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9 Reasons Why Do Cats Cross Their Paws

9 Reasons Why Do Cats Cross Their Paws

Observing your cat’s body language guarantees you’ll always learn something new.

There are just so many interesting and even hilarious things your cat certainly does. For instance, flopping down in front of you when you come home. Or, climbing on the highest possible shelf in your household to get the best view.

Some cats are so skillful that they can even flush the toilet, open the door, and so on. Even some of their sleeping and sitting positions can be mysterious and make you wonder: What is this supposed to signify?

You may not have paid so much attention to your feline friend’s paws in terms of reading its body language. Well, their position can also reveal something about your cat’s mood. On some occasions, you could notice your kitty crossing their paws.

This is an adorable position for sure, but, why do cats cross their paws?

There are a couple of good explanations for this behavior, as with everything else related to our favorite pets.

Let’s look at the nine common reasons for your cat having its paws in this position.

1. Comfort

cat with crossed paws

A cat crossing its paws in most cases is a cat that’s perfectly comfortable.

This position suits it and helps it remove the pressure from the elbows. You’ll likely notice this paw posture when you’re near your cat, spending some relaxed time together.

Some cats also like to fold their paws as a sign of comfort. They just love to feel comfortable above all and are, indeed, just leaving their best life.

Just look at this fully contented kitty, crossing its paws and enjoying it!

2. Relaxation

Is there a cat that doesn’t like to just nap and lounge around? I don’t think so.

Despite most of them enjoying activities like jumping, running, and climbing, a nice relaxation is something every cat appreciates.

If you see your cat crossing its paws, this could be its way of relaxing. It just feels cozy, and its paws can even be a form of a pillow where it will put its chin on.

Some cats can get so relaxed in this position they might sleep a little bit!

3. Trust

gray cat with crossed paws

Cats in general can seem aloof and reserved around people. This is especially true when they’re in the company of strangers.

However, once a cat gets used to its people, chances are that it will become eternally loyal to them. 

When you see your cat crossing its paw in front of you, this is likely a sign that it trusts you entirely. Crossed paws indicate that a cat feels completely at ease. There are no threats in its surroundings and no need for it to be alert.

This can be interpreted as your cat doesn’t feel the urge to defend itself in any manner. Therefore, it perceives its surroundings as completely safe. Your cat’s guard is down!

Base Paws explains how there are some additional signs your cat trusts you, such as:

• Purring and meowing as expressions of affection in your presence

• Rolling over to expose their belly

• Grooming you

• Lets you pick them up and cuddle them

4. Mimicking Other Cats

Paws crossing could be a behavior your cat sees from other cats in its surroundings. Therefore, it might be mimicking some other felines.

Cats learn a lot from each other from the moment they are born. They learn about grooming from their mothers. They understand how to play by interacting with their littermates.

Socialization with other felines is essential for every cat. 

If you have another cat in your household, especially a senior cat, it’s likely that your younger cat will pick up some of its behaviors.

Also, it’s likely that kittens will cross their paws as a way of mimicking their mothers’ behavior.

5. Attention Seeking

kitten with crossed paws

There are numerous ways for your cat to communicate its desire for your attention. 

For instance, it could walk in front of you, lick you, bother you in your other activities, and so on. Additionally, a cat crossing its paws in your direction may also be demanding your attention.

This is really funny, since it makes it look like your cat is watching you and warning you to pay attention to it!

Your cat wanting you to focus on it could be about many things. Maybe it wants food or water. Maybe it needs to get a nice view of the outside world.

Perhaps your cat is bored and just wants your company. Always remember to dedicate at least 15 minutes a day to playing and cuddling with your feline friend. This is essential for your relationship and your cat’s socialization.

6. Keeping Themselves Warm

I believe you’ve noticed just how much cats like to be warm. I see mine mostly lounged near the window to get sunlight, or near the fireplace during the winter season.

Seeing your cat crossing its paw could be its attempt to fight against the cold. This way, it’s keeping its extremities warm.

According to Our Cats’ World, cats are always seeking warmth because they’re descended from desert animals. This means that warmth is in their nature, and that, despite their furs, felines just like to be close to anything that keeps them warm.

Some of them could enjoy warmth so much that you’ll need to be careful with having them near radiators and similar heat sources.

7. Grooming

orange cat with crossed paws

All cats are crazy about grooming and are very successful at this. There are a few exceptions here, such as when a cat gets fat or develops a condition like arthritis.

You’ll probably see your cat licking its own fur many times a day. You could also see it crossing its paws while doing this.

This way, your cat is using its paws to access areas that are harder to reach, such as its face. Therefore, in this case, crossing their paws is just a part of cats’ grooming routine.

8. Alertness

Although crossing paws is most commonly a sign of relaxation in cats, it could also be an indication they’re alert.

This position is mostly seen in cats that are allowed to go outside. You could see your cat crossing its paws while chilling in your backyard.

It’s enjoying itself and soaking up the sun, but, at the same time, it’s alert and ready to react if necessary. Every cat knows that caution is never out of the question, since they are both prey and predator at the same time.

Additionally, a cat could be simply paying attention to external sounds, like passing cars or barking dogs, which can trigger their alertness.

9. Health Reasons

fat cat on chair

This cause isn’t so common, but it’s very important for all cat owners to take it into consideration.

If you notice your cat suddenly crossing its paws all the time, this could be a sign that it’s feeling unwell.

For example, your cat may have a sore paw. By crossing them, it could be attempting to protect them from further injuries. Felines don’t like their paws touched, so you’re likely to have a hard time trying to check them on your own.

In case this behavior continues and your cat shows other signs of distress, you should take it to a veterinarian.

Another possibility is that a cat has joint pain or arthritis. These conditions can make a cat less active and unable to jump and climb as it used to.

A hurting cat may cross its paws in an attempt to find relief for the pain in its joints. Many senior cats suffer from joint pain or arthritis.

If you notice other symptoms, such as reluctance to climb stairs, decreased activity level, and hiding behavior, it’s time to reach out to a veterinarian.

Final Words

Crossing their paws is undeniably an adorable position you might catch your cat in, and chances are you probably haven’t thought much about it.

However, this simple behavior can indicate many things. In most cases, it will show that your cat is content and fully relaxed.

This means you’re doing great and your feline friend is completely at ease in your home! Also, crossed paws could be a part of your cat’s grooming routine, or a way to keep itself warm.

Some cats cross their paws to show their owners they want their attention. Another possibility is an alert cat that’s observant in every situation. 

Finally, crossed paws could even be an indicator your cat is feeling unwell. Usually, you’ll also notice other symptoms in this case.

A cat crossing its paws is super cute, without a doubt. In most cases, this is just something that will put a smile on your face when you see it!

However, always observe your pet carefully. If this seems to be the only position your cat prefers lately, it’s best to ask a vet for advice.