Why do Cats Cross their Paws?

If you are a cat owner, you could have seen the cat cross its paws. The question, however, shoves why do cats cross their paws? Normally cat does that out of comfort, finding it a more accessible pose. If you still wonder what tempts the cats to do so, read below and find out more.

why do cats cross their paws

Understanding why?

You might have queried if the cat has some hidden message to this body posture. Or if it is out of the ordinary as almost all cats do that. Generally, the cat with certain species, i.e., Maine Coons and other, pretty much-cross paws in different ways. Other than that, cats aiming to relax tend to cross paws. However, there is no specific message or something to be decoded from the cat’s body language.

As they attempt to rest, they tend to cross their front paws, keeping the posture upright. A couple of positions are seen with the cat while lying all comfy with paws crossed. However, the cat is relaxed and barely intends to shift position even if a need arises. It is a sign that they feel safe and secure and are in no danger whatsoever.

Let’s take a deeper look

Cat being a creature of comfort, spends most of the time self-grooming and sleeping around. Crossing paws to transit itself from one phase to another is its take on its relaxing.

Some variation can be seen with cats while hunting the quest; why do cats cross their paws? Many cats cross their front paws while lying uptight. Many others try keeping it crossed while sleeping on one side. It could be either right or left. While we have established, they do it out of comfort, let’s unveil ways it does so.

Positions that the cat takes with paws crossed.

The cat is seen with paws crossed at various times as per comfort. Besides relaxing, it also adds to the feeling of security. It does it when it feels like and demonstrates some of the following postures.

Let’s see in detail the positions they uptake while doing so.

  • Laying with front paws crossed 

Here is one significant position to identify with the cats having paws crossed. Mostly the cats prefer lying upright for fun and getting their feet crossed. Our last reference of Maine Coon having a notable tendency in its genes is seen most of the time in this very posture.

The cat display it, in particular at night time. Or when it feels like having a little nap. Even in cases where some cat parents have their cats on the bed, to sleep with them having cuddles and pouring out all their love.  The cat on the bed is seen in this position, laying relaxed and having the paws crossed. Nothing feels better than this, and the joy is reflected in the cat’s mood or face, to be more particular.

The cat lying with paws crossed has nothing to fear and enjoys itself most in this phase. When the cat sees neighboring kitties playing or having fun, it shows all its support by lying down like this and having a good view of it.

Even when the cat parent comes back home and grabs dinner, the cat sees it from its spot, i.e., usually a rug around the table. It finds itself lying on the carpet, having the paws overlapped and cherish the view.

It covers the sight of a happy family; dinner served with kitchen and stairs visible from one prominent position. It is how the cat chooses to relax, and believe me; nothing is more soothing than having a loveable cutie fellow lying around like this.

  • Laying one-sided and having front paws crossed

Not every time, the cat will be lying upfront; it can manage some other positions too. The comfort of the cat is primary, in any case. One might have noticed the cat in the lounge with a one-sided pose and legs stretched out.

In comparison, the cat tries some stretching and getting the stress out. Suddenly, the paws slip one over another until the cat is back to the comfort zone. This same zone where the cat has side posture and paws overlapped is a treat to watch. Not many times, and not many cats will be doing this. It could be identified with the cat stretching and setting up on a rug for a chilled layover.

Even if the cat plans to take off a nap, it can continue giving away a look of paws crossed. The cat could be having stretches post-playing time, planning a groom-up session, and, to say the least, when planning to sleep.

However, this is not something that the cat intends on purpose. Naturally, the body is being distorted, in stretching or so. And a paw goes covering the other, giving us another pose and understanding to the question, why do cats cross their paws?

  • Cats were laying upright with back paws crossed.

Here is yet another way the cat appears with the paws crossed over. Earlier, we referred to a position where the cat laid upright with front paws crossed. Here, the cat’s posture status is the same, but the paws in the display are back ones this time.

Some might find this an odd cross of paws and might have barely-viewed it. But having the flexible body of the cat, nothing is impossible. It can also be connected with cats who want to pee when it tries to hold back, having the litter tray un-available or any urinal issue otherwise. Though very rare, yet true when concerning the cats with a tendency to cross the paws.

  • Laying on back and having back paws crossed

Again, it will take a lot of muscle work. However, it could be for some moment that a cat tries some maneuvering of paws. And let paws fall back as it gets into the dreamland. Again, an infrequent posture to be noticed by most of the cat parents. Yet many photographs are available with the cat in this exact position, keeping up its status as a surprise package.

  • Laying one-sided and having back paws crossed

Having the back paws crossed is instead a challenging position requiring the input of muscle. One might rarely spot it and might feel the cat is uncomfortable. Yet having seen a cat lie for some while without complaints brings forth another side of the picture.

This, yet another odd position for the cat with paws crossed, is spotted in some houses. The one-sided cat is pretty okay, especially as it tends to stretch itself or aims to groom itself or reach some comfortable position.

Some cat owners have presented the cat with the height of comfort, staying like this in this position. One has spotted the cat next to the bathtub laying one-sided, having the back paws crossed. The cat was at peace with the situation and reached it all with ease.

  • Having the paws in a crossed manner

A great height of comfort and ease rest here as the cat lays with both front and back paws crossed. The flexible muscles never fail the cat to surprise us. It is one strong position yet a cute one, with ultimate peace on the cat’s face. It takes the cat in a curled position and is available momentarily as the cat slides to a changed side while sleeping. The cat trying to warm itself up reaches out to this state.

