Skip to Content

Cat Holding Paw Up When Sitting: [ Reasons ]

Cat Holding Paw Up When Sitting: [ Reasons ]

❇︎Affiliate Statement: The services and products that I may link in this article are ones that I use myself and am proud to recommend. If you follow one of my links please be aware that I will receive a small commission from Amazon or other vendors. I’d also like to say a big Thank You for your trust if you do.

Being a pet parent is a really interesting responsibility – each day, you wake up and can have the chance to discover something new about your animal. But if you have a cat, every minute is an opportunity to get to know your feline friend better.

It is no surprise that cats are weird creatures and half of their behavioral traits are beyond logic. You will most likely never be able to predict them or truly understand how their minds work. However, the good news is – if you have been wondering why your cat holds up its paw when sitting, this article is for you. We’ve got you covered.

Cat holding a paw up when sitting

Cats are these cute little fluffy balls of surprises with an unpredictable nature. The reason behind a lot of their actions is still unknown. Your first reaction to any strange movement might be to laugh it off, but you may want to research them later. Thankfully, paw raises are not that difficult to understand. Let us delve into the matter.

But for starters, cats holding their paws up does not come with a fair share of worry! On the contrary, it is mostly a result of their desire to get attention, retain the excitement, or a hunger pang. As a cat parent, you need to be prepared to handle their mood swings and tantrums from time to time. The faster you get the hang of it, the better it is!

Why does the cat hold a paw up when sitting ?

Different paw movements can mean different things. Some may result from anticipation, stress, a desire to grab your attention, or even an injury you cannot see. The possibilities are endless, but let us simplify them for you.

Here are some of the reasons why your cat is holding up its paw when sitting –

Your cat is showing signs of anticipation – A cat’s paw lift is similar to that of a dog’s paw lift, as both stand as a sign of anticipation. Now, the term anticipation can be quite tricky. It can either be out of excitement or because your cat is up to something naughty. In both cases, the cat may raise its paw asking you to hurry or give you a sort of warning about what’s coming your way. It is also something cats do before they swat.

Your cat wants something from you – Cats commonly show they want something from you by putting their paw up. If you are busy working but find your cat sitting with one paw up and looking straight at you with glimmer eyes – congratulations! You are about to fulfill your feline friend’s demand.

Your cat wants your attention – Cats can be demanding as creatures and behave almost like toddlers when they need something out of you. After years of domestication, most cats do not respond well to aloofness. So if your cat may have been feeling lonely, it is most likely to raise its paw to grab your attention. Cats love attention, and when you take that away from them – they will do everything to get your attention.

Your cat wants to play with you – A cat is likely to put forward a paw when it wants to play with you. Playing is an essential part of your cat’s daily routine and if you ever miss out on that, be prepared to face its quirk. But do look out for its safety as your cat might tumble over.

Your cat has an injury – If your cat is picking up a paw and no amount of affection is easing that, I suggest you examine your cat’s paw. It is possible that your cat has an injury and wants to let you know that it is hurting. Do not worry; you can easily spot it by gently lifting the paws and touching it slowly. Your cat can get hurt in many ways, and more often than not, it is not very serious.

Your cat is expecting a treat from you – Treats are a wonderful way to reward your cat for good behavior. So if you notice your cat putting up its paw, it is expecting a treat from you. It could be that it is your usual time to offer a treat, and you forgot about it, and your cat is trying to remind you of it. Either way, give your feline friend some treats and let it enjoy.

Is it normal for a cat to sit with one paw up?

Yes, it is normal for a cat to sit with one paw. Cats can do it when they are alone or even when you are right in front of them. Paw gestures are easy to read and are often a very simple thing peculiar to cats. There is no need to worry unless it keeps on happening, and no amount of attention, treats, care, or affection is easing them down.


Paw raises are pretty common in cats. While most of their strange paw movements do not have an underlying reason or health concern, some may result from something serious. So it is always advisable to look out for your feline friend – notice the frequency, signs of discomfort, or even their overall behavior during human interactions. It helps to break and narrow down their patterns, further facilitating a better understanding of your cat.