The answer is simple. Domestic cats are supremely skilled at judging the distance to jump. They exercise precisely the amount of force needed to traverse the exact, measured distance.
Therefore the landing on the target object is nearly always very light. In other words there is no downward pressure through the paw pads on landing other than the weight of the cat after landing.
At the split second before landing on your lap your cat is still rising in the air as he jumps. This cancels out the weigh of the cat creating zero weight just before landing.
It’s all about the innate skill of the cat. They need it to survive in the wild. Domestic cats are semi-arboreal in that they spend time high up. If they were wild they’d be in trees.
Even when they are not wild they spend time in trees having been given the chance. This surefooted precision when jumping is required to maintain balance and to not fall.
I have seen my cat jump onto the kitchen counter with this sort of precision so he lands with no downward movement and almost glides over the surface after landing.
P.S. Domestic cats, like any other animal, make mistakes sometimes but when it comes to jump the mistakes are rare.