Why Do Cats Slap? Will They Randomly Hit You? (2023)

While your cat may not be as obnoxious as you previously believed, it is still a huge attention seeker. Cats with a proclivity for pushing items off surfaces may be taking advantage of your instinct to flee as soon as it happens.

Swatting directly at you probably gets your complete attention, too—a tendency that your cunning pet is well aware of.

When your cat slaps at anything new with his front paw, it implies he’s trying to examine it, starting with a short punch. Your curious pet will keep smacking the thing until he figures out what it is, whether it is alive or dead, a menace or a treat.

Pay attention to the other actions if you’re not sure if a fun romp or a violent conflict is taking place. Let’s take a closer look at what slapping implies to cats.

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Why Do Cats Like Slapping?

Cats like to slap each other when they’re playing or protecting themselves. Slapping is a mildly violent action that indicates the cat is afraid. Slapping is another way cats demonstrate their authority.

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On the other side, slaps might be less pleasant and more violent at times. Cats are fast to protect themselves, and if they feel threatened, their instincts kick in and their claws come out.

Pay attention to the other actions if you’re not sure if a fun romp or a violent conflict is taking place. Let’s take a closer look at what slapping implies to cats.

You can observe that cats are not aggressive when they swat each other while playing. There are no claws stretched out, and there is no hissing or shrieking.

When one cat asserts dominance over another, the other kitty may be slapped. While it may appear that your cats are on the same social level, the fact is that one will be dominating and the other will be submissive.

(Video) Why Do Cats Slap? Will They Randomly Hit You?

This isn’t always a negative thing. Outright hostility, on the other hand, should not be tolerated.

It’s also conceivable that your pets are fighting and swatting each other. You’ll notice that your two cats’ body language differs dramatically in this circumstance. While their claws are dragged out, the ears are pushed back close to the skull. You’ll hear your cats hissing at each other as well.

You must act quickly before things spiral out of control. But getting between two fighting cats is the last thing you want to do. Instead, you must divert their attention by creating a loud noise, such as clapping your hands.

More significantly, it is critical to provide your feline pals with a tranquil and pleasant atmosphere. You may accomplish this in a variety of ways, including adding perches, setting up several food stations, and purchasing adequate litter boxes for your pets.

Also, check out why does my cat hit me with her tail

Why Do Cats Slap Things?

If your cat slaps anything, he’s most likely examining it, especially if it’s something new to him. His paws are the ideal instrument for inspecting new items.

If your cat, on the other hand, has developed the habit of knocking items off tables and shelves, you have a cat that is starving for attention.

The majority of people believe that cat paws are only used for walking. Cats, on the other hand, rely on their paws for a variety of purposes. This involves learning about the world around them.

Cats aren’t the only ones that like to slap stuff about. Other animals, such as dogs, have been observed doing similarly when confronted with something unexpected. Cats, being creatures of habit, are averse to trying new things.

However, their aversion to new things is frequently overshadowed by their natural curiosity.

When your cat pokes a new thing with his front paw, it implies he’s attempting to learn more about it, starting with a short jab. Your curious pet will keep smacking the thing until he figures out what it is, whether it is alive or dead, a menace or a treat.

Cats will also smack items that they enjoy playing with, whether or not they are toys. That tendency may be traced back to their forefathers’ hunting habits.

If you witness a cat catching a mouse, he will chase it about and then swat it to test if it is still alive or not. The cat will either eat or leave the mouse if it is dead.

Most cats dislike having their paws stroked or massaged for a reason: their adorable tiny paws are extremely sensitive. There are numerous sensors in each paw that help in hunting and balance.

In addition, the cat’s paw sensors allow him to learn about items and his environment. When a cat paws at anything, he can detect its texture as well as other life signs such as vibrations and pressure. When he’s hunting or even toying with his victim, those come in useful.

However, his paws’ sensitivity might be a problem for your cat. Although the pads on his paws provide some protection from the environment, temperature extremes can harm and destroy them.

