Is It Normal For A Cat To Not Like Their Back Legs Touched Or Could He Be Hurt?

iheartlife

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
98
Purraise
23
My male cat has been very aggressive if I touch his back legs, especially when I try to brush under them. He is neutered if that will have any affect on aggression when you touch a male cats back legs. He's long haired and has been getting mats in his fur betweeen his back legs so I've been trying to brush there in particular and he gets very aggressive. He yowls, his tail twitches, and he scratches and bites (drawing blood even). I have been very gentle when brushing there, making sure not to pull any fur out or rake his penis with the brush. At first I thought he was just hating being brushed, but then I wondered if it was causing him pain. So I felt over his back legs and any time I touched the muscular upper parts, he had the same reaction. Is it common for cats to hate their back legs being touched or could he be hurt and this be a pain response? I haven't seen him fall and he's been running, playing, eating/drinking, and using the litter box as normal. He'll push with his back legs (like a bunny kick) at his toys and even stand on his hind legs to play with dangly toys. Would he do this if he were in pain? Is it more likely he's just acting aggressively to the touching/brushing of his hind legs or would it be more likely that he might be hurt?
 

susanm9006

Resident Cat Willow
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
9,296
Purraise
19,436
Location
Minnesota
I think he just doesn't like it. Many cats have certain parts of their bodies that they don't like touched. It could be their back or their bellies, or their tails. You can try doling out treats to distract him while you brush and to help him learn brushing time can be rewarding, but he is probably always going to not be happy when you get those areas. If it is a real problem, you might consider getting those parts shaved shorter so they don't mat.
 

orange&white

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
8,420
Purraise
9,662
Location
Texas
I agree...he just doesn't like being touched there. My kitten has fluffy britches which so far haven't matted, but during her lifetime, I'll probably need to brush her pantaloons. She's like your cat...she does not want to be touched on the back of her legs. I keep sneaking pets on the back of her legs when I can (when she's relaxed), trying to get her accustomed to it...before I really need to groom her.
 

Animal Freak

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
1,638
Purraise
638
How old is he? Is it a new behavior or something that's happened for some time now?

It could definitely go either way. I have a six year old male who, fortunately won't do anything to hurt me, but he used to hate having behind his legs brushed. He didn't bite or scratch, but every cat is different and he would kick and struggle. Eventually he figured out that it only made it take longer and went from the worst behaved to the best.

However, more recently he became very aggressive about his back legs being brushed. Hissing, growling, raising his paw threatening to slap me. We got him to the vet and found out he has arthritis. At only six years of age, he has to be treated for arthritis. I never would have imagined it would have happened this early, but he's much better now that he's on medicine. So if this is a new and sudden behavior, definitely get your cat checked out.
 

PushPurrCatPaws

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
May 22, 2015
Messages
9,793
Purraise
9,922
My male cat has been very aggressive if I touch his back legs, especially when I try to brush under them. ... I haven't seen him fall and he's been running, playing, eating/drinking, and using the litter box as normal. He'll push with his back legs (like a bunny kick) at his toys and even stand on his hind legs to play with dangly toys. ...
I think if he is using his legs just fine to play, run, use the litter box, and all that seems normal, then he may not be hurt -- he sounds fine. He's just particular about the leg touches!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

iheartlife

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
98
Purraise
23
How old is he? Is it a new behavior or something that's happened for some time now?

It could definitely go either way. I have a six year old male who, fortunately won't do anything to hurt me, but he used to hate having behind his legs brushed. He didn't bite or scratch, but every cat is different and he would kick and struggle. Eventually he figured out that it only made it take longer and went from the worst behaved to the best.

However, more recently he became very aggressive about his back legs being brushed. Hissing, growling, raising his paw threatening to slap me. We got him to the vet and found out he has arthritis. At only six years of age, he has to be treated for arthritis. I never would have imagined it would have happened this early, but he's much better now that he's on medicine. So if this is a new and sudden behavior, definitely get your cat checked out.
He is almost 1.5 years old. It is a new behavior but in the sense that I've never really touched him there before because I've never had to brush him until now. So it's not like I've been brushing him for months and then out of nowhere he starts this behavior when I brush his hind legs. I'm thinking he just really hates being touched there because I tried to brush him again when he was sleepy and the reaction wasn't nearly as severe. He tolerated the brushing for a few minutes before getting aggressive. I also tried petting his back legs and pressing on them slightly before the brushing when he was sleepy and relaxed and he didn't yowl or try to bite like before so I don't think he's in pain. So for now I think it's just that he is having an aggressive reaction to being brushed there for some reason. I've never seen a cat do this before but since most everyone has said it's probably normal I'm going to try not to worry about it and just keep an eye on it when I brush him in the future; I'll also keep an eye out for any other signs he might be in pain just in case.
 
Last edited:

Animal Freak

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
1,638
Purraise
638
It sounds like it could just be a hate thing, but I would keep an eye on him just in case. If he doesn't play much or struggles with jumping, then it could be an issue. But if he hasn't been brushed for a year and a half then it's not surprising he took so badly to it. I have yet to meet a cat who enjoys their back legs being messed with so it's really something to do from a young age and continue to do to ensure they're used to it. He'll probably get used to it with time.
 

Flutter

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
2
Purraise
0
I watch a lot of My cat from hell with Jackson Galaxy. He is considered a cat expert and has fantastic tips. I also have 4 cats. I learned that some cats build up static electricity in their body and it is sometimes painful to be pet or touched in certain areas. My cat Boo doesn't like her butt pet so I started putting lotion on before petting her to not create static and it seems to work also I am very gentle with her now.
 

Flutter

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
2
Purraise
0
He is almost 1.5 years old. It is a new behavior but in the sense that I've never really touched him there before because I've never had to brush him until now. So it's not like I've been brushing him for months and then out of nowhere he starts this behavior when I brush his hind legs. I'm thinking he just really hates being touched there because I tried to brush him again when he was sleepy and the reaction wasn't nearly as severe. He tolerated the brushing for a few minutes before getting aggressive. I also tried petting his back legs and pressing on them slightly before the brushing when he was sleepy and relaxed and he didn't yowl or try to bite like before so I don't think he's in pain. So for now I think it's just that he is having an aggressive reaction to being brushed there for some reason. I've never seen a cat do this before but since most everyone has said it's probably normal I'm going to try not to worry about it and just keep an eye on it when I brush him in the future; I'll also keep an eye out for any other signs he might be in pain just in case.
Try changing brushes or just cut the matts off instead of trying to detangle them.
 
Top