Cats’ paws are very sensitive as they contain a large number of mechanoreceptors. Extending a forepaw to pat or push an object provides the cat with information through touch. This video illustrates a cat using one forepaw to paw a new object in his environment. He then sniffs his paw briefly to gain further information about the object (see sniff section), although this sniffing response is not always seen. The paw can also be used for other purposes (see ingestion, play and social behaviour).


Using a paw to investigate an object on the floor

Note how the cat in the following video uses his paw as well as his sense of smell to investigate the object.