You might also like to read about why do cats like the base of their tail scratched

Why Do Cats Slap Things Off Tables And Shelves?

Cats frequently slap objects off tables and shelves in order to attract the attention of their owners. Perhaps your cat does this to satisfy his hunger or simply to spend more time with you.

One of the first things you should do to prevent this habit is to cease placing items on the table or shelf that will draw your cat’s interest.

Deterrents that prohibit your cat from leaping onto your table or shelves are another wonderful technique to discourage your cat from doing this.

After knocking objects off a table or shelf, you should avoid giving your cat the attention he craves. If you give in to your cat’s requests, he will learn that hitting items results in treats.

Instead of giving in and lavishing love on your pet, walk out of the room and avoid engaging with it.

Why Do Cats Slap Each Other?

When a cat slaps another cat, it’s usually because he wants to play or fight. There is no hostility shown when cats whack each other while playing. The claws are not pulled out, and there is no hissing or screaming.

If your slap-happy kitten is in a playful mood, she’ll seek out a companion and try to initiate fun. Playing is a fantastic way for cats to get some exercise, let off steam, and interacts with one another.

So, if things appear to be more or less cooperative between the two, let them have their fun.

When a cat slaps another cat, it’s usually more of a battle; it might also be a matter of dominance. Cats are motivated by instinct, so be prepared for slaps if they feel the need to assert their dominance over a fellow feline.

(Video) Why a "Cat Slap" Can Be A Good Thing

If at all possible, try to discourage this behavior; it can escalate to bullying and animosity inside the home.

Because cats are inherently motivated, even the closest of buddies may have a disagreement. If one of them did anything that the other saw as a threat, greatest friends might quickly become worst foes.

Do Cats Slap With Claws?

Cats usually slap without using their claws and use their paws to swat on objects.

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Cats have delicate paws, and they like to smack objects about to see what they’re made of. This is what they do with their prey as well.

Cats do the same thing to grab our attention by knocking objects down. Put any costly or breakable items out of reach of paws as well.

Play aggressiveness and status-related aggression are the two primary reasons why cats may act aggressively against people.

When cats are playing, they frequently assault their owners. Without malice, they’ll scratch or bite you. Even yet, their keen fangs and claws are no match for our delicate skin.

On a lighter side, your cat may swat you in a playful gesture as you go by. To put it another way, your cat is playing a practical joke on you by pouncing as you go by.

This is something that many playful and energetic cat breeds do to their owners. It’s typically safe and simply a kitty’s way of initiating fun.

When your cat is lonely or bored, he may come up to you and try to get your attention by meowing or stroking you with his paw. If he’s nervous, he could only want to be stroked, or he might want you to play with him.

Why Do Cats Slap You?

Your cat will slap you when they try to communicate with you or demand something from you.

Cats use a number of methods to communicate. And using their paws is one of the ways they try to communicate with their people. A slap can imply a variety of things.

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1. Stop It!

Petting your cat is a wonderful method to strengthen your relationship. If you’re lucky, your cat could love getting belly rubs from you as well.

Petting your cat, on the other hand, might lead to overstimulation. Your cat will reach a point where he has had enough stimulation and wishes to end the petting session, even if it is not always obvious.

When he gets to that stage, he might smack your hand, signaling the end of the session. If you continue to give your cat pets, the situation might quickly evolve into full-fledged hostility.

You’ll eventually learn to read your cat’s body language, which will indicate when your kitty has had enough petting for the day.

2. Kitty Wants Food!

Apart from meowing, your cat may try to get your attention by tapping you lightly with his paws.

Perhaps he’s hungry, and you’ve neglected to replenish his food dish by accident. Maybe he just wants to eat some more.

Cat owners should avoid responding to this behavior, according to feline behaviorists, because this teaches a feline that he receives what he wants every time he does this motion.

