Why Do Cats Sit On Your Lap?

The highlight of your day as a cat owner is when your cat sits on your lap. Not all cats will sit on your lap, but it is a special moment to cherish when they do.

Cats sit on a person’s lap because they savor the warmth. Although they have fur, their body temperature is higher than ours so they can tolerate higher temperatures. Cats also enjoy the comfort and security of sitting on your lap. When a cat sits on you, it means they trust you. Cats are also encouraged by the smell of their owner, his affection, and the feeling of comfortable clothing. Sitting on your lap also calms and soothes anxious cats.

However, do not force cats to sit on your lap or stay there when they want to come down.

This will damage your cat’s trust in you and cause her to feel stressed.

What Are Lap Cats?

Lap cats are cats that enjoy sitting on their owner’s lap. The most important thing is that they do this voluntarily and without pressure.

Forcing cats to sit on your lap does not make them lap cats. They will probably jump down if given the opportunity.

Why Do Cats Like to Sit On Laps?

When cats settle on their owners’ laps, they can stay there for hours.

Not all cats like to sit on laps, but this behavior makes cat ownership so unique. There are several reasons why cats like sitting on laps so much.


Cats are descendants of desert animals, so they are attracted to warmth. Although they have fur, they are comfortable when they are warm.

Their body temperature is usually between 100.4 and 102.6 °F (38.0 and 39.2 °C). This means they have a higher heat tolerance and like to curl up on a warm lap.


Some cats feel safer when they are around their owners. Cats can form a strong bond with their owners and are less stressed once their owners enter the room.

Cats that form this strong bond like to be near their owners, and the lap is their safest place.


Cats that bond with their owners seek their affection and attention.

Curling up on their laps is the best place to be petted and cuddled, which many cats enjoy.

It feels most comfortable under the chin, behind the ears, and on the back. So, focus on these areas when petting your cat on your lap.


It is the ultimate sign of trust when your cat sits on your lap. Sleeping makes cats vulnerable because they are most likely to be attacked during this time.

So, it also means the cat trusts you enough to protect it from danger.

Never force your cat onto your lap to build and maintain this trust. Wait until she voluntarily curls up on your lap.

That way, you know your pet is pleased and content.

Smell and Sound

Natural human sounds and movements, such as breathing and heartbeat, are relaxing and calming to cats and help them fall asleep.

In addition, humans have an individual scent that cats can detect. This is a kind of protective coat for your cat, allowing him to calm down and rest.

Comfortable Clothes

If your cat only sits on your lap when you wear specific clothing, she is probably sitting on you because she likes the feel of that clothing.

Textures like fleece and woven robes are warm and comfortable and provide the mental stimulation that cats need to feel comfortable.


In anxious cats, sitting on your lap can calm their nerves and even lull them to sleep.

Some cats are more anxious than others by nature, which could sometimes be due to their past.

They tend only to trust one person and refuse to sit on another person’s lap.

Why Does My Cat Sit On My Spouse But Not Me?

Cats often bond with certain people, usually those who feed them and give them the most attention.

Cats also prefer people who don’t force them to sit on their laps and give them the necessary space.

There is a fine line between too much and too little attention for your cat. It would help if you considered which side you fall on.

If you move around too much or are louder than your partner, your cat is more likely to sit on your partner than on you.

Also, cats have 45 to 80 million olfactory receptors. This means they can distinguish between your smells and your partner’s smells.

Your cat may sit on your partner because he prefers his scent.

Why Doesn’t My Cat Sit On My Lap Anymore?

If something has changed in your cat’s environment recently, he may feel too stressed or anxious to sit on your lap.

This may be due to the following reasons, among others:

  • A new pet
  • The arrival of a baby
  • A recent change of residence

If you have been yelling at your cat lately, she may have developed a fear of you and lost the trust she once had.

Cats will stay away if they perceive a threat. So, it will take a lot of work to regain your pet’s trust before he will sit on your lap again.

Unfortunately, cats will also avoid you if you accidentally hurt them, such as when you step on their tail.

In time, however, your cat will become comfortable enough again to sit on your lap.

My Cat Sits Beside Me But Not On My Lap

If your cat won’t sit on your lap, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to be near you.

Some cats, by nature, don’t like to sit on your lap. They prefer to be comfortable somewhere close by.

Being near you provides the same security, affection, and trust as sitting on a lap.

