There is a rather interesting saying amongst pet owners.
“Dogs have masters and cats have slaves.”
You won’t realise the truth in this statement until you own a cat. They can love you and yet make you feel like you don’t exist.
Cats are also full of quaint and adorably weird behaviors that we can’t seem to explain. One of them would be your cat standing on your foot and staying there.
My kitty has the habit of doing it to me too.
He will walk over when he sees me, rub himself on my legs and proceed to stand on both my feet with his fluffy paws.
But why does my cat stand on my foot?
Is he trying to tell me something?
Let’s find out.
Why Does My Cat Stand On Me?
Your cat might stand on your foot for a couple of reasons. It could be trying to get your attention, showing affection, exerting its dominance over you or even because it likes the smell of your feet. Yucks.
Let’s go over each plausible reason in detail.
Your Cat Wants More Attention
Cats are known to be more independent than most pets. They don’t require as much attention as dogs and spend a large part of their day sleeping and grooming.
However, cats requiring less attention from their cat owners does not equate to not needing any attention at all.
Your kitty is still a living and breathing creature with emotions and you are your cat’s family. It needs to know that you still love and care for it every day.
Just spend a good 30 minutes a day grooming and playing with your cat. You can also just sit next to your cat on the couch and watch some TV.
There are some cat breeds like the Siamese, Bengal and Ragdoll that require more attention than your average cat.
If you have not been spending enough time with your cat of late, standing on your foot is your cat’s way of telling you to stop what you’re doing and get it some loving.
Your Cat Is Trying To Show You Affection
Cats are subtle creatures and blatant acts of showing affection aren’t really their cup of tea. You won’t find most cats running towards their owners and licking them all over the face like dogs.
Your cat will show their affection in less obvious ways like blinking at you, rubbing their head on your arm or even standing on your foot.
Studies have shown that cats do form an attachment and bond with their cat owners. Therefore it is a normal cat behavior for cats to show affection to their family members.
Furthermore, your feet are the most accessible part of you when you’re moving around the house or sitting down. This is why your cat will be attracted to this part first.
Do note that your feline friend might find the weirdest of times to stand or sit on your feet. Like when you are rushing to go out or sitting on the toilet bowl.
Take a minute or two to reciprocate your cat’s display of affection and let it know that you love your cat too.
Your Feet Feels Warm To Your Cat
There’s a reason why many cats prefer to be in a warmer part of the house. They have a higher resting core temperature compared to humans and can regulate their body temperature via their ears.
A cat’s resting temperature ranges between 100.4-102.5 F and humans range between 97-99F.
Therefore it is important for cats to try and maintain their body heat when they are feeling cold. If you have been walking around the whole day or you have been wearing your thick bunny slippers, your moving feet would have generated a lot of heat thus making it the warmest spot for your kitty at the moment.
Your cat is standing or sitting on your feet to soak in the warmth that is radiating from that body part to stay warm.
If it is during wintertime or during cold days, it would be good to try and keep your cat warm by laying out some blankets that your kitty can use to keep warm.
Your Cat Is Marking Its Territory
Smell is very important to cats and that is how they communicate and recognize each other. Cats have scent glands located in various parts of their bodies that allows them to mark their scent wherever they go.
When cats sit or stand on their owner’s feet, they might also be rubbing their faces on the person’s ankles or even knead the feet with their paws.
Cats have scent glands at the side of their faces and hidden in the cat’s paws. They do these to mark their scent on you claiming you as their rightful territory and to warn other cats that you belong to them.
How sweet is that!
Your Cat Might Be Feeling Afraid Or Stressed
Cats are very sensitive animals. Emotionally and also when it comes to being afraid and stressed. They have an acute sense of danger and are able to detect predators or anything that can be dangerous long before they even see it.
Their ears, whiskers and paw pads all help to detect audio and movement cues in the environment.
If your cat walks over and stands or is sitting on your feet, it could be sensing danger coming from outside the house and it wants to feel secure with you. Some cats are known to cling to their owners when feeling uneasy.
