Why Do Cats Shake Their Paws – Uncovering the Mystery


When your cat suddenly darts in front of you as you walk down the hallway, you may observe it shaking its paw. Although you’re uncertain about the reason behind this behavior and don’t believe your cat has injured itself, you’re curious to understand why cats shake their paws.

Cats shake their paws when they are in pain, wet, or have something stuck in them. Paw shaking can also happen because of problems from declawing, muscle spasms, or injuries.

When your cat shakes its paw, it doesn’t necessarily indicate something bad has occurred. While your cat might be in pain after a high jump or declawing, paw shaking is often a result of litter or tape getting stuck to its paw. Since there are various reasons for paw shaking, let’s delve into its significance and causes a bit further.

What Does It Mean When A Cat Shakes Its Paw

Cats shake their paws for different reasons, such as when their paw is injured, when there is something on their paw, or when they remember their kitten days.

If you’re a new cat owner, it can be worrying to see your cat shaking its paw. You might jump to the conclusion that something is wrong, but there are other reasons why a cat might shake its paw.

One possible explanation for a cat shaking its paw is an injury, but it could also be because it feels like there’s something stuck to the bottom of its paw.

Don’t panic if you notice your cat shaking its paw, but if there are other symptoms present, then you should be worried. Otherwise, you can dismiss it as just a strange habit of your cat.

Why Do Cats Flick Their Paws

If your cat has something stuck on its paw or its paw is wet, you might observe it flicking its paw.

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If you see your cat walking and shaking its paw, there could be many reasons why it’s doing that. But if the movement is a bit jerky, it might be trying to get rid of water or something stuck to its paw.

If your cat recently drank water and got its paw wet, or if it accidentally stepped on tape that fell on the ground while you were opening a box, it will naturally shake its foot to remove the water or tape.

One of the main reasons why your cat shakes its paw is because there is cat litter stuck to it. If you notice that this happens often, you should consider switching to a different type of cat litter. It may require some trial and error to find a litter that suits both you and your cat, but the effort will be worthwhile!

If your cat is shaking its paw, there’s no need to be concerned. They’re simply trying to get rid of something that’s bothering them.

Why Do Cats Shake Their Paws When Drinking

When cats wiggle their paws while drinking, it indicates that they are recalling the experience of nursing from their mother when they were little kittens.

One weird thing my cat does is shake her paws and scratch the floor while drinking. I did some research and found out that she does this because it reminds her of drinking from her mom when she was a kitten.

This is a common occurrence in cats that were separated from their mothers at a young age, but it can also happen to cats of any age.

Why Do Cats Shake Their Paws Before Going Outside

If your cat senses that there is something on its paw, it might shake its paws before heading outside.

Your cat has the ability to shake its paw at any time, but occasionally you might observe this behavior before your cat heads outdoors. This could be an attempt to get rid of something stuck to its foot, such as clumps of cat litter from the litter box.

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If your cat goes outside and doesn’t realize it’s raining or snowing, it might shake its paw to get rid of the water. Even if it feels the hot deck, it may shake its paw to get rid of the heat sensation.
Your cat might shake its paws not only when it comes inside but also when it goes outside.

Why Do Cats Shake Their Paws After Jumping

If your cat shakes its paw after jumping, it could be a sign that it hurt its paw. It’s possible that the injury is severe, but usually, it just means they landed awkwardly on their feet.

Every cat owner is aware of the fact that cats love to jump. There is a popular saying that cats always manage to land on their paws, but that doesn’t mean the landing is always painless.

If your cat jumps and shakes its paw after landing, it could mean that your cat injured its foot or feet, especially if it wasn’t ready to jump. There’s a slight possibility of a more serious injury, but you don’t need to worry right away unless your cat keeps limping.

If your cat has been shaking its paw and limping for a while, it’s a good idea to reach out to your vet.

Why Do Cats Shake Their Paws After Declawing

After getting declawed, cats often shake their paws because their feet are sore from the surgery.

Declawing is a big operation for your cat, and it can make your cat’s paws hurt for a while after the surgery because a part of their knuckle is removed. Your cat might shake their paws to try to relieve the pain.

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If you see your cat shaking its paws for more than two weeks after surgery, it’s important to contact your vet as there might be a more serious issue.

If you’re concerned about your cat experiencing pain after declawing, be sure to educate yourself on the process of declawing your cat before proceeding with the surgery. Declawing may appear to be a convenient solution for preventing furniture damage, but there are additional factors to consider beyond simply removing the nails. Being knowledgeable will enable you to make the optimal choice for your cat.

Why Do Cats Shake Their Back Paws

Just like how cats shake their front paws, they can also shake their paws for similar reasons.

If you’re anything like me, you might notice it more when your cat shakes its back paws. There could be something stuck to its back paw, or your cat might have injured it while jumping from a counter or table.

Don’t stress if your cat shakes its back paw instead of its front paw. Like I mentioned, it might just be more noticeable when a cat shakes its back paws.

Cats shake their paws for different reasons, and while some of these reasons may be serious, most of them are not a cause for worry. If you observe any other unusual behaviors along with paw shaking, it is advisable to consult your veterinarian. Otherwise, consider it as a peculiar habit of your cat.

You can also check this YouTube video about this topic:

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