Cats have strange behaviors, some of which we cannot understand. For instance, some cats will walk on you or even knead your laps. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why a cat might do so. Also, we are going to look at the most effective ways to stop a cat from walking on you.
The reasons why cats walk on you
- To look for warmth
- Looking to feel secure
- marking their territory
- To seek your attention
- Kneading behavior
Why cats walk on us is a common question amongst cat owners. there is no particular reason why your cat may walk on you. Cats walk on you because they can and they want to! And usually, there is nothing wrong with that. However, this behavior has been associated with the following by cat behaviorists:
To look for warmth
A kitten may walk on you or even settle on you when she is looking for warmth. Well, most cats do not get to spend enough time with their mother. We adopt these kittens when they are young, and therefore we assume the role of her parent.
With her mother, she would be protected. I mean, the cat mother will keep her litter warm by cuddling them. Do not be surprised when your cat wants to come to your bed and sleep on you. She is probably cold.
Looking to feel secure
Our cats are quite strange and even though we have domesticated them for some time now, they still have some of those animalistic instincts. Now, cats feel safe only in familiar environments and around familiar faces.
A new cat may walk on you to identify with you. She is not comfortable around you because you are a stranger. And since she has already noticed that you do not mean him harm, she will want to establish a bond. This bond will give her the security she needs to settle down.
We are further going to explore how cats walking on you may offer them a sense of security. Once a cat approaches you, it is obvious that she has started trusting you. However, she could also be depositing her scent on you.
Your cat will only feel safe when she is familiar with you. And she will develop familiarity by putting her scent on you. She may do this by walking on you as her paws have scent glands as well.
To seek your attention
If you own a cat, then you must understand how much she loves attention. She will do anything just to make you look at her. Well, you should not condone this behavior as it might become a chronic and undesirable way to get your attention.
Some cats will walk on you while others will go to the extent of sitting on your laps as you work. Well, you might need to increase play sessions to meet her attention demands.
It is common for a kitten to engage in some behaviors in their exploration stage. She will crawl and climb on the couch, on your laps and sometimes she will sit on your keyboard.
Well, as we have discussed above, do not let this become a common habit. You will need corrective measures to handle this behavior.
Cats also walk on us when kneading. Kneading is not unusual behavior in domestic cats. It is more of your cat pressing her paws against your body. Sometimes, it can be painful when your cat kneads on you, especially when she has sharp claws.
Most cat behaviorists associate kneading with kitten behavior. During nursing, cats will knead on their mothers to stimulate her to produce milk.
Also, you are like a big cushion and it does feel good on her paws.
How to stop cats from walking on you
Some people will not be entirely comfortable with when cats walk over them. It could be that they are allergic to cat fur, which is understandable. Anyway, you can be able to stop your cat from walking all over you.
Teach her the command ‘no’
If you are uncomfortable with your cat walking on you, there is something you can do about it. Did you know that it is possible to teach your cat a few commands? Well, you can, but you will need to be quite strategic while doing so.
One of the most difficult things to do is teach verbal commands to our cats. This is because unlike dogs, cats are not as receptive, and will not learn anything unless it brings a positive outcome.
When you want to train the word no to your cat, do not use her name. Cats can understand their names but then when you add a negative phrase such as no, she becomes confused. Wait until she approaches you and takes notice of her movement. If she wants to climb, make eye contact and say ‘no.’ Only reward her when she stops and walks away.
Understand that you will need to be patient with her until she learns that you do not want her to walk on you. It is going to take some time. Always remember to offer her a treat every time she comes closer. Alternatively, you may choose to stomp your feet on the ground to ensure that she does not come any closer.
Keep the bedroom door closed
Most cat owners have had an incidence where their cats walk on them in bed, in the middle of the night. Sometimes it does not have to be the owner as a cat can walk on your guests as well. From personal experience, I recently visited my friend who has a kitten, I think a few months old.
I slept over and her cat was standing on my chest as I slept! Well, it was a bit creepy but not exactly strange. Well, if I had closed the bedroom door, she could not have come in, right?
If you are having trouble trying to stop your cat from walking on you, try keeping your room closed. Do not open for her even if she cries at night. You need to be the one in control and not the other way round.
Use Negative reinforcement
Now, if a cat is walking on you and you need to stop it immediately, then negative reinforcement may work. However, it can bring about other undesirable results. For instance, some cat behaviorists recommend using a feather wand and put it from far away.
Alternatively, you may opt to use a squirt gun. This way, you can spray your cat with water when she comes to walk on you. However, you must be careful when using negative reinforcement. It can work against you and thus fail to stop your cat from walking over you.
It is like punishment. When you squirt your cat with water, she is going to be afraid of you. It does not necessarily stop cats from walking on people. Punishment is going to make it easy for you to bond with your cat.
Like every other training, make sure that you reward your cat when she stops approaching you. Throw a tasty treat to him from a distance to keep him there.
Feed your cat regularly
Maybe your cat is climbing to walk on you when you are eating. This is the worst of the habits your cat may develop. You need to let her know that it is not acceptable. Now, to do this, you must employ various tactics.
For instance, consider teaching her the word no. However, you must feed her on a schedule. This way, she will not be hungry to come on to you. Alternatively, you may schedule her feeding schedule next to yours. This way, you will be both busy during mealtimes.
Also, note that cats need to feed several times a day. make sure you leave a few treats when leaving the house. It will keep her fed for some time before you get back home. Consistency is important when it comes to your cat’s feeding schedule. Therefore, ensure that you stick to the routine you established from day one.
Schedule playtime with your cat
As with a feeding schedule, you will also need to schedule playtime with your cat. She needs to bond with you and cats are quite expressive about that. A cat will come and walk on you when she needs your attention.
In your schedule, you should include a few minutes to play with your kitty. This will give you ample time to play with your cat. During playtime, your cat will bond with you and thus meet her need for affection.
On the other hand, if your cat is kneading on you painfully during play, invest in a few toys. When cats walk on you, it can get a little painful, especially if she has sharp claws. Trim her sharp claws to minimize the damage. Also, always put a folded towel on your laps when she walks on you.
Playing with toys will ensure that your cat does not climb or walk on you.
Distract your cat
Distraction works well to deter cats from walking on you. However, you might need to be a little cautious, to ensure that you do not give her what she wants; attention.
Well, when you are playing with your cat and she tends to climb on you, distract her by petting her from where she is. You may get down to her eye level and groom her. This will distract her and also meet her needs.
Always initiate play that does not involve physical contact. Again, get toys to help you out.
As we mentioned in the first section of the article, it is difficult to determine why cats walk on us. It is strange behavior, like many others. However, we have outlined some of the reasons why cats walk on us. It could be attention-seeking behavior, her way to display affection or territorial.
Make sure that you offer her as much attention as she may need to feel the bond between you two. Establish a consistent routine for your cat. It must include feeding and playtime. Do not forget to leave a few interesting toys for her to keep her occupied throughout the day.
Pay attention to your cat and determine the times at which your cat will walk on you. It could be that she wants to deposit her scent on you to feel safer. You might also notice her climbing on visitors.
In case you are not comfortable with your cat walking on you, use the above-discussed measures to stop her from walking on you.