Why Does My Cat Swat At Me When I Walk By? 4 Reasons Why

Cats have a distinctive way of showing their emotions, they can be affectionate and cuddly when they’re happy, but they can also be temperamental and swat at you when they’re upset. If you find that your cat frequently swats at you when you walk by, it could be due to redirected aggression, playfulness, or an attempt to get your attention.

It’s important to determine the root cause of this behavior, in order to respond effectively and prevent it from escalating into more serious negative behavior.

why does my cat swat at me when I walk by

Why does my cat swat at me when I walk by?

Cats are active beings and they will always zoom around and try to initiate playtime with their owners. Still, some are more laidback than others. But if your kitty seems to like swatting at you when you walk by, the following might be the reason:

1. Redirected aggression

One of the most common explanations, why your cat swats at you as you walk by, is redirected aggression. It means that something else triggered your cat, but since you’re the closest person, they redirected the aggression to you. In short, the cat just happened to vent out its anger to you instead of the actual trigger.

You have to be careful about redirected aggression in cats because it can be hurtful. Some attacks may draw blood or cause an injury.

While your cat’s behavior may seem rude, you shouldn’t punish your kitty for it. My cat Watson used to do this when he’s triggered by our dog Sherlock. Anyone who happens to walk by near him would get a scratch on the ankle or feet. learn here why is my kitten so mean

The key here is identifying the trigger and limiting your cat’s exposure to it. Socialization and desensitization will also make your kitty more tolerant of various stimuli.

2. Playfulness

On a less serious note, your cat may swat you as you walk by as a playful gesture. Short to say, your cat is pranking you by pouncing just as you walk by.

Why does my cat swipe at me when I walk past

Playful and active cat breeds often do this to their owners. It’s usually harmless and just a way for the kitty to initiate playtime. Sometimes, my cat Watson will do this to my kids. It will also erupt in a full attack, including chasing the kids around the house. But the good thing is that Watson never hurts them or shows his claws. It’s just the case of the zoomies.

3. Getting your attention

Aside from playtime, swatting at you might be your feline’s way of getting your attention. It probably wants more food or some pets. Most of the time, the swat will be gentler as compared to redirected aggression and playfulness.

If you reward the behavior by petting your cat, you’ll be reinforcing the action. Your kitty will keep doing it unless you do something to break the habit.

4. Being startled

Another possible explanation of why your cat swats as you walk by is purely a knee-jerk reaction. You probably startled the feline, which triggered its fight or flight response. This happens a lot to nervous cats and those with intense prey drive.

In this case, it’s best to keep a calm and quiet household. Training your cat will also help a lot to calm its nerves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my cat hit me with her paw?

Cats use their paws to catch their owners’ attention. My cat Watson will often paw me in the face to give him pets while we cuddle. It’s also his way of telling us that he wants to play.

Why does my cat hit me with her paw

However, this behavior might have an opposite meaning for other cats. Other kitties may paw you if they want to be left alone. If you tried to pet your cat and just got a paw in response, it’s best to back off and let the kitty have its alone time.

Your cat will also hit you with its paw if you try to get their toys. It’s a resource-guarding behavior, which is innate in felines.

Why does my cat slap me in the face?

All cat owners surely have a story about getting slapped by their kitties. This happens a lot when you try to kiss and hug an agitated cat. It’s like your cat saying, “I’m not in the mood for kisses, hooman!”.

Take note that pawing you to get your attention and slapping is different behavior. The latter usually includes extended claws and potential scratches. Some cats will follow it with a bite, and sometimes on your nose!

Aside from that, some cats will slap their owners in the face to wake them up. Most likely, the cat is hungry and demands to be fed.

Why does my cat swipe at me when I pet him?

If your cat swipes at you when you try to pet it, it’s best to stop. Your cat is likely overstimulated or just not in the mood for some affection. Like humans, cats aren’t always up for cuddles. Your cat probably likes some alone time away from you.

Why does my cat swipe at me when I pet him

Take note that overstimulated cats will often display signs of aggression. It will meow loudly, bare its teeth, and show its claws (Please read here Why does my cat Meow When i sneeze). This happens often if your cat isn’t used to physical stimulation. It’s important to increase your cat’s tolerance to this stimulus to increase its threshold for overstimulation.

Why does my cat put his paw on my mouth?

If you’re talking or singing, it’s probably your cat’s way of telling you to shut up. Cats also like touching moving things, which is what your lips do while talking. It might also be a case of curiosity and not really something to worry about. On the other hand, some cat owners say that this behavior is a sign that your cat trusts you.

If you’re asleep, putting its paw on your mouth is your cat’s way of waking you up. Your kitty is probably hungry or wants you to play with him. please read here how to get a kitten to sleep

Why does my cat attack me when I walk away?

Playfully attacking as you walk away is your cat’s way of stopping you from moving. You might be in the middle of playtime and your cat doesn’t want to let you go. learn more here why does my cat attack me and no one else

Aside from that, cats are natural predators. They like pouncing and hunting moving things. Unfortunately, your ankles are the most convenient target at home. This is a hard-wired habit in many cats and something that you may not be able to totally suppress.


Why does my cat swat at me when I walk by? In conclusion, while it’s normal for cats to swat occasionally, it’s always important to observe their behavior closely. If your cat’s swatting becomes harmful or aggressive, it’s best to seek professional help from a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. With proper guidance and training, you can correct your cat’s behavior and enjoy a happy, healthy relationship with your furry friend.

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