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Why Does My Cat Walk Between My Legs?

Why Does My Cat Walk Between My Legs?

After experiencing that heart-stopping feeling of nearly trampling or tripping over our cats, this is probably one of the most common questions every cat owner has asked themselves. Nothing is more heartbreaking than accidentally hurting your feline companion, especially when they won’t stop herding your legs.

Getting that needed affection from our feline friend is a dream come true, except when it potentially becomes harmful to you or your cat. In addition, when your cat starts walking between your legs, you can hardly get anything done.

With that said, there could be a bunch of reasons why your cat likes to walk between your legs. Let us go over them to help you deal with your feline friend’s needs accordingly.

The Head Rubs

When your cat is walking between your legs, try to notice its behavior while at it. One of these times, you might find your cat rubbing its head on your legs as you are walking. It probably means that the cat is trying to figure something out about you. It could be a number of things like what your mood is or where you are going. Cats have many ways to figure things out. In addition, cats naturally have a curious personality which makes it safe to assume that a cat walking between your legs while rubbing its head on you is trying to get to know you better.

Apart from that, cats remember humans because of their scents. If you have a friendly and loving feline friend, don’t be surprised to see it rubbing its head on your guest’s leg. After all, it’s just trying to know who they are and adjusting to their scent.

Multi-colored cat

Full Body Rub

Most of the time, you will find your feline friend walking between your legs when trying to walk around the house. Notice how your cat is walking between your legs. If the cat is rubbing its whole body against your legs without using its head, it probably means that the cat smells an unfamiliar scent on you and is trying to get used to that scent. 

Apart from that, it can also mean that your feline friend smells the scent of another cat on you and is now marking you with its scent. Additionally, when a cat is trying to claim you like this, it doesn’t necessarily mean it smelled another cat on you. Aside from that, it could simply mean that the cat is happy with your companionship and has accepted you as its own. It is very typical for cats to claim their humans. 

In other words, your cat is marking you with its scent to let the whole world know you are theirs. It is kind of sweet in its way. So, it might get a bit inconvenient for you, but your kitty can’t help all the love it has for you sometimes.

Herding Its Human

We know that when cats walk between their owners’ legs, it is a form of getting to know them to accept them. But these aren’t the only reasons as it is a known fact that cats are pretty smart. They pick up on things fast and need to know about everything that’s going on around them. Their curious personalities make them learn and change behaviors. 

Moreover, when a cat walks between your legs, it could also mean that it is trying to guide your path. Due to their curious and intelligent nature, cats can be very manipulative and good at communicating their behavior. Try to notice when your cat starts getting all cuddly. It will mostly be when you walk to the bedroom with a plate of food or just to the kitchen.

Mostly, cats almost always want something when they walk in between your legs. They are trying to walk between your legs to guide you to that box of treats they love so much. In addition, if you are holding food in your hand, then your cat is very likely to walk between your legs and try to guide you to its bowl.

Friendship Bonding

If you have more than one cat in your home, you might have commonly seen your cats bond. When cats communicate with other cats, they softly rub their bodies against each other. It only happens between cats that are friendly towards one another.

Similarly, if a cat does that to you, it is a clear sign of friendship and affection. Since cats are much smaller than us, our legs and feet are the easiest places for them to rub against. So, it might be safe to assume that your feline friend has no idea that walking between your legs could cause you to trip and hurt yourself, or does it?

Apart from that, a cat believes it is your equal and will give all its affection the same way you give it. Cats are solitary creatures. They do not form packs or alliances; they live and hunt alone. So, if you see it through a cat’s mind, your home is familiar territory, and you are a non-threatening human that is their food source. 

Orange stripped cat

Petting Its Human Back

Because of their curious nature, cats are fast learners. It also applies to the fact that cats consider themselves as your equals. So, if you pet them quite often to show your love, your cat will do the same. In addition, cats assume that what they like for themselves, the humans will like it too. It is kind of sweet in its own way. Sure, one of these times, a cat will bring a bird or a dead rat. But they only do it to show how much they love you.

For this reason, if your cat wants to show you, love, it will do it by petting you back. They know how satisfying it is to get a pet, and they expect the same feeling from you when they do it. But it is not so often when your cat is showing love back to you, so enjoy the moment and let your feline friend show you how much they appreciate all that you do for them.

Craving Attention

I’m sure you remember how you responded to your cat rubbing against your leg for the first time. You either kneeled down to pet it, give it scratches and play with it, or you simply picked it up and carried it around like a baby and spoiled it with pets and treats. By doing this, you taught your cat its first trick.

Similarly, whenever your cat wants something from you, it will walk in between your legs because it knows that this is how it can get its way with you. Other than that, your cat probably remembers that this is the best way to get your attention and get pets.

Apart from that, notice what your cat does after walking between your legs. When a cat lies down right after they have successfully stopped you from walking, most of the time. It means that they want to play with you or need belly rubs.

All in all, your cat needs your love and attention, and it is through learned behavior that it walks between your legs so often.

Three-colored cat

Stressed Excessive Rubbing

Your feline friend can easily become stressed regarding their health, hunger, or other neglected needs. Usually, when a cat rubs against your legs, it is safe to assume that it needs your attention or it is hungry. You might notice that your cat is walking between your legs but is constantly alert to its surroundings. It could mean that your cat senses danger and is scared, and is seeking your protection.

Apart from that, some cats have a protective instinct for their owners. It means that your cat is stressed out because it feels something is dangerous in your surroundings. It is trying to guide you away from the danger or simply just trying to protect you from it.


It is easier to think that cats walk between our legs because they are evil and want us to trip. It makes us wonder wh our cats behave in a way that makes it easier to believe that they like to watch us fall, but it is surely not the case.

Cats love being near the people they care about. Considering how small they are, your legs are the closest they can get to you while you are standing. In addition, they will sit near you, nudge at you and even meow at you for attention. All you have to do is learn their behavior as they follow you around the house.