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Why Does My Cat Paw Under The Door? The Reasons For This Behavior

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 6, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat standing by the door

Why Does My Cat Paw Under The Door? The Reasons For This Behavior

If you’re sitting in your room with the door closed and hear a scratching sound, chances are you’ll know what’s causing it if you own a cat. A small furry paw from under your door may be a common occurrence, and you may wonder why your cat does it. The main reason is they likely want to be let in the room to be close to you.

Cats are affectionate creatures that want to be close to their owners. This is even more true for cats who may be suffering from separation anxiety or can relax when around their favorite person. If they want to be around you, but the door is closed, or they want to get into the room you’re in, if there’s something in there they want (like their food bowl, for example), your cat will paw under the door as a clear signal that they want in.

Cats can put their paws under a door for a variety of reasons. The main reason (and the clear message) is that they want to be let in, and they’re probably trying to open the door themselves, to varying degrees of success.

If you’re playing with your cat using a toy, such as a feathered “fishing rod” style toy, your cat might paw under the door to try to reach it.

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Why Does My Cat Want to Follow Me?

Your cat might want to follow you around everywhere for a few reasons, but the primary one is that they want your attention. Most cats are more independent than dogs; they’ll come to their humans for attention and petting on their terms.

That’s not to say that some cats aren’t clingy. Some breeds, such as the Ragdoll and Nebelung, have been described as “dog-like” in their behavior. Some cats also suffer from separation anxiety. The condition makes your cat anxious when you’re away, resulting in behaviors such as:

  • Crying
  • Pacing
  • Self-mutilation (biting or scratching themselves obsessively)
  • Excessive grooming
sad lonely cat lying on bed
Image by: medveda, Shutterstock

Another sign of separation anxiety is obsessively following their owner around. However, there may be another, more pressing reason your cat doesn’t want to leave you alone. For example, they might be following you because they’re trying to get your attention or want something.

Usually, a cat who wants their dinner will follow their owners around and meow to get them to take notice of them. If you’re holding something your cat wants, such as a treat or a treasured toy, they might follow you and even get under your feet.

Sometimes, your cat may be trying to get your attention for a more sinister reason. If your cat is unwell or is in pain, they may be trying to tell you. Following you may help them feel safe if they’re feeling vulnerable. Usually, there will be other signs associated with this, such as crying.

If you’re worried about your cat in any way, or if they have a sudden change in behavior, you should take them to the vet. Sudden clinginess can signify that your cat is very unwell, and because they can’t tell you directly, interpreting the behavior is one of the best ways to determine if something is wrong.

Sad Cat
Image By: g3gg0, pixabay

Why Does My Cat Meow at the Door For Me?

Your cat might start meowing at your door for you if it’s closed for the same reasons they’ll paw underneath it; they either want to get in, or they want something out of the room.

Cats meow to indicate they want something specifically from humans. They developed the meow almost exclusively to communicate with humans, and it’s a learned behavior from mother cats to kittens. The meow is your cat’s way of saying they want your attention.

cat paw divider

Final Thoughts

Your cat may paw under the door because they want in and are trying to open it. Some cats meow outside while pawing to ramp up the insistence, and they might even shout at you when you finally open the door! But whatever the reason your cat paws under the door, they’re doing it because they want something on the other side.

Featured Image Credit: Marjan Grabowski, Unsplash

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