Why does my cat affectionately paw me on the face every time I sit on the toilet?

It is quite cute. Only on the toilet.

At other moments in the day, why does he meow as if he is talking to me too?

He is definitely not asking for the door, or something to eat. His bowl is never empty. He never goes out, unless it is an accident. I make a point of ignoring him just to be sure he doesn't learn a behaviour.

Often when he meows now, to test him, I pick him up and cuddle him and bounce him in my arms like a baby. He enjoys that, especially the scratches I give him. I think he is just lonely, especially when I come home after a long day - so he vocalises.

These are both new behaviours.

To put my question in context, he is two years old. Was castrated at 8 weeks. But was born very wild - a real gutter, rescue cat. The mother was fixed and then permitted to live outdoors. She was not rescueable - a real savage. She was too distressed in captivity. She even looked like a very small mountain lion from her colours, which is hilarious.

It makes me wonder because her son, my tabby can also display quite aggressive, wild behaviour too. He will on other occasions arrive out of nowhere and throw his front paws around my leg, as if - I learned - he was practising taking down prey. My other cats never tried to kill me!

He also bites, for no reason, my daughter - out of the blue. I think this might be a pack order thing. He won't do that to me.

Until this cat, my Cesar Millan methods have worked on my former cats - a good bite and take-down made them calm submissive, which is hilarious. Not so much this cat. Although right now he is cuddled next to my leg, very subordinate :) very much a member of my pack.

So the "affectionate" pawing thing I read on the post below is quite the opposite answer I was expecting.

All the same, I learned from other cats that after you have them shaved for the first time, they spend more time on your legs or lap just to get warmth. I believe the warmth helps tame them and reduce anxiety. Good training - bonding idea?

So I'm confused. He paws my face to be affectionate. Does he vocalise because he is lonely? Why would he he stalk me like prey and put my daughter in her place at other moments?

Reference: Why does my cat keep patting my face? (I have no idea why this thread was closed, because it had "low-quality" answers? A thread is meant to pose a question where an open-source-minded community can discuss it and offer thoughtful feedback, if they don't have high-quality, professional answers.)


1 Answer 1


Ok, I see three distinct questions/topics:

  1. Pawing your face.

  2. Meowing.

  3. Stalking behaviour. And clawing your daughter.

Let's start with number 1: This is not a very common, but not unheard of cat behavior. He is simply asking for attention. As long as this does not become bothersome, or he uses claws, I'd simply allow it as an odd little quirk your cat has.

Number 2: Feral cats only use meowing to communicate to kittens, or kittens to talk to other cats. However, domesticated cats have figured out that humans are vocal creatures, and almost all will meow at their owners.

The amount of meowing varies greatly between individual cats, some will almost never shut up, others will be nearly mute. Most fall somewhere in-between.

Start paying attention to the differences between meows, and you'll start to kind of build a language between the two of you. Things cat may meow about includes, but are not limited to: empty food bowl or unacceptable food brand, dirty litterbox, empty or dirty water bowl, wanting to be let out, wanting attention, wanting cuddles, feeling lonely, wanting to play, informing you about prey in the room (flies, bugs, spiders, rodents, roaches, etc), having noticed prey outside.

Question 3 is a bit more complicated, so I'm going to split it into two:

Part 1: Stalking. This is completely normal cat behavior, cats have a need to train their stalking skills. But you need to redirect it away from your (and others) body parts, it is important that the cat knows that your body is not a plaything (more on this in part 2). I would highly suggest (insist actually) that you get some toys for your cat. At minimum few mice for him to play with alone, and some kind of toy you can play with him with, like a feather on a string. Use these to distract him when he's stalking you, then play with him until he's out of energy. This should also help with part 2. I would also suggest getting a cat tree for climbing training, and to get some height to scope out the apartment.

Part 2: Biting your daughter. This needs to be dealt with, as it can lead to serious injury, or could lead your cat to attack strangers.

I have a cat that was very "bitey" as a kitten, and this is how I dealt with it, and I suggest your teach yourself and your daughter.

Whenever the cat bites you (even if you're playing) loudly say "OW!" (or a cat version of it if you can pull that off), go limp in the limb he bit, and then completely ignore him. This first tells him that he hurt you, then you show that you are not interested in playing, then you are "punishing" him by not wanting to engage with him. It also means that if you were touching him or interacting with him in a manner that was threatening, felt uncomfortable, or hurt, you stopped by going limp.

This, if kept consistent should show results already in a few weeks, but the key is keeping it consistent with all individuals in a household, but it also requires redirecting his attention as advised in part 1.

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