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Why Does My Cat Sit On Me? Are They Looking For a Cuddle?

As a cat owner, I’m sure you are very familiar with the disruption your furry friend can cause when they sit on you minutes before you need to get up. Whether you were about to head to the bathroom or grab yourself a snack, you are now rendered completely powerless, and will stay rooted to your seat, for as long as you cat decides to stay. 

Or you will risk their wrath and move them, once the pressure in your bladder gets too much. In which case you shouldn’t be surprised to find your cat waiting for you outside the bathroom. They just want to make sure you redirect your attention back to them as soon as you are done.

Why do cats like to sit on their owners (ans other humans)? Is it just about the comfort and the cuddle, or is there something else involved? 

They Are Looking To Warm Up 

Cats have a higher base temperature than humans, which tends to hover between 37.7 and 38.7°C. In an effort to give their bodies a break, they often look for the warmest spot in the house, so they don’t have to work as hard to sustain said temperature. 

Your lap happens to be a very comfy warm spot. If there is a blanket involved as well, you can practically guarantee your cat will want to enjoy it too. 

They Are Looking For Safety 

Cats feel much safer when their favorite humans are around. They can rely on you to protect them, or at the very least warn them there are predators about, and can completely relax. 

This does not mean your cat feels unsafe in your home. It’s simply in their nature to stay alert and look for protection. 

They Are Looking For Attention 

If you’ve been doing something non-cat-related for a while, like reading, watching TV or working on your computer, the feline is certain to come and interrupt. They will demand attention as soon as they realize they’ve gone long enough without it, and will not shy away from sitting on you no matter where you might be at the time (toilet included). 

Note that if you pet them every time they sit on you, you will be reinforcing this behavior. If you don’t want your cat to interrupt you while you are working, avoid encouraging them. However, also note that there is practically nothing you can do: your cat will find a way to get what they want, whether you comply immediately or need a bit of persuasion. 

They Are Being Sociable 

If your cat is particularly sociable, they will come sit on you simply to have some company. Some cats love to join any gathering, and will sit in your guests’ laps just to stay in the loop. 

Lap cats will seek out any chance to be close to you, so when the lap is available, they will take advantage, fret not. 

They Are Just Affectionate 

Sitting on you is also a cat’s way of showing affection. If you’ve been away all day, they will be there the moment you get home, ready to bestow some cuddles. If you are working from home, they will consider themselves particularly lucky, and get as much lap time as possible too: it’s right there! 

You Are Wearing Something Comfy

Cats love to be comfortable. And while they may appear anything but when they are sitting like humans, and while being a cat loaf also does not seem like the comfiest position (aren’t they squishing their front paws?), trust me when I say comfort is one of the prime driving forces in a cat’s life. 

If you happen to be wearing an extra snuggly jumper, or any item of clothing that your cat particularly likes, you can bet your last dollar they will come running. 

You Smell Nice 

If you happen to be bathed in a smell cats like, they will come to investigate, and probably end up sitting on you. Cats love the smell of their owners, and find it very comforting, so don’t be at all surprised if they come to enjoy a freshly laundered piece of clothing, and try not to grudge them the hairs they leave behind. 

They Are Marking Their Territory 

Speaking of the hairs cats leave behind, another reason why they may come to sit on you (especially if you’ve recently had a shower or are wearing something clean), is an attempt to mark you as their territory. 

Cats consider their humans a part of the family, and they will routinely leave their scent (and hairs, sometimes whiskers too) on you, to tell everyone else you are spoken for. 

They Want Some Company 

When a cat just wants a bit of company, what better way to find it than to come and sit on you? They can join any of your activities, and probably get involved. If you are just watching the TV, they can get some cuddles and perhaps sneak a catnap in. 

What Makes a Lap Cat?

While it is somewhat possible to train a cat to become a lap cat, others are simply born this way. Their breed, upbringing and unique personality all play a part. 

If your cat is still a kitten, you will likely be able to train them to enjoy spending time in your lap, regardless of their breed. Adult cats have already formed a lot of habits and memories, and you may find that they aren’t as cuddly as you would like them to be, but with a bit of patience and dedication, you can still get them to trust you and enjoy spending time in your lap. 

Senior cats usually become more cuddly and prefer their owner’s lap, as this is where they feel safe and warm. 

Lap cats need to feel safe and protected, and form a deep and loving relationship with their owner. Working towards that goal will result in them spending more and more time in your lap. 

Do Cats Love You If They Sit On You?

Yes, cats are showing love and affection when they sit on a human. Cats tend to be an amazing judge of character, and will not sit on just anyone’s lap. If they single someone out, it means they are trustworthy, and usually a good human. 

If your cat sits on you often, feel free to consider yourself a good cat parent and a good person overall. If they don’t, consider their personality and history. They may need some more time to warm up to you, even if you are doing everything right. 

Why Does My Cat Sit On Me When I Lay Down?

Cats are very observant, and they will soon learn that when you lay down, you are likely to stay in that position for a while. It makes sense to use this stretch of time to get some cuddles and nap on you, as they are less likely to get interrupted. 

Cats understand that lying down usually means sleeping, napping or resting for a prolonged period of time, unlike sitting, that may be interrupted at any point. Unless there is a screen or book involved, in which case they also know you are likely to remain seated for a while.

There is nothing more logical to a cat than using the opportunity that is presented to them. You are lying down, i.e. they can bank on you, their preferred bed, staying put. How can you expect them not to take advantage of the opportunity? 

Wrapping It Up 

Despite their reputation, cats are not as aloof as you might think. They love spending time with their humans, and will use every opportunity available to sit on your lap (or any other available, comfortable part). The more you pet them when they come to you, the likelier they are to be there as soon as your bottom hits the cushion. 

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