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Paws on face

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi,

Each time I pick my cat up, he always outs his paw on my face - sort of like he's pushing it away. I'm the only one he does it too - what does it mean - that he doesn't like me picking him up?
post #2 of 18
I have a cat that does it too, she also meows and squirms when I pick her up--which makes it very clear that she doesn't like being held by me. =/

But my dad can pick her up, carry her on her back like a baby, rub her head and tummy, and she's perfectly fine! I guess she just really doesn't like me.

Maybe your kitty just doesn't feel totally comfortable being held by you, or maybe it's the way you hold her. There are different ways you can hold a kitty, maybe she feels more comfortable on your shoulder or being held right-side-up

Sorry I can't be of more help!
post #3 of 18
It could be a couple of reasons, best to try and read it along with his other body language:

Some cats will put a paw on your face because they are interested in being close to you and it's an affection thing - my Sonic will walk onto me when I am lying on my side and he will lay down on me and stretch his paw out to touch my cheek. Some are also interested in putting their paw on your mouth when you are talking, I think the fact our lips move so much when we vocalise fascinates some of them!

Also a touch with a paw can mean 'leave me alone' - it's an adaptation of what mum cats do to their kittens to discipline them - put a paw on their head and push them away.

Generally an affectionate touch will be gentle with no pressure, a 'leave me alone' warning will feel like a push, or if they aren't too upset with you, gentle but steady pressure. Sometimes it will be accompanied by a harsh stare or a tail swish, but not always.

Judging by your description, I would say that your cat prefers not to be picked up, which is not at all unusual, many cats do not like being lifted off the ground and having to relinquish control over where they are going!
post #4 of 18
my teaser does this but doesnt squirm or wriggle she strokes my face with her paw the same way i stoke her cheek
post #5 of 18
Cleopatra's done both in the past, just me cheek or mouth gently, and pushed me away (a bit more of the latter lately). I usually put her down immediately, unless I want her to stay away from an area that she was at. I do think she realizes that most of the time I pick her up, especially if I'm stnading, that I'll put her down again soon enough.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixietina View Post
my teaser does this but doesnt squirm or wriggle she strokes my face with her paw the same way i stoke her cheek
aaaaawwwww that is *so* sweet
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
It could be a couple of reasons, best to try and read it along with his other body language:

Some cats will put a paw on your face because they are interested in being close to you and it's an affection thing - my Sonic will walk onto me when I am lying on my side and he will lay down on me and stretch his paw out to touch my cheek. Some are also interested in putting their paw on your mouth when you are talking, I think the fact our lips move so much when we vocalise fascinates some of them!

Also a touch with a paw can mean 'leave me alone' - it's an adaptation of what mum cats do to their kittens to discipline them - put a paw on their head and push them away.

Generally an affectionate touch will be gentle with no pressure, a 'leave me alone' warning will feel like a push, or if they aren't too upset with you, gentle but steady pressure. Sometimes it will be accompanied by a harsh stare or a tail swish, but not always.

Judging by your description, I would say that your cat prefers not to be picked up, which is not at all unusual, many cats do not like being lifted off the ground and having to relinquish control over where they are going!
This is great advice! It doesn't mean your kitty doesn't like you.

My kitty always puts his paws over my mouth or on my cheek Maybe he's telling me to shut up It is fine although I wish he would retract his claws!

*edit--wow, I'm a "young cat" now!! My childhood sure did fly by fast!
post #8 of 18
Simon's big on paw-to-face action. He likes to put his paw on my face in a gentle, loving way when I'm holding him and petting him. Other times, he'll put it on my lips when I'm talking to someone while holding him (and he's trying to sleep) to shut me up. Other times still, he'll do it to be put back down ('cuz he REALLY wanted to PLAY with my hands, not be picked up, lol). But for the most part, Simon is a TOTAL Mama's Boy. The closer he can get to my face, the happier he is and the louder that harley purr gets!!

Hobbes likes to lay his paws on my feet (he's a foot boy) when he's laying beside me, either on the couch or during sleep at night. I think it's because he feels closer to me when just one paw is touching my skin. He likes me to drape my arm over his side when he's asleep next to me on the couch, too. But if I pick him up, and DARE to kiss him, he'll shove me away with those same paws!! LOL!

