Why Do Cats Weave Between Our Legs?

Why Do Cats Weave Between Our Legs?

Every move a cat makes is on purpose and with a purpose in mind. The fun part is deciphering what each move means.

They are persistent and intelligent animals who have learned how to capture their human's attention and get what they want.

If you have a cat, then you have been nearly tripped by them countless times.

But why do cats weave between our legs?

No, it is not to intentionally trip us, even though that may happen. The wise feline wants attention, is being playful, has separation anxiety, or is attempting to herd you in a certain direction - most likely toward the kitchen.

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Some cats love attention and will do anything to get it. Your cat may have tried to meow to get your attention, but when that didn't work Fluffy made a move you couldn't ignore.

It is impossible to ignore a cat that is rubbing and weaving between your legs. Well played, cats.

Once they have your attention, they may want you to pet, play, or feed them - or all three.

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Your ankles may appear as fun objects to bat around and that is why your cat weaves in and out of your legs. This behavior may have started when your cat was a kitten and since they received the desired action, it has continued into their adult life.

Make playtime fun for your cat with engaging toys that are more appealing than your legs.

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Separation Anxiety

Cats can suffer from separation anxiety, just like dogs. They form close bonds with their humans and some will try and prevent their person from leaving by being underfoot or blocking their path.

Veterinarian Michele Bamberger and owner of Veterinary Behavior Consultants warned that some cats will even try and nip at their owner's ankles.


When you hear the word herding you think of dogs, but cats are so smart that they discovered how to herd humans to get what they want.

They simply weave around their owner's legs and direct them where they want to go. Since cats love to eat, most of the time they are pushing their parents toward the kitchen.

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Because as you know, nothing stands in a cat's way when it is feeding time.

Aside from filling their food or water bowl, your cat may lead you to their litter box to remind you to clean it.

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Cats are not afraid to ask for what they want. Make sure Fluffy receives enough attention, food, and play and she will probably stop trying to trip you - but no guarantees.

But the weaving can be dangerous for both you and your cat.

How To Stop A Cat From Walking In Front Of You

Dr. Bamberger suggests, "When your cat winds around your legs or runs in front of you, the best approach is to stand still and be silent. Wait a few seconds and then step to the side. Ignore your cat by standing still and let her realize she wont get your attention this way."

Additional Resources

Andrea Powell

Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast who resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.

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