Shy, fearful cats are more likely not to sit on your lap. The same applies to cats who don’t like to be petted or are often petted.

Why Do Some Cats Not Like to Sit On Your Lap?

It is a privilege for cats to sit on their owners’ laps. Unfortunately, not all cats are meant to be lap cats.

Don’t take this personally. You can still bond with your cat; you must find other ways to enjoy their company.

Here are the most common reasons why cats don’t like to sit on your lap.


Cats you’ve only adopted as adults are much less likely to sit on your lap, especially if they have a traumatic past or lived on the streets.

Kittens are more accessible to train and socialize; many older cats prefer to keep a distance and get human company from afar.

This is not to say that you can’t teach an adult cat to sit on your lap, but it will take time, effort, and a lot of patience for them to accept it.


Cats are not condemned to sit on your lap. It all depends on their personality.

There may not be a specific reason why your cat won’t sit on your lap; it’s just the nature of your pet.

Some cats can become more affectionate as they age and develop into lap cats, but there is no guarantee.

Enjoy interacting with your cat and their mannerisms without forcing them to sit on your lap.

Other pets

Cats may feel threatened to sit on your lap when other pets are present.

Not all pets get along well with each other. Pets can become jealous if they fear they have to share their humans.

Dogs, especially, can keep cats away from humans by becoming aggressive. They may bark and growl to scare cats away.

In this case, it’s not because your cat doesn’t want to sit on your lap. It is just too much of a risk for them to do so.

Rough Handling

Pay attention to how you handle and pet your cat. If you are too rough or cause your cat to become stressed by your touch, she will stay away from you.

You may not realize you are rough, but your cat may avoid you and not sit on your lap.

Which Cats Are Good Lap Cats?

If you want to get an affectionate cat, you should know which cats are the best lap cats.

There are several breeds to choose from if you want a more affectionate cat. However, remember that each cat is different and has its own personality.


Ragdolls are laid back and were specifically bred to be affectionate cats.

They are known for dropping when you hold and pet them, making them popular pets.


Siamese cats are social animals that love to spend time with their owners.

They crave companionship and love to sit on their owners’ laps for hours.

Maine Coon

Maine Coon cats are known to be very good family cats.

They enjoy being around their humans, following them around, showing a friendly temperament, and cuddling.

Scottish Fold

Scottish Folds are charming, easygoing cats that enjoy curling up on their owners’ laps.

They don’t like to be outside. Instead, they prefer to stay indoors with their family.


Persian cats are one of the most gentle and good-natured cat breeds around.

They are not very active and need to be kept indoors, where they also like to rest on your lap.


Birman cats are not as well known as some other breeds on our list, but they are loving house cats.

They are very people-oriented and love being cuddled and held like babies.


Tonkanese are closely related to the Siamese cat. They are friendly and affectionate, which makes them excellent family cats.

They need company and demand attention, making them perfect lap cats.

Russian Blue

Russian Blues are affectionate, but they are not clingy. They are often shy at first and come out of their shell once they meet their family.

They are good at interpreting human emotions and snuggle up to their owners when sad.


Bombay cats are a rarely kept cat breed, but they make good lap cats. They are happy to watch the world go by from their owners’ laps.

They love as much attention as possible, and a lap is the perfect place to get it.


Sphynx cats are cuddly, affectionate pets that demand a lot of attention.

They don’t like to be alone. They are happiest when people are around to cuddle and pet them.

How to get cats to sit on your lap

You can get your cat to sit on your lap with some training.

As mentioned earlier, you should start as early as possible, as it’s easier to encourage a kitten to lap than an adult cat.

Follow these steps to get your cat to sit on your lap:

  • Start by being as calm and composed as possible to not startle your cat.
  • Touch your cat as much as possible, and be kind and gentle. However, only do this as long as your cat will tolerate it.
  • Use positive reinforcement with treats to get your cat to approach you.
  • Place a blanket that your cat likes to sleep on next to you. The smell should entice your pet to approach you.
  • Once your cat sits on your lap, act as calm and relaxed as possible, or he will jump down.

Repeat this process repeatedly, as consistency is critical to getting your cat to sit on your lap.

However, do not force your cat to do this. And if she becomes uncomfortable or refuses, stop the training.

Don’t be discouraged if your cat never sits on your lap. Some cats do this automatically, while others never get into the habit.

It may help if you give your cat lots of petting and attention.