Why do cats sit on you? 6 reasons

F2 Savannah cat on my lap

F2 Savannah cat on my lap in Oklahoma about 10 years ago.

Why do cats sit on you? In order to answer this question it’s cool to think about why your cat likes to sit on your lap. You can think of the answers quite quickly and, for me (I mean my cat 🙂 ), they are as follows.

The first reason why your cat companion likes to sit on you is because they like to be in contact with you. That’s obvious. Cats who are friendly with each other like to be in contact with each other. You see this a lot in cat videos on the Internet. The domestic cat usually relates to us as a parent cat and therefore he or she will want to be close to you sometimes. The degree of the desire will vary between cats.

The second reason is because your cat craves the warmth of your body and indeed from any other source. They certainly migrate to warmer areas. My house has underfloor heating and my cat likes to sit on those areas (on what looks like a hard rather uncompromising floor) which are particularly warm. He specifically migrates towards them.

The third reason is that your cat will love to merge their scent with yours. They can do this very efficiently by lying on your lap. When cats merge scents it makes them feel more secure and it makes the environment more friendly. Your cat likes the scent of your clothes because he likes your smell. Your cat will like to be in contact with your clothes because they smell like you. The scent we give off is a very important aspect of our identity for a cat and vice versa.

The fourth reason will be because your cat knows that when she sits on your lap or lies next to you and is in contact with you, you are likely to pet her. Cats almost invariably like this as long as it is done sensibly. You will also speak to her and reassure her. They are both pleasant experiences for you and your cat and she has learned these routines.

The fifth reason is that it provides your cat with the opportunity to show her affection toward you by licking your hand or arm. Cats like to engage in what is called allogrooming. This is when cats groom each other because they are friendly towards each other. Domestic cats are friendly towards their human guardian and therefore they like to groom them. This creates better bonding and friendship between cat and human. Petting in return reinforces the bond.

The sixth reason is probably that cats feel more secure when they are in physical contact with the human companion. The sense of security comes out of a close bond and the presence of the human caretaker who provides as a parent.

HomeCat BehavioraffectionWhy do cats sit on you? 6 reasons

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About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!


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