Our cats are 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.
My cat will walk over when he sees me and proceed to stand on both my feet with his fluffy paws.
But why do our cats like standing on our feet?
Your cat stands on your foot to seek attention, show affection, exert dominance, or because it’s drawn to the scent of your feet. It’s a mix of affection and instinctual behavior.
Diving into the ‘why’ behind your cat’s actions can unlock a deeper connection.
Ready to step into the mind of your feline?
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.
Cats are capable of spending up to 5 hours a day grooming themselves!
However, cats requiring less attention from their cat owners do 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 normal cat behavior for cats to show affection towards 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 body 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’ve walked all day or worn thick slippers, your warm feet become an inviting spot for your cat.
The feet play a pivotal role in maintaining our body’s temperature.
This is due to their extensive surface area and unique blood vessels that can carry large amounts of blood, enabling rapid heat dissipation when needed.
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 Might Be Feeling Afraid Or Stressed
Cats are very sensitive animals and can become afraid or stressed very quickly.
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 Is Trying To Get Your Attention
Cats have their unique ways of demanding attention.
When your cat stands on your foot, it could be its quirky way of saying, “Hey, clean my litter box!” or “I need food!”
If standing on your foot in the past has caused you to give it a treat, or a gentle pat, it will remember this and might repeat the action.
Cats are observant creatures and they quickly learn what behaviors get them the desired reaction.
I’ve lost count of the number of times that my chonky cat will plonk itself down on my keyboard while I’m typing just for some pets.
The next time your cat stands on your foot, take a moment to acknowledge it.
It might just be a reminder that it values your bond and wants a piece of your attention (or food).
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 allow 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 kneading the feet with their paws.
Cats have scent glands at the side of their faces and hidden in the cat’s paws.
Your cat likes to mark its 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 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.
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.
Your Cat Is Protecting You
Our cats view us as their guardians against potential threats and often seek safety and comfort by staying near us.
In your cat’s mind, it will feel vulnerable when it’s eating, drinking or using the litter box. This is due to its attention being diverted to something else.
There are some cats that prefer having someone with them while eating to avoid the stress of constantly being on alert.
Your cat might be sitting on your feet to protect you while you are engrossed in doing an activity such as washing the dishes.
Is It Normal For Cats To Sit At Your Feet?
Yes, it is pretty normal for cats to do that with 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 your cat just wants to be close to you.
Some will even sleep at your feet.
Just be careful to not accidentally step on your cat as that can cause some serious injury if you put your full weight on your cat.
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.
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 be 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 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 you 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.
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 you and spend some quality time together.