meow outside while pawing to ramp up the insistence, and they might even shout at you when you finally open the door! But whatever the reason your cat paws under the door, they’re doing it because they want something stuck on the other side.

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Featured Image Credit: Marjan Grabowski, Unsplash