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Cat Holding My Hand – What Does It Mean?

by Lucy

Isn’t it the best feeling in the world when your cat snuggles up close and reaches their paw out toward you? Most cats are far more affectionate than people seem to think, but no matter how much your cat likes to snuggle, holding hands with your fluffy friend never gets old.

When your cat loves you, they want to show you through some physical touch. However, it would be nice to know exactly what it means when your cat displays different human-like behaviors.

What does it mean when your cat holds your hand? If your cat holds your hand by putting their paw on your hand, it means they are showing affection to you and that they want your attention. If your cat does this, try to stop what you are doing and give them your attention.

While your cat will mostly hold your hand when they want to show you love or when they desire affection, there are other reasons they might do it. Read on to find out all the different reasons your cat might place their paw on your hand.

What It Means When A Cat Holds Your Hand

Most of the time, a cat will hold your hand to show that they love you or to ask you for attention and pets.

However, there are other times where a cat might grab your hand because they’re annoyed with something you have done, so it does help to look at all the different reasons to make sure you know why your cat is holding your hand and don’t end up on the wrong end of those claws!

1. Looking For Attention

The basic reason your cat might grip at your hand is because they are looking for attention from you. Physical touch is the easiest way to grab someone’s attention. That’s the reason we humans tap each other on the shoulder, right?

This attention they’re seeking could be in the form of you stroking them, playing with them, giving them a cuddle, or even giving them a treat! It could also be that they just want to be close to you – so make the most of it!

2. Showing Comfort

If your cat holds your hand, and sometimes even kneads it like you are a ball of dough, it shows that they feel extremely comfortable with you, and this is their way to express how calm and happy they feel when around you.

Kittens knead at their mothers when they nurse, so it is a natural response they have when they feel warm and comforted.

You don’t need to do much when they are doing this, as they are just enjoying being in your presence and the peace or sense of protection that it gives them.

3. They Are Annoyed

In a not-so-loving way, your cat might place their paw on your hand to show you that they are annoyed with you. You could be doing something that has irritated them and they want you to stop, or they might be annoyed that they have not been fed yet.

You should be able to tell quite easily if they are placing their hand on you because they are annoyed, as there would be other signs that go along with it as well, such as pushing your hand away, hissing, folding their ears back, or swishing their tail.

4. Showing You Affection

Your cat might not be looking for anything from you when placing their paw on your hand. It could just be that they want to show you their affection for you, through a simple touch. 

They want to keep in contact with you in some way, and you might be busy or preoccupied and not able to stroke or love them, but they still want to show you that they love you. It is just their little way of conveying their feelings to you!

5. Security

Holding your hand might just be your cat enjoying the security they feel when they are with you. They would feel safe in your presence, and to just be reassured of this, they would want physical touch with you.

It is important to remember that cats are unpredictable – so your cat might hold your hand to feel the security that you provide, or they might consider themselves to be the protector, and they feel as though they are giving you security by holding your hand. They could take on the role of your defender, and are showing that they are protecting you.

6. They Are Lonely

Your cat might be feeling lonely. You could be working more or be busy with other things, and have not been able to spend as much time with them as you would have hoped. They definitely feel this, and would not feel like they have had enough attention.

To show you this, they could put their paw onto your hand to let you know that they are feeling lonely and that they are craving your attention.

If this is the case, and you know that you have not given your cat enough attention, then try to stop what you are doing and make some time for them. Cats can be very sensitive, and you don’t want them to become lonely and feel down.

What If My Cat Grabs My Hand And Bites Me?

Cats still have some of their natural instincts hidden away, and these can pop out every now and then! 

If your cat grabs your hand and bites you (even if very gently) it could be them practicing their hunting skills. This probably isn’t their way of showing you that they want love or affection, but they are just playing around and practicing their pouncing.

While they are not doing this to hurt you, it can actually be painful, and there are other ways that you can get them to practice their hunting and pouncing skills without you gaining some bite marks in the process.

One way to prevent this from happening is to play with your cat for up to 45 minutes a day. This playtime can be broken up into smaller intervals throughout the day. Playing with your cat helps them feel stimulated and helps them to get out all that extra energy too.

You should also provide your cat with some toys to keep them busy so that they don’t see your hand as the only option to pounce on and bite (this one’s my favorite)!

It is actually a good idea to distract your kitten from playing with your hand, as this could cause behavioral issues later on in life when they are older. You would not want a grown cat biting down on your hand – which will be a lot more painful than a little kitten.

Toys and playtime throughout the day can help distract them from going for your hand, and will hopefully stop this bad behavior from becoming worse.

What Does It Mean If My Cat Holds My Hand And Licks It?

If your cat holds your hand and licks it, it shows that they are extremely comfortable with you. They are treating you like they would another cat that they feel comfortable with.

This is also a way for them to communicate with you. Licking you while holding your hand could show that they are feeling upset, and are trying to tell you this. Try to pay attention to the rest of their body language to try and pick up if there are any obvious problems.

Licking you might also be a grooming routine, and they are just following natural instincts to help groom members of their family.

What If My Cat Holds My Hand When Sleeping?

Your cat might reach out and hold your hand as they fall asleep or while they are sleeping, and you might not want to move and wake them up.

When your cat holds your hand while they sleep, it shows that they want to have close contact with you, and they feel comfortable and safe when in your company. It would be just like cuddling someone you love – they love the affection and physical touch as they sleep.

Cat Holding My Hand – What It Means

Most of the time, your cat holding your hand shows that they love you and want affection back. They could also be letting you know that they are craving a bit of attention, and as your cat probably rules your house, you should stop what you are doing and oblige!

There are also situations where your cat might hold your hand out of irritation – so make sure to look at other body language and signs to pick up what the reason might be!

Related Questions

Why is my cat holding my hand down?

Your cat might be holding your hand down to stop you from irritating them. They might not want to be pet or cuddled, and you might not have picked up on these hints and carried on.

If your cat holds your hand down, leave them alone and give them some space.

Why does my cat stretch when they see me?

Your cat might stretch when they see you as a greeting. However, it could also be how they stretch towards you to sniff you. Either way, both show that your cat is happy to see you, and is welcoming you back home!

Up Next: Why Is My Cat So Affectionate In The Morning?

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