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Why Does My Cat Hug My Arm? (Warmth or Worry?)

If your cat is hugging your arm you may be wondering why it does this and if it has good intentions or not…

Why does my cat hug my arm?

Your cat may hug your arm for several reasons such as wanting to show its affection, keeping warm, or some security. Either way, it is a good sign that your cat loves and trusts you or it wouldn’t be that close to you.

So, now you know. But, why do some do this and bite? Why do some cats hug your arm while you are sleeping? Also, why do some cats do this while you rub their belly? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

3 top reasons your cat may hug your arm:

Why does my cat hug my arm?

A cat being stroked on its chin with its paw on its owner’s arm.

Earlier I quickly mentioned a few reasons why your cat may hug your arm. Therefore, in this section, I will explain each one in more detail:

01. Showing affection

One of the main reasons your cat may hug your arm is to show affection. Most cats love their owners and choose to spend as much time with them as possible. Therefore giving your arm a big hug is a great way to show it.

As long as your cat is not scratching or biting you while it does this (more on this later), then you can be sure that it is good intentions.

02. Needs security

If a cat feels anxious or stressed out it may need to hug you to feel secure. Cats. in this context, are similar to humans. Because they appreciate the support from us.

This may be why you may notice your cat hopping into bed with you and trying to hug your arm (more on this later).

03. Wants to feel warm

As you can imagine cats like to feel cozy and warm. You can often see them getting cozy next to a radiator or heat source in the winter months. So, hugging your arm is the next best thing.

Apart from hugging your arm for warmth, you may notice them wrapping up in a fuzzy blanket or other soft material objects.

Why do some cats hug my arm and bite?

Your cat may hug your arm and bite if it gets overstimulated, or overexcited. There is also a chance that static electricity could make this happen. Regarding overexcitement or overstimulation, this can happen if you encourage rough play fighting.

Other ways this can be triggered if you try to stroke a cat’s fur in the wrong direction. Meaning, the opposite of the natural flow of the fur, some people call this against the grain. This often really annoys cats and can result in them biting you.

Why does my cat hug my arm while sleeping?

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There are two main reasons why a cat may hug your arm while you sleep:

  • Showing love
  • Keeping you in place

01. Showing love

When a cat sleeps in your bed it wants to keep close to you. And, when it goes further by hugging your arm it’s a big tell that it loves and appreciates you.

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Top 10 Cat Breeds

02. Keeping you in place

Another reason for this behavior is a way to hold you in place. This is more of a practical move to make you less likely to leave the bed, or change position.

In reality, this small paw on your arm can’t physically hold you in place but, it’s more of a psychological hold to make you think twice about moving, are you with me?

Why do cats hug your arm when you rub their belly?

A cat may hug your arm when you rub their bellow for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s learned to appreciate it
  • It wants to warn you before it bites

01. It’s learned to appreciate it

Most cats are not big fans of having their belly rubbed, contrary to popular belief. But, the reason why you may see some cats appearing to enjoy it and hugging your arm as you do, is because some have just accepted it.

For example, my brother-in-law is a nice enough guy, but he has a habit of rubbing my head occasionally as a joke. Do I love it? no! But, do I laugh it off and accept it, yes, to be honest. For cats, it’s the same thing.

02. It wants to warn you before it bites

Some cats are not going to accept this belly rub at all and will grab your arm, rather than hugging it lovingly. In this context, it is a physical barrier in the hope you get the hint and stop.

After this, if you persist, it’s likely to end with a scratch or bite.

Do cats know that hugs and kisses are a sign of affection?

Cats do seem to understand that hugs and kisses are a sign of affection. This is evident by the feedback you get from them. It seems as if they are reciprocating the action by giving back such as hugging your arm.

The theory is that cats appreciate their owner and the love they show and wish to offer them some feedback to show appreciation and in an attempt to keep it happening.

Why does my cat hug me like a human?

If you see your cat hugging you, or a family member, like a human it is likely to be because it is copying what it has seen us humans do. They know that if they do something similar they will get a positive response.

And, when you look at the results, they are right, they do usually get. a good response especially from their owner, or family members in their home.

Should you hug your cat?

There is a theory that hugging your cat is not a great idea. This is based on the fact that their wild ancestors were often grabbed in a similar way to how we humans would pick them up which could trigger fear in them.

Some would argue that domesticated cats are not affected because they have been conditioned to this and do not see it as a threat. Truthfully, the debate continues. But, only you know your cat the best and can understand what you see.

Why do cats hug a couch arm?

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Cats may hug a couch arm because it’s comfortable and high up. Regarding the latter, high up, cats see this as an advantage because they get sight of their surroundings, or predators first.

This is an instinctual move taken from their ancestors that used these high positions to catch their prey or hide from their predators.

The big issue with your couch is it can get damaged or dirty if this happens consistently. Hence the reasons some cat owners use couch covers to protect it (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad).

Why do cats hug your hand and refuse to let go?

If you have noticed that a cat is hugging your hand and will not let go it is not a good sign. In most cases, it could be followed by a scratch or bite. Especially if you have tried your best to tell it to come off.

Lindsey Browlingdon