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Why Does My Cat Sit On Me? 8 Reasons You Should Know

You’re all snug and settled on the sofa, or typing away at your laptop, and suddenly, your adorable kitty jumps onto your lap, curls into a ball, and purrs away peacefully. Many ponder the question, “Why does my cat sit on me?”.

There are many ways to express oneself in cat word. Cats like to sit on laps because they feel secure and safe near you. They may be trying to warm themselves up or are coming to you for attention.

Once they feel satisfied, they’ll often leave to do something far more interesting.

All kitties have unique personalities; some are more loving and keen snugglers; while others may prefer to hang out alone and keep their distance. Then there are the lap cats that are ready to leap onto your legs and blissfully enjoy your company.

Let’s take a look at some reasons why our kitties choose to sit on us rather than curling up on their comfy beds and with their toys

ginger and tabby cat sit on lap

Why Does my Cat Sit On Me?

1. They Crave Attention

Have you ever noticed your cat slowly climbs onto your lap when you’re in the middle of doing something, like reading a good book or working away at your laptop? Well, your fur baby is craving attention.

If your cat sits on your lap and stares at you and starts meowing, it’s possible they want your attention. They may be bored and looking for affection, or simply just hungry.

ginger cat on woman's lap stares at her face

2. They’re Affectionate

Cuddling up is just one of the many ways your kitty can show their love and affection to you. This rings especially true if you’ve been away all day and they’ve been alone.

Cats gravitate toward people – or owners – they like, and seek connection with their beloved humans.

When you finally return home after a day (or night) out, all your kitty wants to do is be right by your side, follow you around, until you sit or lie down. Just so they can climb up onto your lap (or legs).

cat with dark face being tickled under chin

Sometimes, if they curl up on your lap, they’re seeking love because they associate laps with receiving affection from being petted.

But Why? Because your fur-ball buddy loves you and craves your attention. This behavior is a cat showing trust for the person. All the head butting, the purrs and kisses; these add up to one thing – love.

what does it mean when a cat headbutts you - ginger cat snugglin

3. Kitties Love Warmth

Have you ever noticed your feline catching the first ray of sunlight seeping through the windows in the morning? Whether it’s on the sofa or the windowsill, your kitty will be right there soaking it all up.

This is mostly because cats prefer heated resting places and their temperature receptors – notably their faces – are especially sensitive. A cat’s average body temperature can range from 101°F to 102.5°F (37.2 °C – 39.2 °C) – maintaining this temperature takes effort.

woman with blanket and two cats on her lap why does my cat sit on me

Felines seek out external heat sources, so their bodies don’t have to work as hard to keep a core heat, and our laps may be just the spot. 

If your furbaby is lying on you a little too much, you can tempt her with a heated cat bed. The warmth mimics your body heat, giving a comforting alternative.

Your kitty will love feeling toasty and may even stretch out, head and paws up, belly in the air, in appreciation.

grey cat in beige cat bed

4. Your Fur Baby Wants To Bond

Cats have earned a fair reputation for being unfriendly, aloof, and preferring a solitary life. But as cat owners, we know this is far from the truth.

Our furbabies are as affectionate and loving as they are social and friendly. Temperament, personality, and the breed of your cat can influence how cuddly your ball of fluff is.

fluffy white cat lying on bed

Sometimes, they’ll figure out what time you arrive home from work and will be waiting at the door for you, demanding attention. They’ll rub against your legs, bump you with their heads, or meow for snuggle time – this can be a display of social bonding too.

At bedtime, it’s not unusual for cats to practice ‘pillowing’ with another cat. This is when they use their brother or sister as a ‘pillow’ to snuggle up next to or on – adorable!

silver siberian cats grooming each other

If they are the only felines – or pets – in the house, then you’re the next best option. Cats yearn for cuddles, which is why you would see them sleeping together or lying on each other, and this same bonding element translates to humans.

This is a tactile component to the feline and human bond, a way your kitty is saying, ‘I love you and I want to spend time with you.’

tabby cat on woman's legs in jeans on wooden floor

5. They’re Dibbing Their Territory

Scent matters to your kitty. Cats are territorial creatures and claim their turf by marking it with their smell (their scent glands on their bodies). It’s one of the main ways they communicate.

Your kitty may rub her face on you to deposit oils or pheromones; it’s the feline behavior of showing comfort and marks ownership.

So when they get to curl up on top of you and sleep on your legs or chest, they’re marking you – or your bed – as their own. We should consider this as a compliment, though.

person strokes black and white cat sitting in lap

⇒ Getting a new kitty? Check out my guide to How to Look after a Kitten, 6 Best Kitten Wet Food Options and 8 Best Kitten Dry Food Options

6. Felines Like Comfy Spots

Our kitties can sleep around 12 – 16 hours a day, so naturally, they’re looking for a nice comfortable place to catch a few winks.

This depends on what your kitty prefers best, whether it be on a sofa or stretched out on their cat perches, kitties love soft and cozy places to relax and snuggle up for the day.

Imagine how inviting you feel to a cat who finds you under several plush blankets. Your belly immediately becomes the cuddliest place on earth. Also, your cat may like what you are wearing. If you have soft leggings or a fleece top on they may choose to cuddle up to you because they like the feel of the fabric.

grey cat sits on woman's lap with blanket reading

7. Cats Look to Feel Safe and Secure

Everyone and everything needs and wants security. Your loving cat is no exception. Sleep is a vulnerable time for your kitty, so your cat curling up on your lap indicates that she trusts you and feels protected with you.

When your cat is on the lookout for a snuggly place to sleep, she wants comfort and warmth and a safe and secure place.

No harm can come to her when her favorite beloved person is there, so kitty dreams can come easily when she has nothing to fear.

A cat really has to trust you to sit on your lap. So when your cat sits on your lap make sure that you don’t restrict its movement and give it the option to leave. In the long term, this type of behaviour will increase trust levels with your cat.

grey cat sits on person's lap wearing jeans with holes

8. They Love Your Soothing Sounds & Scents

Felines love to sleep, and it turns out, the steady rhythm of your heartbeat and the soothing rise and fall of your inhaling and exhaling can lull your fur baby to sleep.

Your unique smell can also help your kitty feel secure as she associates it with the companionship and safety you provide her.

In short, your kitty may find natural bodily sounds and smells to be relaxing and sleep-inducing.

grey and black cat sits on woman's lap whilst she uses laptop

A Footnote on Why Cats Sit on Our Laps

If your cat is one that loves to sit on your lap, you should feel gratified, and take it as a compliment. Your baby is showing you that they love and trust you.

ginger cat sits on person's lap.png

Why do cats like our laps? Cats enjoy lap time because they perceive it to provide comfort during a mid-day siesta, or for a little petting near their beloved. It does, however, come down to the personality of each feline.

Consider your kitty sleeping on your lap as an indication of their trust and love, since they consider you the safest place. Even when you’re not in bed, most felines enjoy curling up for nap time on their owner’s lap. It’s not only a warm place but it’s the perfect spot to receive some extra petting.

ginger cat sits at end of blond woman's feet

Please Note: This why does my cat sit on me post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through on most of the links and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. This will not affect the price that you pay. I wanted to make sure that you were aware of this.

dark faced cat sits on lap with laptop

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Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Even the smallest cat is a nature wonder.Leonardo da Vinci

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