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Why Does My Cat Slap Me? 4 Unbelievable Reasons!

Why Does My Cat Slap Me? 4 Unbelievable Reasons!

In all honesty, I have a “slap happy” cat.  She is a Russian Blue who I adopted from a shelter.

This shelter specializes in unwanted feral cats who are considered unadoptable. 

Hence, I knew what I’m getting myself into but I am a cat lover so proceeded. My cat of course is extreme but all cats do slap

I had to seek my vet’s assistance however as my cat slapped me so constantly I started to dread her approach.


Why Does My Cat Slap Me?

Attention-grabbing is one of the reasons cats slap you. Another reason felines slap you is because they’re hungry or thirsty. Also, when cats feel overwhelmed with emotion or are afraid, they will slap you. Lastly, cats can slap you if they’re feeling frustrated with something.


Why Does My Cat Slap Me

Why Does My Cat Slap Me


Reasons Why Your Cat Slaps You

There is no way for cats to communicate except through body language. No cat speaks although they do make different noises like meowing

“Cat talk” does entail slapping, tail wagging (even when lying down), cowering, and other behaviors. Slapping is the most common though and can be the most annoying. 

Your cat can slap or paw as a method of communication and most cats do employ this method quite a bit. Your cat can slap not just you but toys and other objects. 

Your cat, although small, is an Apex Predator according to National Geographic and this is part of the prey instinct where prey is killed with the paws. 

Dogs have been bred into different domesticated habits and are no longer considered Apex Predators while cats still are. 

Different breeds of cats do exist, but no matter which breed you own, your cat’s Apex Predatory instincts were not bred out. 


Reason #1: Cats Slap for Attention

This is the number one reason that your cat slaps usually. Cats are easily bored and do slap with or without their claws when craving love and attention. 

Cats can slap you to try and get your attention

Cats can slap you to try and get your attention

A moment or two spent focusing on your cat with either play or affection can assist. 

If the slapping occurs when you are occupied with other things, it is definitely for attention.

Some cats can be jealous of literally anything taking your attention from them. 


Reason #2: Hungry or Thirsty Cats will Slap

Cats are finicky you know that. You can put out the best food and your cat will not eat it but will still be hungry. 

Vets oftentimes do mention that they have seen cats who would rather starve than eat food that does not appeal to them. 

If you have fed your cat and there is food in the bowl and they are still slapping, you will need to try different food.

When cats are hungry or thirsty, or they simply don't like the food, they can slap you

When cats are hungry or thirsty, or they simply don’t like the food, they can slap you

You’re fighting a losing battle as your cat can be more stubborn than you. 

Slapping combined with meowing does signal hunger or thirst. Cats are also not “natural drinkers” so dehydration and thirst are common

Feeding wet food can overcome this and reduce slapping. If feeding only dry food slapping can increase as your cat is most likely thirsty.  


Reason #3: Cats Slap out of Fear and Emotion

If a thunderstorm is occurring, or a stranger is in your home, a cat can pick up what can only be described as an “odd vibe.” 

You will have difficulty determining what they are afraid of. Your cat will most likely enjoy one person’s company and be completely off-put by another person. 

When cats are fearful about an event or when they sense an odd vibe with a person, they can slap

When cats are fearful about an event or when they sense an odd vibe with a person, they can slap

Your cat might even know of a fire that is occurring where you live even when it is not close by. Your cat can be jokingly known in the cat world as a “concerned citizen.” 

Relocating your cat to another place during a move can increase slapping. Cats are very territorial and do not adjust well to new surroundings.

Cats, especially feral cats, can suffer from separation anxiety and PTSD


Reason #4: Frustration

Your cat will at times become frustrated. This is usually because of boredom.

Playtime will alleviate this.

Frustration in a cat occurs when you are petting too much or too hard as well. You have probably noticed that your cat will turn and start slapping during a petting session. 

Frustration is another reason why cats slap youFrustration is another reason why cats slap you

Frustration is another reason why cats slap you

Cats do have a threshold when petting becomes too intense and they lash out. Felines can also bite when being petted.

This is called Aggression Threshold frustration by the Humane Society. Your cat has sensitive spots all over its body. 

Hit one of those while petting and slapping and biting can occur. 


Frequently Asked Questions Why Cats Slap Me


How much cat slapping is too much?

When slapping becomes problematic to you then it is a behavioral problem that should be treated by an animal behaviorist. If your cat is scratching and biting while slapping it is also more of a cause for concern. Your cat needs to learn to be well-behaved to make a good pet. 


Can I train my cat not to slap?

You can train a cat not to slap, but a behaviorist can assist with this. There are good behaviors you can substitute for this bad behavior by using treats or rewards.  You must also train yourself to not overreact negatively to the slapping as that only increases it.


Conclusion About Why Does My Cat Slap Me

Cat slapping is a natural behavior and there does not need to be a cure. It is not a disease.

If it gets to be overwhelming then a trip to the vet is necessary. 

Health problems do need to be ruled out if your cat slaps for no reason at all and slaps to the point where it is painful and a burden to you. 

No one enjoys a “slap happy” cat! 

Read about why your cat is foaming at the mouth next!