Here’s what to do when your cat is attacking your toes and feet

You don’t need to imagine a situation where your cat is attacking your toes and feet or at many times playing with your feet!

When living with a cat, you might have possibly encountered a similar situation many times.

Or it can be that your cat strangely started hitting your toes while you were on the bed under the quilt.

This somewhat different behaviour of your cat (if you haven’t faced it before) might make you think why your cat is doing this, is it good cat behaviour and how you can stop your cat from attacking your legs while you were having a good bedtime.

This blog post is all about the relation between cats and them attacking our toes. This is based on my personal experience, and the suggestions shared here are based on what I did or do these days to get rid of this cat activity.

My cat plays with my toes and legs

One thing that I need to say before I share my experience here is: We have got an indoor cat named Eleven, with whom we have been living together for a year now – and she follows me everywhere. In fact, she is fond of following me, she doesn’t @sonishabasnet but just me.

While I am on the bed and my legs are under the blanket or quilt, our cat – Eleven likes to come to the bed and sit at the end of the bed. She watches and stares at me most of the time and other times she just enjoys her evergreen nap.

There are occasional times when my cat all of sudden starts attacking my toes.

She likes tapping on my feet, running away, coming back and again tapping, pushing her hand under the blanket to reach the toes and again running away.

It looks like she is enjoying playing with my toes – while it is fun to watch and feel your cat punching your feet, you might want to make sure she isn’t asking for something like food, playtime or needs attention.

Why does a cat attack your feet?

While it might be harder to state the exact reason, here are some possible reasons why your cat is attacking your feet which might seem convincing for you.

  • You move your toes/ legs instigating your cat to activate the prey mode
    This has been happening with me most of the times!

    Whenever I move my toes under the blanket and my cat notices the movement, my cat feels like playing with it.

    She gets instigated to find out, maybe she thinks that there is something under the blanket with whom she can have a little bit of fun. 😀

  • Your cat wants some playtime!
    Yes, sometimes your cat might be simply calling you to play with him/ her. This is also followed by frequent meowing or yowling at times.

    They might get bored with doing nothing want to burn the energy stored in their body and for this reason, your cat might find it easier the scratch your toes to convey you the message.

  • Your cat wants your attention
    Cats are attention seeker and your cat might be telling you that s/ he needs your attention by punching your toes.
    Cats also think our toes are little rats or mice to play with.

  • A form of communication
    In many cases, kitty wants to communicate to you playing with your toes. Cats communicate for food, play or company.
    Sometimes, cats also communicate to let know that their toy is missing (Eleven does it).

  • Psychological issues
    Cats feel psychologically pressured too! Eleven gets stressed when she hears my neighbour’s dog barking.
    She plays with my toes and fingers when she doesn’t want to look outside the window.

  • bored and lonely
    Cats might feel very lonely as owners go to work all day.
    They also want a good company so that they can play with or just sit with owners for some times.

    As a result of loneliness, the cat might get encouraged to show predatory activities like attacking our toes when noticing any triggering movements.

What to do to stop your cat from attacking your feet?

Cats demonstrate certain behaviours which shouldn’t be ignored by the owners. Ignoring your cat’s new or strange behaviour may lead to severe stress in the cat and sometimes even physical consequences.

When your cat is attacking and playing with your feet you might want to find out why is he or she doing this.

Check the above possible reasons to find out why your cat is playing with your toes. Once you have traced the reason, it is always best to act.

Find out if the cat harmed you

First thing first,
while scratching and playing with your toes and legs you need to make sure you aren’t harmed. Cat’s sharp claws can result in bad scratches.

In my case, I have noticed that our cat gently attacks my toes and not in her “fierce attack” mode, and has never harmed me.

But sometimes your cat might scratch against your skin resulting in skin tears and wounds. If you have got wounds or if you are bleeding, it is always best to visit/ consult your doctor/ GP.

Make sure if your cat isn’t hungry

At many times, we forget or miss to feed our cat. Cats are innocent, they can’t open up the drawer and feed themselves.

They need our help in this. If you are a full-time worker, you can also get your cat an automatic feeder that feeds your cat in a timely manner.
If your cat is attacking your toes as a result of being unfed, make sure you give him/ her the food, water and treat s/ he deserves.

Play with your cat

Cats like to play, eat and sleep – a lot. If they aren’t sleeping, they are either playing or eating.
It is always best to dedicate some time to allow your cat some playtime. Depending on the engagement level of your cat – you can determine how intense it can be.

You need to make sure you give your cat at least 30 minutes of your time to play. Cats love playing with colourful wand toys especially those feather ones 😉

When h/she plays enough with you, h/ she might not feel like bothering you or your toes later.

Spread cat play toys and scratching post around the house

One of the most common tricks to help a cat be busy is spreading her toys all around the house.

Your Gift of $200 Cloud Hosting Credit is Here. Claim Now!

Cats absolutely love toys! They love those little mouses or birds and they play with them all day long.

This will also make the kitty tired later on.

Give your cat attention and company

Cat loves getting our attention and wants our company.
Cats think of their owners as their parents and wish to be near when they want to.

Cats like to be petted (it depends on the cat’s temperament too) and they get contented with many hugs! But cats hate being kissed! 😀

Consult your vet if you think the situation isn’t normal

Sometimes, a cat might be sick or hurt somewhere and this might be the reason for touching the owner’s feet to let them know they are not well. In this scenario, it is best to contact the vet. Cats eat insects and lick floors so this can make them ill.

Due to this, cats try to communicate with owners.
However, we need to make sure of other signs such as excessively sleeping, lack of grooming, yowling rigorously, facing the wall all day long and couple it with hitting nails or toes.


So by now, we know that cats play with our toes, scratch our feet for several possible reasons. Some of the major ones can be: asking for food, communicating some message, when the cat is bored and lonely and most of the time because of the movement of the toes which activates the prey hunting mode in our feline friend.

Whatever be the reason, it is always best to give attention to our cats, play with them and make sure they aren’t deprived of what they should have got. If your cat is scratching your feet too hard you need to make sure you are safe first. Trimming cat nails occasionally is also a good idea to stay safe from the worst cat scratches.

What do you think about this cat behaviour your cat is showing? I am curious to know your experiences.
Thanks for reading.
Enjoy your time with your fur baby. 🙂

Before you go, let's stay connected
About the Author
Lakshman Basnet
Nepali Digital Media Marketer currently based in Adelaide, South Australia who apart from playing with his cat - Eleven, also enjoys developing web content, publishing blogs and YouTube videos in his free time.

Leave a Comment