Why Does It Hurt When Your Cat Walks on You?


If you’re a cat owner, you know the feeling all too well – your furry friend jumps onto your lap or climbs onto your chest and suddenly you feel a sharp pain. While it’s common for cats to walk on their owners, it can be quite uncomfortable and even painful at times. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind this behavior and offer tips on how to prevent it. So if you’re tired of getting poked and prodded by your feline companion, keep reading to find out more.

It Hurts When My Cat Walks on Me: Understanding and Preventing the Pain

Many cat owners have experienced the unpleasant sensation of pain when their furry companion walks on them. While it may seem harmless, this behavior can actually be quite uncomfortable and even painful. In this article, we will explore the reasons why your cat walking on you may hurt and provide tips on how to prevent it.

The Weight of Your Cat

One of the main reasons why it hurts when your cat walks on you is simply because of their weight. Cats may seem small and light, but depending on their breed and size, they can range anywhere from 5 to 20 pounds. When they step or walk on you, their weight is distributed onto their tiny paws, which can be painful for sensitive areas of your body such as your stomach or chest.

Additionally, cats have sharp claws that can dig into your skin as they walk, causing even more discomfort. This is especially true if your cat has not been declawed or if their claws are not regularly trimmed.

Their Natural Instincts

Cats are known for their curious and independent nature, and they are natural climbers. In the wild, cats would use their claws to climb trees and other structures in order to hunt or find shelter. This instinct is still present in domesticated cats, who may see you as a potential climbing surface when you are lying down.

When your cat walks on you, they may be attempting to reach a higher point or simply exploring their surroundings. However, with their sharp claws and weight, this can be quite painful for you.

Pain from Underlying Health Conditions

In some cases, the pain you feel when your cat walks on you may not be due to their weight or claws, but rather because of an underlying health condition. If you are experiencing ongoing pain when your cat walks on you, it is important to consult with a doctor to rule out any potential issues.

Some conditions that may cause heightened sensitivity and pain when touched include fibromyalgia, arthritis, and nerve damage. These conditions can make even the lightest touch or pressure feel painful, so your cat walking on you may exacerbate this discomfort.

How to Prevent Your Cat from Hurting You while Walking

While you may not be able to completely stop your cat from walking on you, there are some steps you can take to minimize the pain and discomfort.

Train your Cat to Not Walk on You

It may seem impossible to train a cat, but with patience and consistency, it can be done. When your cat walks on you, gently but firmly say “no” and redirect them to a nearby scratching post or climbing structure. Reward them with treats when they listen and avoid walking on you. Over time, your cat will learn that walking on you is not acceptable behavior.

You can also use positive reinforcement techniques, such as giving your cat treats or praise when they use their scratching post or climbing structure instead of walking on you. This will encourage them to continue using those areas instead of you.

Provide Alternative Surfaces for Climbing and Exploring

If your cat enjoys climbing and exploring, provide them with alternatives to climbing on you. This can include cat trees, wall-mounted shelves, and other structures designed specifically for cats. By giving them designated areas to climb and explore, they will be less likely to see you as a potential surface for these activities.

Trim Your Cat’s Claws

To minimize the discomfort caused by your cat’s sharp claws, it is important to regularly trim them. If you are unfamiliar with how to do this, consult with your veterinarian or a professional groomer for assistance. Trimming your cat’s claws will not only make them less painful when they walk on you, but it will also prevent damage to your furniture and other surfaces.

Use a Soft Barrier

If all else fails, you can use a soft barrier between you and your cat while lying down. This can include a blanket, towel, or even a pillow. This soft barrier will act as a cushion and distribute your cat’s weight more evenly, making it less painful for you.


While it may seem like a harmless behavior, your cat walking on you can actually be quite painful. By understanding the reasons behind this behavior and taking preventative measures, you can minimize the discomfort and enjoy a peaceful coexistence with your feline friend. Remember to always consult with a doctor if you experience ongoing pain when your cat walks on you, as it may be a sign of an underlying health condition.

In conclusion, experiencing pain when your cat walks on you can be a common occurrence, but it is important to understand the reasons behind it. Some cats may have behavioral issues or health problems that can cause them to walk or knead on their owners. It is crucial to address these issues and work on training and appropriate handling techniques to prevent further pain in the future. Additionally, providing your cat with adequate physical and mental stimulation can also help reduce their need to walk on you. By understanding your cat’s behavior and taking necessary steps, you can have a more comfortable and enjoyable relationship with your feline friend. Remember to always consult with a veterinarian if the issue persists or if you suspect any underlying health problems. With proper care and attention, you and your cat can live in harmony without any discomfort.

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