Stick to your cat’s feeding schedule instead. This will teach him to eat on a set schedule in addition to helping him maintain a healthy weight.

3. Needs Playtime

It’s also conceivable that your cat is swatting you in order to play with you. Cats, despite their reputation as solitary creatures, seek human attention and affection.

Exercise and playtime are essential for the mental and physical well-being of cats. Exercise and play stimulate a cat’s brain and provide an appropriate outlet for his impulses, in addition to keeping him fit.

(Video) The Most Epic Cat Slap Ever! - RxCKSTxR Comedy Voiceover

When a cat is bored, he’s more prone to do things like scratch your furniture.

4. Demands Full Attention

Pheromones are used by cats to claim items and places. Some may even try to do the same thing to their owners.

Chemicals generated by sweat glands, some of which are located in the paws, are known as pheromones.

Swat your cat if he grows attracted to you and wants to leave his smell on you. This is his method of claiming you as his own property.

Why Do Cats Slap You In The Face?

Your cat isn’t attempting to injure you when he slaps you across the face. Most of the time, there is no hatred behind the behavior. He’s only attempting to gain your attention.

It’s possible that your face is merely within his grasp. Or perhaps you are sleeping and he believes that giving you a gentle touch on the face would wake you up and obtain your instant attention.

Why Do Cats Slap Kittens?

When the little kitten does anything undesirable, your adult cat may hiss and slap at it. This is totally natural, and you should try not to intervene as long as it’s simply hissing and swatting.

Hormonal changes are partly to blame for behavioral issues in mothers. If a mother cat is threatened by other cats, humans, loud noises, or other stressful conditions, she may abandon her kittens or become violent against them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to slap a cat?

Physically controlling a cat would damage your relationship with her. Cats are already intolerant of human kinds of punishment. Never strike, shake, or holds your cat down. Physically hurting your cat can just exacerbate the problem, causing her to lash out or retreat.

Why do cats randomly hit you?

Misguided play, a show of dominance, fear, or a medical condition are all possibilities for why cats suddenly attack their people. The good news is that the problem can generally be resolved with time and patience.

Why do cats randomly slap dogs?

When your cat slaps your dog, it might be interpreted as a display of supremacy. Your cat is likely to be overwhelmed when he or she encounters your puppy. They generally examine the other pets in the house to prevent this. That is, without a doubt, how your cat feels about your dog.

Final Words

It’s very natural for a cat to slap. Cats are lively creatures who like swatting at their companions, toys, and owners. Slapping can also be a natural technique for them to defend themselves against what they perceive to be a threat. Fear triggers the feline instinct, and cats react fast.

Drop your questions in the comments section below!


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Abigail Clarke

Writer, Author & Mommy of 3 furr babies

Writer and Mommy of 3 furr babies:
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(Video) Cats Who Slap! (A compilation)


Why do cats randomly slap? ›

Initiating Playtime

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.

Why does my cat suddenly hit me? ›

There are many possible reasons why cats suddenly attack their owners including misguided play, a show of dominance, fear, or a medical issue. The good news is that, with time and patience, the issue can usually be corrected.

What does it mean when your cat swats at you? ›

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.

Why does my cat gently slap me? ›

It's classic play behavior. Your cat is bored and decided to practice hunting - with you as the prey. If there was a second cat, it would use that as the prey. Unless the cat uses it's claws, it's all in good fun and you can probably make it stop by playing more with it or getting a second cat.

Why do cats swat at your hand? ›

Play. Swatting is a predatory behavior that's often shown while playing — especially with toys. Kittens are usually rougher when swatting because older cats know how to hide their claws. If you use your hands while playing with your cats, they may think of them as toys.

Why do cats grab and kick you? ›

Your furry friend will wrap their front two legs around the intended target (say, for instance, your arm) and, like a little thumper, will kick at the target with their hind legs. Cats typically perform this bunny-kick move when engaging in aggressive play or when they're attacking their prey (i.e., your arm).


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