It could be another animal that your cat thinks might be a predator or another stray or feral cat roaming around the neighborhood.
Or you could be having guests over at your home and all the new sights, sounds and smells are starting to stress your cat out.
Try looking out for other body language signals that can show if your cat is feeling distressed.
- Ear pulled back against its head
- The fur on its tail and body all puffed up
- Tail is down and between its legs
- Meowing or yowling loudly
If your cat is exhibiting the following behaviors, it would be best to take your cat into another room where it is quiet and darker to let it calm down.
Your Cat Likes The Smell Of Your Feet
This may sound a little weird but the reason why your cat is hanging around your feet so much is because it likes the way it smells.
There are 250,000 sweat glands on our feet and we can sweat a large amount from that area.
It also depends on when does your cat walk over to stand or sit on your foot.
Does your cat do it when you are back and have just taken off your shoes? Or does it come to your feet when you are just moving about the house?
If it is the former, your cat might like the stronger smell of your feet after taking off your shoes. Our feet tend to sweat and smell after being covered by footwear for a few hours.
It might smell bad to you but to your cat, it could be regarding your feet as your ‘anal glands’.
Cats have a pair of anal glands that are situated just at the entrance of their anuses. And they use it to communicate and to recognize friend from foe.
Your cat might be attracted to your feet as the odor is sending out friendly vibes to your cat.
I don’t know about you but if my feet smell like ass when I take off my shoes, it is time to do something about that smell.
Why Does My Cat Rub His Face On My Feet?
Cats communicate with each other mainly by smell. When your cat is rubbing his face on your feet, it is rubbing its scent on your to claim you as its territory.
It has scent glands on its cheeks which is why this behaviour is very common amongst friendly cats.
Your cat is also trying to rub itself onto you to remember your scent signature.
Kittens and mother cats do this all the time. The kittens will knead their moms to leave their scent on her so that she is able to recognize them. While the mother cat will lick and groom them to leave her scent on her litter.
Why Does My Cat Attack My Feet?
Cats are predatory in nature and have a natural instinct to chase anything that resembles prey animals. This can be noticed when a person walks past your cat and it starts to stalk and chase the feet.
It doesn’t really pose that much of an issue if your cat is just being playful and funny. But it can quite the opposite if your cat exhibits aggressive behavior towards your feet that draws blood.
Such behavior needs to be stopped before it gets out of hand.
Whenever you notice your cat starting to get in its hunting mode with your feet, be quick to firmly tell your cat “no!” and redirect its attention to a scratching post or an interactive toy.
You can also use a spray water bottle to gently spray at your cat if it’s up to no good. It is important to not only stop the behavior but to let your cat release its stalking or hunting energy on something else that is preferably not human.
Allowing such energy to build in your cat can result in a rather bad incident if your cat decides to go ballistic on your feet one day.
Why Does My Cat Put His Back Paw On My Foot?
This is one behavior from my cat that I find to be weird and cute at the same time. When I’m sitting down on my couch, he will come over and rub himself over my feet before putting one of his back paws on my foot.
He can remain in that position for a minute or so and will usually meow and blink his eyes at me. It is understood that when a cat blinks at you, it means that your cat trusts and loves you.
I will always make it a point to blink back slowly at my cat to let him know that I love him too.
I can’t quite decipher exactly what my cat is trying to tell me but it seems similar to a loved one putting their hand on you and saying something sweet or loving to you.
My cat doesn’t do this action very often but when he does, it is very well cherished and appreciated by me.
Is It Normal For Cats To Sit At Your Feet?
Yes, it is pretty normal for cats to do that with the people that they trust. This can happen when you are sitting on the couch, lying on your bed or working at your desk.
It doesn’t mean that something is wrong, most of the time is your cat just wanting to be close to you.
Some will even sleep at your feet.
Just be careful to not step on your cat as it can cause some serious injury if you put your full weight on your cat.
Cats are amazing pets and creatures and never fail to surprise us with their actions and displays of affection. The next time your cat decides to come stand or sit on your foot, be happy that your cat wants to be near your and spend some quality time together.