Why Does My Cat Hit Me When I Walk By?

When a cat walks by, it may not seem like anything is out of the ordinary. However, some cats may hit people when they walk by. This can be dangerous for both the cat and the person.

Cats who hit people may get injured or even killed. If you notice that your cat is hitting people, you should take steps to stop it from doing so.

Why does my cat hit me when i walk by

When people pass by their cats, some may find it strangely comforting to have the feline friend purring up close and personal. But for those who are unlucky enough to receive a paw swat from their cat, there can be no denying that the behavior is puzzling and often unfair. 

Some possible reasons why your cat hits you when you walk by. Here are some of those reasons:

To get your attention

When you walk by your cat, she may hiss or swat at you in an attempt to get your attention. This behavior is usually a sign that the cat feels neglected or lonely. 

If your cat hisses at you consistently, it might be time to take her to the vet for a check-up. In most cases, cats are just trying to get your attention and will stop if you give them some love and attention.

Defensive behavior

Many people believe their cat is being defensive when it hits them when they walk by. Cats are intuitive to protect themselves and will hit if they feel threatened. Some experts say that cats are just trying to send a message to the person walking by – “stay away from me!”.

Territorial behavior

Cats are very protective of their territory, and when someone walks by, they feel like they are intruding on their space. This is why cats may hit out at their owners when walking by. 

This is because cats view themselves as the rulers of their home, and any intruder who comes into their territory should be treated with caution.

Want to play

Most cats enjoy being brushed and petted, but some get too carried away and start playing rough. This behavior can be caused by boredom, loneliness, or simply wanting to have some fun. 

If you’re walking by your cat and they start batting at your feet or jumping up at you, don’t be alarmed – it’s just their way of showing affection!


When a person walks by their cat, the cat may feel angry or threatened. Cats have very strong facial expressions; when angry, they may hiss or swat at a person. Some people believe that cats hit people to communicate their anger.


Cats are naturally fearful and will react defensively when they feel threatened. This fear can manifest itself in different ways, but one common way is through biting. When your cat bites you while you’re walking by, it’s likely doing so out of fear and not aggression.


Most cats groom themselves. If you pet your cat, they may feel compelled to return the favor by grooming you. However, if your cat constantly hits you when you walk past them, it might be because they are frustrated. 

When a cat feels frustrated, they may lash out to regain control. If this behavior is persistent, your veterinarian may recommend behavior modification therapy.


When a cat sees its owner approaching, it may instinctively try to ward them off by hitting or scratching. This behavior is usually motivated by jealousy and can be triggered by anything that reminds the cat of its owners, such as a pet or another person who seems close to the owner.


Cats who feel that they have been wronged or hurt may lash out at the person who caused those feelings, whether intentional or not. 

It can be difficult to determine when a cat acts out of revenge. Still, it’s worth investigating if you notice your cat becoming more aggressive or attacking when you’re around.

Feeling provoked

When you walk by your cat, they may feel provoked and lash out. This can be due to many reasons, including being ignored or not given enough attention, confined to a small area, or feeling threatened

If your cat feels this way around people, keeping them indoors and providing plenty of attention might be best. Alternatively, some cats may learn to tolerate human presence if they are allowed to chase and play with them periodically.

What to do when your cat hits you when you walk by

pet them lightly on the head when your cat hits you when you walk by

It can be scary when you’re out walking your cat, and they suddenly lunge out at you from behind a tree. Here are some tips on how to react when your cat does this:

  1. Calmly approach your cat and pet them lightly on the head. If they continue to act aggressively, try picking them up and placing them in a safe place before calling a professional.
  2. Try to remember what your cat was trying to do – was it trying to play, or was it reacting defensively? If it was reacting defensively, try talking to your cat calmly and see if that helps diffuse the situation.
  3. If the attack was accidental, gently explain to your cat that they were wrong and should not have done that. If the attack was intentional, discipline your cat using positive reinforcement (feeding them treats etc.), and make sure they understand that this behavior is not allowed in the future.
  4. If all else fails, consider getting a restraining collar for your cat, just like the below product.

How to prevent your cat from hitting you when you walk by

You can do a few things to help prevent your cat from hitting you when you walk by.

  1. Keep your cat well-fed and content since cats who are hungry or bored will be more likely to strike out.
  2. Try keeping your cat indoors during the daytime since they’re less likely to attack when they’re not surrounded by an environment they know.
  3. Ensure that your cat has enough toys and playtime, so they’re not constantly aroused and looking for attention from you.
  4. Make sure your cat knows who’s boss. When walking around the house, make sure your cat knows who’s in charge by speaking calmly and firmly in a loud voice. If they obey you, they likely will when they’re out of the house too.
  5. Keep your distance from your cat when they’re walking around. Don’t let them come too close – keep a safe distance of at least three feet between you and your cat at all times. If your cat does get too close, speak firmly but calmly to them, and try not to scare them off.


In conclusion, your cat may be simply trying to communicate with you. If you are walking by them and they suddenly lash out, it may be because they are uncomfortable or scared. 

If this is the case, continue to treat your cat with love and respect, and try not to walk by them when they’re upset. You may need to keep a distance until your cat feels more comfortable around you again.

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