The oddest example of a cat with paws crossed is when its belly touched the floor. Plus, this could be instantaneous, getting back to normal without anyone even noticing it. The cat having paws crossed then is rare yet delightful to watch.

What does a cat with crossed paw depict?

Cat is an animal that has specific habits and will open about it to real closed ones. For instance, the cat never lets any stranger reach out the belly. In comparison, the cat parent gets to cuddle and roll around its body because it trusts you. So is the case with having the paws crossed.

The cat can lie upright on the floor and relax to an extent where its paws cross one another. No fear or threat can undo the position; otherwise, a cat in a state of fear will never lay so carelessly. Here is summary of things that make cat cross its paws.

  • It depicts the cat’s trust in you and its belief that it is in a safe zone where nothing can undo the calm or bring in danger of any kind.
  • It also shows that the cat feels like chilling out. And does it in all good spirit.
  • It could hint cat’s urge to stretch, followed by a self-grooming session.
  • The cat could also indicate tiredness, wanting some time to doze off.
  • The cat is happy and peaceful. They may even drool while being happy.

What time is best to watch a cat with paws crossed?

All those wondering if these odd positions are possible, especially with paws crossed, be it front or back. And if all breeds of cat exhibit these same behaviors, especially their cat. Or even better if they can have some designated time, where a cat shows paws crossed.

Well, here is one answer for all such queries. People having the cat noticed for three days straight failed to predict one such time. And it was done with the Maine Coons, specifically known for keeping the paws crossed as they aim at relaxing out.

Thus, one cannot predict a cat’s behavior and cannot put it into a one-time frame. One has failed in noticing any trigger that gets the cat to have the paws crossed. They may do it as per mood and their tendency of comforting them in this same position. No specific time can be allotted to it. The cat can go an entire life without doing it or doing it without being noticed at all.

Many cat parents have claimed they never saw their cat in this position, explaining how infrequent this could be. Here one needs to know this is not something that a cat does while sitting or standing. Thus, one needs to cater cat with a laying position and significantly when it is all relaxed. Be it either awake or asleep, it takes cat to be in a peaceful zone.


Are Maine Coons the only cat breed that crosses paws?

No, that is not the case. Although, Maine coons tend to sit with their paws crossed more often. Yet, it’s not only them. Many other breeds can also exhibit the same behavior from time to time. However, this big fat cat does it in its elegant way, showcasing a royal look and doing it frequently. Thus, making it noticeable.

Why do cats cross their paws?

Usually, crossed paws make up a comfy position, easier to be achieved. The cat looking up for some comfort tends to cross paws. Cat tends to do so, following a tiring grooming routine and self-cleansing.

Does cat-crossing paws mean anything?

There is nothing to decipher with a cat crossing its paws. Cat does it out of their hunt for comfort, just like a human does. It may have an episodic chain of crossing and uncrossing, i.e., relaxing and stretching. But nothing more than that.

When does the cat get paws in crossing position?

The cat has its paws un-crossed when doing any regular activity—even watching TV or licking milk. They tend to cross feet as they see you doing it or when they are all alone and looking for some ease. However, soon as the cat falls asleep, it manages to unwind the paws.

Is a cat aggressive if it crosses its paws?

The cat that is tiered will cross paws till it falls asleep and unwind it. It is to maintain a comfortable body posture and find relaxation in it. It has nothing to do with aggression or mood shifts. One needs not interpret any meaning out of it.

Does the cat keep its paws crossed while sleeping?

Some cats may un-cross as they fall asleep. In comparison, many others may maintain sleep with paws cross. It is generally rare, and one might be lucky to find a cat in such a cute posture. Sometimes it is topped with the cat having its head tucked in the middle of crossed legs.

However, every cat sleeps differently. Not all cats are smart enough to have a comfortable position with all these contortions.

Does cat-crossing paw similar to dogs crossing theirs?

Cats and dogs have different tendencies and behavioral exhibits. Cats and dogs doing a similar thing might not necessarily mean all the same. The dogs are usually doing it to reveal their kindness and being free of any threats. On the other hand, cat crossing paws does not confirm its nicety. It is just a convenient leisure thing.

Are cat-crossing paws and human crossing legs all the same?

Yes, it is pretty much the same. The cat also does that to relax because the front paws are part of their body, allowing comfortable shifts in many ways.

How long cat maintains its position of crossed paws?

The cat crosses and folds the paws alternatively. The struggle is continuous and haphazard, showing cats interest in finding the best comfy position. However, there is no specific time it takes to maintain this position. Instead, the cat keeps switching positions every other minute.

What makes cats tuck paws beneath them?

The cat does it all to find itself in a comfortable position. From crossing paws to tucking them below their bodies. The cats tend to keep them warm by doing so. One can see the cat doing that a lot in the cold seasons.


To sum up the quest, why do cats cross their paws? And to respond to its tendency in doing so lies in the fact that it’s no big deal. Like humans cross their legs and chill out, a cat does pretty much the same. Not much needs to be dug out because no deliberate actions or thought process lies behind it.

You may have the cat doing so while it’s asleep. Or as it is lying down on the mat and when aiming to have an episode of self-grooming. It probably gets the cat in a safe and secure zone. However, one may identify a cat doing it at different times. Along with different postures yet paws crossed. They do it out of habit and to relax because naturally, they fall out into this pose. If one needs a reason, the only one that one can conveniently present is they get comfortable.

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