Why Do Cats Slap or Hit You, Other Animals, and Things? - AnimalFate (2023)

The reason why cats slap or hit you or other animals is that they might feel over-stimulated. It happens when you pet them too much, and this is their only way to make you stop. The other reason might be that they just want to play with you.

If you happen to live with a cat for a while, you will notice that their behaviors are relatively easy to understand.

However, while you have trained it for quite some time to behave, it will still do things that will make you wonder.

Like any other pet, the actions of our feline pals are sometimes quite puzzling.

For this reason, I’m sharing with you what your cat may do, based on what I have experienced.


  • 1 Why do cats hit you?
  • 2 Why does my cat swat at me?
  • 3 Why does my cat slap me in the face?
  • 4 Why do cats hit with their paw?
  • 5 Why does my cat hit me when I walk by?
  • 6 Why do cats hit each other on the head?
  • 7 Why do cats swat at each other?
  • 8 Why does my cat slap my dog?
  • 9 Summary
  • 10 Resources

Why do cats hit you?

There are many reasons why a cat may hit you. Still, one of the most frequent instances that it may happen is when you are petting it.

When your kitty hits you, it means they are not sure how to react with you.

As a feline, our kitties tend to love attention, but at the same time, they also fear it.

Most kitties tend to love petting, especially in the beginning. Once they feel that it’s taking too long, they eventually try to break free by scratching or hitting.

Don’t worry, though. If you think your pet is hitting you because it wants to hurt you, it’s not true.

Our felines won’t have any intention of hurting us. It’s just their response from the emotions they feel.

If, in the middle of petting, your pet hits you, set it free, and let it roam. It’ll get back to you once it wants your attention again.

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Why does my cat swat at me?

By nature, felines are prone to get overstimulated. Such an instance may be the reason why your cat swats its paws at you.

At the same time, your pet still wants more of your attention and care.

If you’re petting your kitty when it swats at you, it might mean that your pet wants you to stop. At the same time, your kitty might be wanting to say that it doesn’t like your petting action.

However, if you are already familiar with your kitty and know how to pet it, you may wonder why it suddenly swats at you.

In such cases, your pet might be suffering from an injury or similar conditions.

If you think something is wrong with your pet, it would be best to call a vet for advice.

Why does my cat slap me in the face?

If your cat slaps you in the face, it doesn’t mean your pet wants to harm you.

Again, as I said earlier, felines don’t wish any harm, especially to their owners.

If your kitty reaches your face, it means that it’s too close to you, and you’re petting it.

At the same time, you may be sleeping as it suddenly gets you in the face.

If you’re petting your kitty, it may mean that it’s craving more of your attention, or it’s just your kitty’s way to play.

On the other hand, if you’re sleeping and your pet slaps you in the face, it may mean that it’s asking for food.

Whatever the reason is, make it sure to respond to the gentlest way you can.

Sometimes, such an act can be surprising. As a result, you may end up hitting your kitty (as I did). In any case, try your best to be gentle or to avoid hurting your pet.

If you want to read more about cats and their obsession with your face, you can do so here.

(Video) How to tell if a cat is playing or fighting.

Why do cats hit with their paw?

Why Do Cats Slap or Hit You, Other Animals, and Things? - AnimalFate (1)

Cats use their paws for many reasons, and one of these is to express what they want.

The primary reasons why kitties hit with their paw are the following:

It’s seeking attention

If you are becoming busy, and after some time, your pet eventually starts to hit you as you pass by, it might be seeking attention.

Felines love attention, and they’ll do anything for it. These felines even find shouting as a gesture of attention.

For this reason, you should spare a little moment to play with your pet.

It’s hungry

Unlike their wild counterparts who would hunt, your cat will turn to you if it’s hungry.

Domestic felines may chase insects, but it won’t fill their tummies. Since they are used to people feeding them, your pet may hit you.

Such an act means your pet wants you to give it some food to eat.

My advice for you is to refrain from feeding your cat after it hit you. Feeding your pet will only make it think that it’s an effective way to get food.

Eventually, it’ll hurt you regularly to get some food. Wait for some moment before giving your pet some food.

It’s doing some scent marking

Cats tend to communicate more through what we call pheromones. It is a chemical they produce in their scent glands, and they use it to mark what they think they own.

(Video) 14 Signs Your Cat Hates You

You’re primarily one of these things in the eyes of your pet.

The bottom of your pet’s feet contains scent glands. Such glands which will leave pheromones on you once your pet touches you.

By doing so, your pet’s scent attaches to you. As a result, you become a comfortable place for your pet.

Do you want to know if your cat can sleep with you while you’re pregnant? Read more here.

Why does my cat hit me when I walk by?

When your cat hits you when you walk by, it’s seeking your attention.

While some pets behave well, others can be quite aggressive. Your pet is one of the latter if it hits you every time you pass by.

Playful felines are the ones that have an active hunting instinct. Despite their domesticity, they still have wildness in them.

Such an instinct comes from a long line of their family before they get to become pets.

When you’re not paying enough attention to your pet, and when it’s alone, such an attitude is an obvious result.

If your pet gets aggressive every time, you can do something by making it busy every time.

Give it a toy or get another pet for it to interact. Still, the best thing you can do is spare some time to play with it.

Why do cats hit each other on the head?

Cats see fellow cats as something they can play with all the time without holding back.

Your feline pet may display different behavior with other pets. However, with a fellow kitty, hitting and aggressively attacking is their way of playing.

Felines are playful by nature, and they can go overboard with their play, especially to the ones they consider friends.

If you see your pets hitting each other, don’t intervene and let them be. Both of your pets will learn to stop after some time.

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If you think they’ll likely get hurt, they won’t. Although a cat play looks quite intense, your pets will know how to defend themselves to avoid injuries.

