What does it mean if your cat sits on you?

If your cat sits on you, it means they are comfortable with you and want to be close. This behavior is usually seen when the cat is feeling secure and happy.

Have you ever wondered, "Why do cats sit on you?" From basic needs such as safety to more obscure reasons such as the fabric of your clothing, here are some of the reasons cats sit on you.

  • By Susan Logan McCracken

  • , March 17, 2021






Why do cats sit on you? My downtime would be incomplete without a purring cat on my lap. One of the most enjoyable aspects of living with cats is when one of them decides to lounge on top of me. This special bonding time is beneficial to both me and my cat because it lowers my blood pressure and meets some of her needs. However, not all cats sit on their owners, and some mature into lap cats. Although some breeds, such as the Ragdoll, are known to be lap cats, it all depends on the cat, and only time with that particular individual will tell.

According to Marilyn Krieger, Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (CCBC) based in Redwood City, California, and author of Naughty No More!, all cats are individuals, and it depends on the individual cat. Other factors, such as your clothing, contribute to cats sitting on you. Here are some answers to the question "Why do cats sit on you?".

why do cats sit on youOne of the reasons cats sit on you could be that you're nice and warm! Photography by PCbang | Getty Images.

1. Why do cats sit on you when you're so warm?

Marilyn claims that cats prefer warmth and that people's laps are generally warm.

2. Cats seek connection, which is why they sit on you.

Marilyn adds that cats gravitate toward people they like and seek connection with those they like. They sometimes seek petting because people frequently pet the cat on their lap. Petting is similar to their mother's grooming, so most cats enjoy getting petting from their favorite people. Some cats knead while sitting on someone's lap. They're simulating their neo-natal days when they used to knead their mothers to stimulate milk flow. "It, like purring, can be a self-comforting behavior," Marilyn says.

3. Cats sit on you because it makes them feel safe!

Marilyn says that one of the answers to the question "Why do cats sit on you?" is that some cats feel safer on their favorite person's lap.

4. Why do cats sit on you? Smell is a factor.

Marilyn suggests that if you have a bathrobe that smells like you, your cat may sit on it whether you're wearing it or not. If you've been to an animal shelter, your cat may detect other animal scents on you and avoid you. Don’t take it personally.

5. Why do cats sit on you? Your clothes are important!

Marilyn, who has three lap cats, has noticed that when she wears a plastic raincoat, her cats refuse to sit on her. When my husband, Mark, wears his soft bathrobe, our cat Maddie, who usually sits on me, sits on him instead.

When a feral cat I had been caring for for about a year finally came and sat on my lap while I was wearing a soft fleece jacket, I realized what a difference texture can make. She scratched me the first time I tried to pet her. But she eventually let me pet her. Then she began sitting next to me on a picnic table bench and gradually began allowing me to pet her while she was sitting next to me. Then, on a cold day, she rubbed up against my fleece jacket and climbed onto my lap, much to my surprise.

When I told Marilyn about this story, she said, "Cats want to be comfortable and warm, and she trusted you.".”

6. Cats sit on you to demonstrate trust.

"They have to have faith in you to sit on your lap," Marilyn says. She emphasizes the importance of not forcing a cat to sit on your lap and providing the cat with the option to leave. "When you give them the option of sitting on your lap or not and leaving whenever they want, they gain trust in you.".”

Featured Photo:  ©Erica Danger.



  • Tags: Behavior, Catster Magazine

Susan Logan McCracken

Susan Logan McCracken

Susan Logan-McCracken lives with her husband, Mark, and two red tabby domestic longhaired cats, Maddie and Sophie.


"Why Do Cats Sit On You? Here Are 6 Reasons" 14 thoughts on "Why Do Cats Sit On You?"

  1. Steven Kage

    I care for feral cats, and one took two years to care for. before he jumped onto my lap, and now that's where he wants to be all the time!. He used to let me pet him, but now he craves sugar all the time!

  2. Jerry

    I believe mine simply wishes for me to relocate. :)

  3. Monique

    While the others sleep on my body, my legs, and so on, my lean 20lb tabby sleeps with his arm around the front of my neck, his face cheek to cheek with mine!.

  4. Nathan Diniz

    I have some friends who have three cats. Dan, Loki, and Thor are their names. Thor is an orange cutie pie with a heartwarming personality. Loki (sky grey/white) and Dan (a BIG handsome dude who looks like a brown mackerel tigerish tabby) are also very sweet. In the time I've been there, all three have managed to sleep on me twice. It's the funniest thing ever. They can't get enough of me, which is amusing!!!


    Was it in ancient Egypt when the first cat discovered the first human lap? Whatever the case, it's been a joy ever since.

  6. Kasey Shake

    We adopted a cat from a shelter, and she has grown very fond of me. She follows me everywhere I go, including the restroom. Even when I'm doing the dishes, she sits on the counter. She interacts with my husband and son while attached to my hip. Its sweet!

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  8. Devon Stavrowsky

    Chester likes to sleep on top of me when I'm sleeping and stretch out. We have several cats, and I believe sleeping on me is both a sign of affection (he purrs loudly enough to be heard in the next county) and a sign of possession. He's making it clear that I'm HIS person. I don't think it's for protection because none of the other cats ever bother Chester. In fact, he's a bit of a bully to the younger ones.

  9. Katherine

    My kittens alternate sleeping on me. I have one who constantly flips from left to right on my neck/face and eventually settles in the crook of my arm on my left side and turns onto his back, exposing his little belly with front paws up and curled - too cute. His sister will sleep while kneading my shirt. My grown cat always finds a place to sleep on me. Such personalities on these adorable little ones - too bad people who don't know cats give them a bad rap.

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  13. Alison

    Oscar, my cat, only sits on my lap or chest. He never lays on my father.

  14. Diane Weaver

    Cali, my three-year-old cat, enjoys sleeping on my lap when I sit or lay on the sofa. She will not sleep on top of me at night.

    When I first adopted her, I never expected her to be a lap cat because she spent her first month with me hiding under the bed, but at night she would sleep next to my pillow and I would hold her paw.

    Why does my cat constantly lay on me?

    You are that safe haven for them in the domestic setting. Because cats are vulnerable while sleeping, this behavior suggests They have faith in you and feel safe when you are present. . This behavior can also be traced back to kittenhood, when litters would sleep by pillowing on each other and their mothers.

    Is it true that cats love you if they sit on you?

    2. They sit on you. Cats attack their prey, but If your cat comes over and calmly sits on you, it's an indication of trust and affection. . This is especially true if your cat is purring.

    Why does my cat insist on sleeping on me?

    They adore you and want to express their feelings for you. While cats have a bad reputation for being aloof or "evil," cat owners can quickly dispel this myth. Cats are more independent than dogs, and they, like us, have moments when they would prefer to be left alone.

    What does it mean when a cat purrs on your lap?

    1Purrs and Meows Your cat loves you. Purring is the ultimate expression of feline love and contentment. Your cat is saying she loves you when she meows, which is a sound reserved only for a cat's special human.