Why does my Cat Swipe at me when I pass by?

‘Ouch!’ if you own a cat, you may have repeated this expression a number of times. Sometimes, when you pass by your cat, your beloved friend might swipe at you with its cute paws. And it is pretty normal for you to think that ‘Why does my cat swipe at me when I pass by?’ Well, here is the underlying reason that might be your cat is just trying to seek your attention or maybe it’s just being playful. But that might not be always the case!

Following is the whole background behind it that why does my cat swipe at me when I pass by it?

why does my cat swipe atme when i pass by

Is cat swiping me a normal behavior?

It is totally normal behavior that you can expect from your cat. But they might do it only sometimes and would not make it a daily routine.

As its owner, it would bother you that why it even does that? The first thought that might hit you is that this might be aggression. You can be right about it.

But that should not be the only reason. So, do not take it in the wrong way!

However, everything is bad in excess and the same could be the case here. Red flags might be there if your feline is doing that more often.

It is mostly considered a natural reaction from the cats as creatures, that is why most of the time there is nothing to be conscious about.

Common Reasons for why does my cat swipe at me when I pass by?

Here are some common reasons enlisted for your upheld thought about your beloved feline:

1.    Merely a swiping habit:

Here is the thing, it might be just a habit the cats are born with. Your moving feet might attract them to the extent that they want to touch them and result in swatting.

A positive thought is preferred here that felines are being feline.

The cats having more of this habit might startle you than the ones who are not troublesome. Else way, it is fine.

2.    The Attention Seekers:

Whether you like it or not, cats might show different, mysterious, and strange behavior, which grabs your attention.

They can be from sitting on your feet to purring at you or even licking your earlobe!

All of these practices are just to have your attention and time for what you have to offer.

The same is the case here too, cats might swat at you when you walk by only for the sake of your attention. It is just like, ‘Hey, why are you passing by me? Can’t you see me?’

Your cat might be in a mood to be attended to and petted by you. They are craving for your time and heed. Try to provide them with.

3.   Love and Affection:

Swiping at you is their innocent way of seeking attention as well as the love and affection they desire from you.

Your cat has various ways to tell that they need you like wagging its tail or drooling. And this is another activity that they might opt for.

All they are doing is just making you feel their presence that as a cat owner, you have one more duty to attend that is to provide them with sufficient love, time, and affection.

And they better get their part even by swiping you with its claws!

4.    Asserting their Dominance:

If we compare this behavior with humans of swiping done by your cat at you, you will notice a similarity that they just want to claim their dominance.

By hitting you or swatting you, they feel kind of proud and dominant. This is also part of their predator instinct.

Cats might assert their dominance over you by doing this and, they would be fine with it no matter what you think.

They think that they might be dominant, and they are the ones to own you, not you!

5.    Marking their Property:

Studies tell us that cat’s paws have glands that secrete sweat which has their specific scent.

Swiping at you with their paws is a way for them to make you smell like them by passing their particular smell to you too!

They are trying to mark their property, that is you, through their aroma so that other felines might not be attracted to you when you smell like only your beloved pet.

Cats have a very distinctive thing for smells. So, do not get offended by their swiping. They are just trying to consider you for themselves only, just for the sake of love.

You cannot be shared with others, what is theirs is theirs, from their toys to their owner.

6.    Cat swiping at you out of Fear:

Fear is one thing that can make creatures do something that is not expected by you. Your cat might swipe at you due to fear.

Look out for them. It might be the terror that is making them opt for such behavior. They are actually trying to protect themselves. They have no bad intentions for you.

All you need to do is seek out other conducts it is exhibiting that might help you go to the core of the issue with them like if it is purring too, then this is not a good sign though.

7.    Cat swatting at you due to Aggression:

Your cat is being aggressive. Swatting at you may result due to this particular reason too.

There might be something that is troubling your feline friend and it ends up swiping you. But this might be a rare case.

Aggressive cats are easy to irritate. There might be an experience that would not be a happy one for them and if repeated, will result in clawing.

8.    Playful cat might swat you:

If your feline is feeling like playing with you, it would definitely swipe at you or hold on to you.

Their aim is not to hurt you but since your skin is not tolerant enough, you may get scratched and a few drops of blood drop due to the swipe.

All you need to do is play with them or give them something to toy with. They want some entertainment, and they want you to provide it.

9.    Cat swiping at you for a treat:

One thing regarding swiping could be that they want you to treat them what you are having while passing by them.

