Why Does My Cat Sit On Me? Kitty Lap Time Habit Explained

Medically reviewed by: Rebecca MacMillan BVetMed BSAVA PGCertSAM MRCVS
Cat Behavior May 9, 2024


Why Does My Cat Sit On Me? Kitty Lap Time Habit Explained

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Compared to dogs, cats are thought to be less cuddlyand affectionate animals. Maybe this is because felines tend to be a bit moreindependent and subtle.

Despite this, it’s not unusual to find your adorable furball jumping onto your lap the minute you settle on the couch. In fact, some cats love to cuddle and snuggle next to their owners. And let’s be honest, we cat parents love it when our adorable furballs settle on our laps.

If your feline is an adorable lap cat, you may often be puzzled by her behavior and even wonder, “why does my cat love to sit on me all the time? Is she trying to tell me something?”

Well, this article is meant to answer all your cat’s lap time behavior questions. So, here are seven reasons why your feline loves to spend time on your lap.

1. They’re Craving Attention

Your cat gets lonely, especially if you’ve been away from her for some time. That’s why when you return, your cat will probably follow you around to climb and sit on you the very first chance she gets. After all, you can’t ignore her when she is sitting on your lap. Affectionate cats such as Ragdolls, Persians, and Maine coons are known to seek attention in this way.

Some other cats will settle on their favorite person’s lap to get some petting. Petting feels likegrooming to them, which cats only do with other cats that they really like. So again, take this as a compliment!

2. It A Show Of Trust

According to Certified cat behavior consultant Marilyn Krieger, a cat will only sit on you if she trusts you.

Krieger also stresses that your cat will be more trusting if you don’t restrict her movement such that she knows she can comfortably sit on your lap or get up and leave when she wants to.

3. A Show Of Affection

Cats show affection in various ways, and snuggling next to you is one of those ways. If your cat loves you, she will show her affection by sitting on your lap. A cat that enjoys your company will always prefer to be close to you. Even if your feline isn’t a lap cat, you’ll notice that she will hang out near you.

If  your furball purrs while on your lap it is  another indication that your feline adores you. Further, if your feline headbutts you while on your lap, it’s yet another simple way of telling you, “I love you.”

4. Your Cat Is Marking Her Territory

Scent is very important to cats. Your furball claims her territory by marking it with her scent. That’s why you’ll often find your feline rubbing her body against the bed or the couch.

When your cat sits on your lap, she deposits her scent-marking pheromones on you. When other cats smell these pheromones, they will know that you’ve already been marked as somebody else’s territory.

Notably, cats that live in multi-pet households love to mark their owners just in case another pet comes and tries to claim their owner.

5. Safety And security

We all need some sense of security, and your feline friend is no exception.

Your cat feels safer when she’s close to someone she can trust. Besides, your furball knows that no harm will come to her when she sits on your lap. Thus, she will peacefully enjoy a nap on your lap as she is sure you’ll protect her in case of any harm.

6. Your Cat Is In Love With Your Scent And Soothing Sound

The natural rhythm of your heartbeat and the rising and falling of your body when you breathe soothes your cat. Also, your unique body smell makes your cat feel safe.

Besides, your cat associates your smell with companionship and safety. Therefore, she feels more relaxed when she sits on you.  This also explains why your cat loves to nap on your lap or your clothes or bed.

7. You’re Warm

Cat parents will agree that cats love to rest in warm places. Often, you’ll find your cat on the window box or at the rooftop as she tries to catch the rays of the morning sun. When the sun sets and the heat is gone, your cat may prefer to rest on your lap to get some warmth from your body.

Cats love warm places because they are descended from desert animals which thrive in warmer temperatures. Cats living in cooler environments have had to develop adaptations like thicker fur coats and an ability to seek out external sources of warmth, which includes things like radiators, cozy blankets or a warm lap. A cat’s body temperature ranges between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which they will try to maintain whilst expending the lowest amount of energy possible.

The good thing is that you’ll also benefit when your cat seeks warmth from you, as you also get some heat from your cat’s fur and body. So, you will both  end up being warm and cozy next to each other.


In conclusion, if your cat loves to sit on your lap, you shouldn’t get worried. She is probably just enjoying your company or looking for a warm, comfortable, secure place to sit. Your cat sitting on your lap may also be her way of letting you know that she adores you.

But, if you’re concerned that your feline friend is sitting on you far too much, perhaps you could try  gifting her a nice heated cat bed instead .

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do cats like to sit on you?

A cat will only sit on a person she truly trusts and feels comfortable with. It is also usually a sign that she likes you and wants to show you some affection.

What does it mean when my cat sits on my chest?

Your cat loves the natural rhythm of your heartbeat and your steady breath. The inhaling and exhaling sound you make when breathing make your cat feel relaxed and soothes her to sleep. Your chest also provides warmth, comfort and security.

Why do cats sit on you when you sleep?

When sleeping, you produce calm and slow respiratory sounds that your cat finds relaxing. Your cat enjoys your natural body sounds, as well as the warmth you give off.

Why does my cat sit on me when I’m lying down?

When you lie down quietly, your cat finds it relaxing to join you. Whilst you’re lying down, she can view the whole room and keep an eye out for any incoming danger. Your cat also marks her territory when she sits on you with pheromones, letting other pets know that you’re taken.

Agnes is a freelance writer with big love for all fluffy creatures, especially her Maine Coon cat. She's written over 200 articles about animal care, ranging from how to raise kittens to the healthiest pet snacks on the market
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