Cats do a lot of silly things, and they have a way of doing it that keeps everyone guessing. They have a tendency to scratch, purr, and love in more ways than one. But why do cats like to sit on laps?
After a day at work, one might find a cat on their lap the instant they walk through the door. Studies show that cats sit on laps because they crave attention and want to express their love for you.
Other theories are that they crave warmth, security from their surroundings, and establishing their territory.
Sleeping on a lap may not seem that appealing, but to a cat, it can mean everything. If you have a cat, you likely can’t work on your laptop without interruption.
The fact is that a cat does everything for a reason and lap sitting is no different.
Why Do Cats Sit On Laps?
Cats are funny creatures that love to have attention while also being left alone. They are not well known for their affection but are known to show it in small ways.
They tend to find something they like to sleep in, and your lap might be that place.
The fact of the matter is cats have various ways of showing love. They also know how to get your attention when the focus is not on them.
Even though it may be annoying to you, it can mean everything to a cat.
Cats have a reputation for being feisty and a bit sporadic. Sitting on a lap may very well become your cat’s favorite daily routine.
Even though they do not always show affection, being close to their favorite human is one of their favorite pastimes.
Do Cats Sit On Laps For Attention?
You may find that in the middle of a good book, your cat interrupts you to sit on your lap. Your cat may figure that your book or TV show is more interesting than they are.
Cats want to be the center of attention, and they can make it impossible to focus on anything but them.
It is no surprise that your cat can grab your attention with their crazy antics. Whether jumping into a box or waking you up at six for food, cats are attention hogs.
Some cats thrive by making it their daily job to get the attention of their owners.
With the meowing, nudging, and pushing, cats can work their way between you and work. They grab attention by sprawling over their loved one’s legs.
They are crying for attention and maybe for a few scratches or food bits.
Plus, cats can get lonely if left alone for long periods of the day. This means lap time is nap time, and they make it impossible to ignore them.
By kneading, clawing, and purring on your lap, they are sure to remain the center of your attention.
Does Your Cat Sit On Your Lap Out Of Love?
The truth is, cats can be very distant at times, but they have their ways of showing you love. Love has many shapes and forms in a cat. They can rub your leg, nudge your head with theirs, and of course, sit on your lap.
A cat has a way of knowing the time and establishing a schedule. They can pick up on the time you may arrive home or feed them every day. They look forward to the time you may walk in the door for a bit of lap love.
To sit on a lap and be cuddled is a way they receive love and return it. It is said that they even know and love the sounds of their owner’s bodies. The sound and smell of you can give your cat the comfort and love they need.
Your Cat Wants To Be Warm
Did you know that the body temperature of a cat ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit?
They have temperature receptors all over their bodies, but maintaining that temperature can be tricky. Finding a warm spot is their main goal of the day.
Indoor and outdoor cats can be seen sunbathing and finding joy in the pure warmth. Your lap is another place of warmth and comfort for a cat. It’s common to find a cat sleeping in a warm pile of laundry, near a heater, and in a lap.
A lap is a perfect place to receive warmth and love while enjoying a nice snooze. They love to soak up the warmth from your body while you watch a late-night show and snuggle.
If your lap is not available, your chest, neck, or arms may suffice.
Your Cat Needs To Feel Secure
Cats do need their humans to make them feel secure. Cats form a secure bond and need security in return to know that their human loves them.
Cats feel safe when their owners give them food and show them love; this includes sitting on laps.
Cats sleep, typically, anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day. A lap is a good place to find security since cats feel no harm will come to them.
If a cat sleeps in your lap, it shows they feel safe and have no reason to feel threatened.
Cats can also evaluate their surroundings with their sense of smell. If they sleep on a lap, that means their senses are telling them they are safe to stay there.
Like any pet, a cat needs to know that it will be taken care of.
Cat’s Consider A Lap Their Territory
Cats have scent glands all over their body for a reason. Cats roll in dirt, scratch, and even spray to mark their territory in your house and outside. Cats are often the masters of their domain.
You may find your cat rolling on your lap, and this is their way of marking you. They like to think that your lap is their lap and theirs alone.
Rolling, scratching, and licking are common forms for cats to mark their domain. They also like to think that they take ownership of their owner. Lap sitting is a perfect spot to show that they are yours and you belong to them.
If you have more than one feline around, a fight may break out for your attention and over your lap. With hissing and growling, one cat will assume dominance, but in the end, both may be on your body.
Be ready to be covered in furry bodies seeking your approval and love.
What Is Your Cat Saying To You?
Cats have a different way of communicating a variety of things to their owners. They can purr to show contentment, and they can growl to show displeasure. The fact that they lie in a lap shows trust and love.
The fact of the matter is, plain and simple, your cat loves you. If your cat constantly finds a way up to your lap, they want to show you they love you. Plus, they love the warmth of your legs and body against theirs.
They can even tell you if they like the type of clothing you wear. Whether it is a flannel shirt or a cozy bathrobe, a cat can tell you if they are warm enough.
You would never see a cat sleeping on a cold, plastic raincoat, so that would tell you something.
Animals communicate mainly by body language, posture, and physical gestures. By paying attention to your cat, you can notice particular body language and gestures specific to you.
The more time your cat spends with you, the more you can understand their needs and wants.
Why do cats knead with their paws?
If a cat is content, they have to find a way to show you. For a dog, it’s wagging their tails, and for cats, it’s kneading. Kneading is a symbol that they are comfortable and secure.
A cat often kneads when being cuddled and stroked to show their owner they are content. Kneading can also be a way for them to establish and prepare their sleeping spot.
If your cat is kneading your lap, get ready for a kitty nap.
Why do cats climb on your chest?
Cats climb on their owners to establish that you are theirs, whether they climb onto your lap or chest. Cats are loving and loyal pets that show love in many ways.
Some ways would be bringing you a toy, following you around the house, and laying on your chest.
A cat wants you all to themselves, and by climbing on your chest, they show you just that. By lying or sitting on something or someone, they are marking it as their territory.
They claim you and show their love by covering your body with theirs.
Why do cats purr while laying on a lap?
Cats can purr to show or demonstrate their array of emotions. Purring is not just the emotion of happiness or contentment, but it can also be a sign of anxiety or fear.
However, if a cat purrs while sleeping on your lap, it is most likely out of pure happiness. Cats can purr in their sleep due to a dream or just to show how relaxed they are.
A cat that feels safe and secure in your lap will purr to show you just that.
Stacy is a lifelong animal lover who truly believes life just isn’t complete without pets. She’s had pets her whole life (including three dogs and a cat living under the same roof, somewhat harmoniously). She currently resides in NOLA with her husband, son, and two pups, Scooby “Dooby” Doo and Zoey. Stacy always makes a point to learn everything she can about her fur babies, and she has been writing about the pet-parent life for over two years.