But firstly, they will wait for you to offer them the treat and if you do not, they will definitely go for swiping at you to want it!

After knowing that why does my cat swipe at me when I pass by, you now must think that how can I stop my feline from doing it?

Here are ways that might help you refrain your cat from this swatting:

Ways to stop your cat from swiping at you

Your cat might swipe at you by mistakes or some inconveniences caused by you.

You can go for these certain instances that might help your cat quitting this behavior:

1.    Try to walk by slowly:

You can help your feline to get out of this behavior by walking slowly by its side and also throwing a smile at it.

This will be something you will do to not startle them and also, throwing a smile at your feline will be considered your attention for them.

This way, your cat will have some time to process that what is happening, and you are going to walk by them.

You will notice that by doing this, your cat will show a better reaction towards you when you walk by their side and will not likely swipe at you.

2.    Look for the cause of swiping:

Cats opt for these kinds of aggressive behavior like swiping as they are facing some issue that is not being dealt with by you.

You should look for other symptoms and happenings around your cat’s surrounding that is making your cat swat at you.

When you find the cause, deal with it for your feline so that they can come to their normal state.

3.    Do not ignore your feline:

Ignoring is never a good option when it comes to your beloved pet.

Even if they are not demanding your attention, still, you cannot pretend to not notice them while you pass by them.

This would definitely end up in a good swipe from them. Hence, pet them or show them affection in any way so they do not get a chance to swipe at you.

4.    Do not step on your cat:

You do not do that intentionally, but it might happen sometimes.

You may end up stepping on your cat’s toe or paw and before you even realize it, you are already swiped by them.

Be careful when you walk by your cat or if have one around. This may prevent you from getting swatted by them.

5.    Consult your vet:

If your cat is doing that more often, maybe it is going through some mental or physical pressure that you cannot sort out on your own.

It is better to then consult your particular vet regarding the situation and seek his help to sort out what is going out with your feline.

He might get the condition and treat it as such.

6.    Stop the swatting right there:

You should sternly stop your cat from swiping. Pointing the finger with a look when your cat swats at your will definitely explain to it that you do not like this behavior.

You do not need to be harsh or offend them, but you can show a somewhat ‘stop right there’ act so that your cat might refrain from doing it for the next time.

7.    Go for some diversions for your cat:

Cats do that to grab your attention. You need to do is, have prepared some diversions ready for them.

Treats, a spray bottle, some complex toys, and any entertainment would help them to keep their mind off swiping at you. They would like to keep themselves busy with other activities.

8.    Keep your feline’s nails short:

It is still possible that despite all your above-mentioned strategies, your pet might again swipe at you. It is better to cut its nails short so that it might not hurt you.

This is not something that will stop your cat from swatting at you, but it will surely hurt less when it does that with its paws to you.

It is not a piece of news that cats have severely sharp nails. The following can be options you can for with your cat’s sharp nails:

·       Use nail clippers:

You can use nail clippers for shortening their nails. You can cut them short by yourself or can take your cat to the groomer that can do the job for you professionally.

But do not cut so short that it might start bleeding.

·       Use nail files:

The other thing you can use against your cat’s nails is nail files. Depending upon the nature of the cat that might be clingy, this might be an easy option.

Filing will go for a little shortening but it will definitely help you get rid of sharp edges that can hurt you. Or you can get your cat an emery board.

·       The Nail Caps:

Nail caps for your cat can also be used to cover up the nails. They might be a cheap option, but they are not a promising solution.

Your cat might remove them as they are an uneasy and extra thing on them. Furthermore, they can fall off too without you even knowing. So, they are just an option.

9.    Do not go for Declawing of your cat:

It is never recommended that you should declaw your cat. Some people might go for declawing as an easy option to stop your feline from swatting at you or your furniture.

But this is considered very absurd and inhumane.

The declawing does not remove the cat’s nails but also the knuckles. Moreover, it is a very painful process, so how can you do that your feline friend?

So, it is way better to cut the nails short rather than going for declawing!


To your ambiguity that ‘why does my cat swipe at me when I pass by?’ there might a number of reasons which have been explained.

They do it out of entertainment, to seek your attention, or lastly, might be going through something mentally or physically that makes it opt the aggressiveness.

Even if it is one of your feline’s habits, make sure you understand and learn your beloved friend’s personality to why it is swatting at you.

In the end, it is better to get rid of its sharp weaponry nails so that even if they swipe at you, it will not hurt you.

Other than that, it is a totally fine behavior by the cats to be expected, hence, do not worry! Your feline is fine.


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