Why Does My Cat Swipe At Me When I Walk By?

We have all encountered the situation we are talking about here. You are walking by your cat, minding your own business, and suddenly the cat swipes at you out of the blue.

If you do not trim the nails properly, that could hurt quite a bit. So, it is quite natural to speculate the reasons for this behavior.

Most of the time, cats do this to grab the attention of their owners.

It is perfectly fine if the cat is performing to be playful. However, an aggressive swipe can be an indication of several problems.

It is quite hard to understand the reason behind any behavior.

So, in this article, we are going to provide a complete picture of the situation. Let us start with the possible reasons behind cats swiping at you when walking by.

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Why Does My Cat Swipe At Me When I Walk By It?

It is quite hard to determine why cats do any particular activity.

If you wonder why cats generally take a swing at you when you are just walking by, you can stop wondering after reading this article.

We have scratched our heads to develop all the possible reasons that can make the cat do this behavior. So, let’s begin.


Cats can have all sorts of attention-seeking behaviors. Swiping at you might be another one of these.

If your cat is doing this behavior because of attention, you are probably not fulfilling their needs. In that case, you can start petting your cat whenever you are walking by.

Another solution might be petting them separately every day like a routine. In this way, you not only fulfill their needs, but the relationship also gets stronger.

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Wants To Play:

Enough playtime is another essential part of a cat’s routine.

You have to make sure that the cat is receiving appropriate exercise. Excess energy is never good for a cat, and you have to keep your cat from being destructive or aggressive.

So, we have seen cats swiping at their owners to ask for a play session.

Now, there are two things you can do. You can either give in to such requests and start playing with the cat. Or, you can compensate for it some other time. 

The former would not be a suitable solution as it will make the cat repeat this behavior often. The latter would be the best way to deal with this scenario.


The cat can do this in fear as well. Especially if you suddenly walk past your cat when it was not expecting, it would startle the cat.

And there is no guarantee how a cat would react when it is startled.

The cat can also be scared if you have ever intentionally or unintentionally hurt your cat. So, probably it does not want you to come close to you.

Whatever the reason might be, you need to give your cat enough space to make it feel safe. Slowly the cat will grow comfortable with you, and the behavior should stop along with it.


Cats are also capable of showing aggressive behavior towards you.

There is no way of saying what is causing the aggression. However, there is a way around their aggression.

Not only do you have to make sure that the cat is safe around you, but there is also a need to distract them from doing something else as well.

So, you can always carry some treats or toys when you are walking by and throw these towards them to keep them distracted.

If the cat behaves aggressively in other scenarios, you can always take them to a vet to have a full checkup. Cat behaviorists are also a great option.


Aggressive behaviors or attention-seeking behaviors are also sometimes related to underlying diseases.

So, if you have seen sudden behavioral changes in your cat, it is best to visit a veterinarian for a full checkup.

In other words, if you notice that your cat has suddenly started swiping at you, it is best if you can consult a vet about it.

Several diseases can cause this type of aggressive behavior, and it is best to identify any problem as soon as possible.

Why Does My Cat Keep Swatting At Me?

If your cat persists with aggressive behavior in other conditions, there could be some serious implications. One of the most common reasons is their aggressive nature. In other cases, it might be an indication of something serious as well.

It is also possible that the cat did not go through proper training when the cat was young. Years of persistent behavior are hard to get rid of, and you should address something as soon as you notice.

For example, if you observe that you do not like a particular behavior, you have to think of ways to keep your cat occupied when it generally acts.

The method can vary from one cat to another as all of them are different in their ways.

As we have mentioned previously, attention-seeking behavior can also make the cat behave in this way.

As swatting is not uncommon for a cat, you have to deal with it properly. If you think it is going out of hand, distraction should work for the cat.

A Few Other Things To Consider:

Generally, cats do not hurt you if they are taking a swing at you. Most of the time, the cat swipes at you to grab your attention. So, they keep their nails inside and avoid hurting your leg.

The best way to make sure that your cat does not end up hurting you is to trim its nails from time to time. Generally, cats get rid of their older layers of nails by scratching onto surfaces.

However, aggressive swatting may cause some bruising on your legs as the nails can dig in. However, helping them in this makes sure they are always satisfied with their nail length.

There are nail caps as well, which hide the pointy edges of the nails. In this way, you can make claws perfectly safe and make them look stylish at the same time.

However, it would help if you never considered declawing as one of the solutions. It is an inhuman act that you can do to your cat. Declawing is not a temporary thing for cats.

It is a serious surgery that can leave your cat with a huge deal of pain. Apart from that, declawing can have a long-term effect on the health of your cat. The other two options are effective and safe.


Cats have all sorts of quirky behavior that might not have any definite explanation at all.

Although we cannot say for sure why your cat takes a swipe at you when you are walking by, this article contains some possible explanations for this behavior.

Observing their behavior throughout will help you determine which one of the reasons is true for your cat.

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