Sunny just likes touch of ANY form...she's VERY affectionate (but only with me). She also LOVES me to kiss her on the nose. She'll sniff my mouth until I kiss her, and then give me a happy squinty-eyed smile in return. So sweet...

Such funny furkids we all have!
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. I guess there are different ways he does reach out to me, sometimes pushing, sometimes touching. It's just that I always thought I was his favorite human - he's always following me around, and always sits next to me - but yet I'm the only one he pushes away (he does get picked by other people but doesn't do this) and he does it each time I pick him up.
post #10 of 18
My George really enjoys hopping up on my bed in the morning and tapping me in the face.....he must be saying "WAKE UP MEOWMY!!! Time to FEED ME!!!"
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lubu13 View Post
Hi,

Each time I pick my cat up, he always outs his paw on my face - sort of like he's pushing it away. I'm the only one he does it too - what does it mean - that he doesn't like me picking him up?
I always thought this was a sign of affection. My cat does it when I pick her up and she loves me, I thought that was her weird way of giving me paw 'kisses'...
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dorabella's mom View Post
I always thought this was a sign of affection. My cat does it when I pick her up and she loves me, I thought that was her weird way of giving me paw 'kisses'...
Thank you - that was the answer I was dying to hear
post #13 of 18
Mary touches me with her paw all of the time. She touches my mouth and my cheeks. Sometimes she does the push thing but she doesn't want to be put down. She just wants leverage to turn in another position. Seldon always pushes but only to tell me to move. He likes to be carried in motion but not when I am still.
Saffron and Sachi just love being held period.
post #14 of 18
pookie does that too a lot...its usually when she doesnt want to be held like if shes sleeping and she looks really cute for some reason i'll try to pick her up and hold her and she gets mad because she was awoken so she doesnt want to be held and tried to get loose so i let her go (i've stopped doing this lately as i see that it annoys her)...or if shes doing something shes not supposed to be doing (such as looking for a spot to crap on the floor...i'll pick her up and scold her to her face where she can get my point and she always tries to push away)...and if the cat makes noises and wriggles a lot...then it doesnt want to be held anf you should put it down before it scratches you...blue on the other hand NEVER does this she always drapes right over your shoulder and purrs like crazy
post #15 of 18

My cat does a similar thing but when i try pat or stroke him he puts his paw on his own face he like covers his eyes i don't know why...

post #16 of 18
Haha my Kittie Midnight puts paws on me he just loves to rough house too.
There is a hole in the corner of a couch if you take the pillow thing out and he hides there if I peek in he will pop out a punch me square in the face -___-
post #17 of 18


I have a young male cat named Titus.  Quite often while holding him, he likes to put his paw on my cheek as a sign of affection.

He also likes to put his paw over my lips and feel my breath.  He is very interactive and it doesn't take much to learn his body language.

post #18 of 18

My cat puts paws on my face both as a sign of affection and as a warning - @KristyKitty is right, on all fronts. You can tell by their body language, and some cats really just don't like being picked up.

 

Sam (my cat) for example, HATES being picked up. He will tolerate it for a few seconds, but he will then squirm and push my face away with his paws, and though he doesn't display any threatening body language like tail twitching or hissing, it will eventually lead up to that if I keep trying to hold him, and he is never purring when I hold him. Basically, for my cat it works like this - "I'm giving you about five seconds to show me you have a good reason for picking me up off the ground. Time's up, this is your warning (paw pushing on face) [with behavior becoming incrementally aggressive the longer I try to hold on]. So I only pick him up when I really need to to move him somewhere).

 

At the same time, if I'm ever laying down on my bed or recliner, he considers that an open invitation to snuggle, and he often will rest a paw on my cheek or lips with eyes closed and purring very loud while stroke his ear.

 

While some cats don't mind (and even enjoy) being held, all cats want to feel in control of their own situation (I personally think this is why most cats HATE car rides - "I'm moving but I'm not trying to and I don't want to, and I don't even know how I'm moving!!!!"). My cat trusts me completely - he will even roll over and expose his belly to me and falls asleep on my chest. In all of those cases, he can leave whenever he pleases. When you pick your cat up, his feet are not longer on a surface and normally has a bit of distance between himself and the ground. Even if he trusts you personally, he may never liked to be held because some cats always want to be prepared react to a threat (or potential prey) at the drop of a hat, and being in your arms means he must take the time to get out and reach the ground before he can even begin going where he really wants to go.

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