Trust me, the last thing you’ll want to do is intervene in a play between two felines.

Why do cats swat at each other?

Aside from hitting on the head, cats do swat at each other, and they do it all the time.

Felines swat their paws at each other. They do this not only to play but also to defend themselves from what they think is dangerous.

As I said earlier, they are playful animals, and slapping is just one way to show it.

Felines are born hunters, and they tend to play with any animal fearlessly. At the same time, they can quickly react to each movement.

As a result, any prolonged play can become quite intense.

If you see a kitty play becoming more intense than usual, break it up by getting your pets’ attention.

Why does my cat slap my dog?

Cat’s don’t choose their playmates. As such, they can have their play even with your dog.

When you’re kitty slaps your dog, it might be their gesture to assert their dominance.

It’s likely that upon seeing your dog, the cat might feel a little overpowered.

To avoid such, they tend to size up their fellow pets in the house. That’s likely how your kitty is reacting to your dog.

If your dog behaves well, it won’t get messy. Still, it’s essential to keep an eye out for your pets to avoid unwanted incidents from happening.

RelatedWhy does my cat rub against my dog?


Cats are fascinating pets, and with their random actions, they can be quite surprising for us.

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Although it may lead to confusion and the actions tend to leave us puzzled, it’s still quite exciting.

Think of these actions as something to spice up your relationship with your pet, and do your best to deal with it.


Image credits – Photos by Jonas Vincent and Humberto Arellano on Unsplash


Why do cats slap other animals? ›

It's a form of play cats do that looks like torturing their live prey before killing and eating it. This too, is a their natural hunting behavior. If it were a mouse, batting it would cause it to run, ands cats love to chase their prey. Slapping or batting live prey proves it is still alive and worthy of the chase.

Why do cats slap other cats for no reason? ›

Playful, energetic cats may slap each other as in invitation to play. Cats that are inviting play by slapping will have body language fitting a playful cat. Their whiskers will be forward and their attention given to the situation at hand. Their claws will be retracted for the slap so as not to hurt the other cat.

Why do cats swat at objects? ›

Generally, cats swat things out of curiosity, play, and instincts to hunt and climb.

What does it mean when a cat slaps you? ›

They may be mad at you, giving you a love tap, trying to get your attention, or trying to get you to play with them, or need more exercise. Or they may be disciplining you for not cleaning their litter box quick enough, or feed/water them. Or they may just be an a$$hole. Remember, they are not your cat.

Why does my cat hit everything? ›

It's Instinct

As predators, cats are hardwired to be attracted to things that dart past their line of sight. It's instinctual: Fast-moving objects are potentially something to chase, catch, and eat. The simple act of pushing or batting items off counters and desks plays to this instinct.

Why do cats like to punch things? ›

Knocking Things Over

Cats have sensitive paws and like to swat things around to check them out. This is something they do with their prey too. Cats also knock things down to get our attention. It is best to ignore your cat when they are engaging in this activity, or you might reinforce the behavior.

Why do cats cuddle and then fight? ›

Overstimulation. When a cat feels it's being pet or groomed for too long, they gradually become overstimulated. All the energy that has been built up needs to go somewhere, so after one cat bites the other, a fight often ensues. Since cats only groom people and fellow cats they like, it will rarely be a real fight.

Do cats feel jealous of other cats? ›

Jealousy over the presence of another cat is very common.

Why do cats push against things? ›

"Cats have sweat glands in their paws, so kneading marks their territory, spreads pheromones, sharpens and cleans their claws, and expresses affection, relaxation, and satisfaction," says Dr. Chinonyerem Ukweni, pet owner, animal lover, and veterinarian with Pet Parking.

Is it normal for cats to swat? ›

It's common for kittens and young cats to engage in rough, active play because all feline play consists of mock aggression. Cats stalk, chase, sneak, pounce, swat, kick, scratch, ambush, attack and bite each other—all in good fun. If they're playing, it's reciprocal.

How do I train my cat not to knock things over? ›

Schedule daily playtime.

Many cats will knock over things simply because they're understimulated and bored. Making sure you spend some quality time playing with your cat every day. This may also curb its desire to knock over your things. Play with your pet at regular and spontaneous times of the day.

What to do when cat slaps? ›

It is important to change unwanted behavior fast. If your cat finds that this unwanted behavior will get your attention then she will continue to do this. You need to take the cat and put her on the floor and then IGNORE HER EVERY TIME SHE DOES THIS. Also, your friends and family have to help you in this.

Do cats respond to smacking? ›

Cats cannot be physically forced or manipulated to do what you want and they do not respond to punishment. Here are some tips on teaching your cat without punishment. Never smack or swat at cats, yell at them, shake them, or rub their nose in their urine or faeces if they toilet inappropriately.

How do you tell if a cat is being hit? ›

Signs of Animal Abuse
  1. Tucked tail, flinches at human contact.
  2. Unexplained fractures or limping.
  3. Unprovoked aggression, whining, or whimpering.
  4. Overly submissive (rolling onto back, tail tucked, urinating)
  5. Suddenly avoiding any physical contact.
  6. Attempts to bite or scratch when petted.
Sep 6, 2018

Why do cats slap bigger animals? ›

Using their paws as their primary means of investigating the world, cats will slap at things to make sure it's a threat or not. They'll keep going until they figure out what it is they're slapping–which is why they might go at it for a while.

Why do cats swat at you when you pet them? ›

When cats display aggression when touched or petted, it can stem from many different motivations. The most common include: Fear/defense: A fearful cat may exhibit dilated pupils, ears turning back, or a twitching tail. In this situation, your cat may growl, hiss or swat at the person reaching, touching or petting.


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