Why do cats cross their paws? Many people believe that cats lack the same level of expressiveness as dogs, but this is simply not true. Though cats aren’t as vocal or energetic as dogs (though there are exceptions), they communicate through vocalizations and nonverbal body language.
When cats are relaxed, secure, and comfortable, they cross their front paws. This is one of many nonverbal signals of safety, which is accompanied by retracted claws. This gesture is referred to as towing of weapons,’ because house cats rely on their claws to defend themselves against threats. Cats are known for striking a variety of poses, including lying down with their front paws crossed. This gesture may leave pet parents perplexed or intrigued. We’ll look at why cats cross their front paws and other common feline body language signals in this article.
Cats Communicate Using Their Bodies
While you might think that cats only communicate vocally, the bulk of their communication is nonverbal. So though your furry feline might be talkative, you can also look for body language signals to determine their mood. But how?
Most notably, cats tend to nonverbally communicate using their:
When a cat approaches you and lifts its tail high in the air, it’s a sign that they see you as a friend and want to greet you. However, if a cat flattens its ears against its head, it’s a sign of fear and hostility, so stay away. Understanding these common forms of nonverbal communication can help you better understand and interpret your cat’s behavior.
What does it Mean When Cats Cross Their Paws?
When cats cross their paws, it indicates that they are searching for a comfortable place to sit. Crossed paws may be the most comfortable position for them to relax in after a long day of cleaning.
Unfortunately, your cat’s habit of crossing its paws has a no deeper meaning. It simply means they’re looking for a comfortable position, similar to how you might cross and uncross your legs while seated. You may also notice your cat crossing its paws for a short period of time before uncrossing them as it stretches out. When you compare a car crossing its paws to a person crossing their legs (or even arms, as the case may be), it’s not so strange, right?
Why does my cat cross his paws when sleeping?
It is unusual for cats to cross their paws while asleep. This position is far more common in dogs. Canines assume this position to show that they are not a threat.
But what does it mean if you see your cat lying on his sides, legs stretched, paws crossed, and face buried between the paws? Do not assume that the cat is showing that he is not aggressive. This is not an invitation for you to touch him or give him a belly rub. Whether you own the cat or not, it is better to leave the cat alone, unless you want to deal with one angry cat.
Reasons your cat is folding its paws:
1. Your cat is feeling comfortable and relaxed
If your cat is folding, crossing, or crawling its front legs, it could indicate that she is in a relaxed position or that she is at ease. Cats stretch their front paws in the same way that humans stretch their bodies to feel comfortable and relaxed.
So, if your cat is relaxed and comfortable, she will fold her front paw. If the cat’s front paws are constantly folded in either case, it could indicate that she isn’t feeling well.
2. Your cat is preserving her body heat by folding her paws.
If its winter and your cat is cold, she’ll be more likely to conserve the heat her body has stored inside to some extent.
While some cats prefer to curl up their entire bodies to keep warm, others prefer to fold their paws in.
To put it to the test, take your cat to a cold location and watch her transform into a loaf. Cats in the folded position are super cute, in my opinion.
3. It’s a common habit of cats.
Last but not least, just as humans fold their hands and legs out of habit, cats fold their paws out of habit as well. These are the reasons why cats’ paws are folded, crossed, or curled.
4. The cat is alert
Dogs may keep their eyes scrolling here and there and their ears upright to enter the alert mode. But the cats denote their alertness differently. While a cat sitting folding its legs may appear relaxed and comfortable, it is alert and suspicious of its surroundings.
Try doing something suspicious around your cat while it is in a relaxed position to test it out. It will more likely get up and come closer to you to see what’s happening.
5. Our cat doesn’t want to get touched.
Yes, cats are human-friendly and seek attention, so this may go against their nature, but they may resist. Unknowingly, they may act like a touch-me-not plant and fold up into a loaf in order to avoid being touched.
Also, because cats are natural hunters who enjoy solitude, they may try to enter an isolated environment by folding their paws. As a result, never allow your children to touch a cat who is isolated or alert.
How to Help Cats Feel More Comfortable
Provide Private Spaces
When a cat is scared, it typically first attempts to flee from the perceived threat. As such, many first-time cat owners might feel upset when they notice their newly adopted kitten scrambling beneath the sofa upon arriving home.
But this behavior is normal and should never be punished. Offering your cat the chance to explore their environment and have secure hiding places can help them feel comfortable enough to venture out and get to know you. Never pursue or chase a cat that’s trying to hide, as it’ll only cause distrust and stress.
Reduce Household Noise
A quiet, clean home is preferable to a noisy, cluttered one for the average cat. If you play loud music all day, your cat may seek refuge in an out-of-reach or hidden location.
Reduced household noise is an excellent way to reduce stress and foster trust in your four-legged family member. It’s understandable that maintaining a low-noise environment isn’t always feasible. Nonetheless, attempting to maintain a quiet environment may have a significant influence on your cat’s attitude and behavior.
Be Patient and Affectionate
While a puppy might approach you easily, tail wagging and tongue lolling out, cats tend to be pickier about making friends. As such, gaining a cat’s trust often takes time. Remaining patient and showing affection whenever possible is an excellent way to encourage friendliness.
Offer Rewards Regularly
Positive reinforcement is the most effective method for encouraging desired behaviors while discouraging undesirable ones. This type of training works well for both cats and dogs. Offering cat treats or toys, for example, is a great way to engage a cat’s mind, keep them active, and show them that you care.
Cats cross their paws for a variety of reasons. Cats, as you may know, are graceful and elegant creatures, and it is amazing how classy they can be in a variety of situations. I hope we were able to address all of your concerns. If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments section below.