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5 Ways I Keep My Lap Cats Nearby — And Off My Lap

When having a cat in my lap isn't possible, I use pillows, baskets, and "sidecars" to stay close.

Angie Bailey  |  Jan 25th 2016


If my cats had a choice, they’d plaster themselves to my lap all day long. I affectionately call my Cosmo “Velcro Cat” because of his laptastic tendencies. Like I mind? No way. If I had my druthers, I’d have a cat in my lap 24/7. Wouldn’t you? But since that’s not a realistic option (darn it!), I created ways to keep my cats nearby if I’m home but can’t be attached to a kitty. Here are five of my most-used methods.

1. Desk basket

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Phoebe is a desk hog and has no regard for my personal space. What’s hers is hers, and what’s mine is hers. Of course, it doesn’t help that there are all kinds of desirable objects like pens, tape, and paper on my desk. When she’s not taking over my desk surface, she likes to curl up on my lap. I love this … to a point. After a certain period of time, my legs fall asleep, and then there are always the inevitable bathroom visits. Oh, I let it go on as long as possible. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat cat-trapped with a painfully full bladder and numb legs.

Solution! When I placed a basket on the corner of my desk, she immediately shifted her attention in that direction. It’s ridiculously simple — I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. Cats naturally migrate to baskets, bags, and boxes. So we do the whole lap thing, and when I need a break, she sleepily wanders to the basket.

2. Sofa arm

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Cats like to be close to our heads. I often share my pillow with Cosmo, and it’s not always my choice. He moves in while I’m sleeping and then I wake up with my head “resting” on a tiny sliver of comfort. I use this information when I’m working from the sofa. My lap is usually full of my laptop, so there’s no room for cats. When I lean my head against the sofa’s arm and call one of my cats to loaf beside my head, kitty happily joins me.

3. Bed pillow

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I enjoy co-sleeping with cats. I also enjoy getting a restful night’s sleep. Velcro Cat likes to climb under the covers and flatten his warm body against mine. This works for a while, but then I overheat and scoot him to the other side of the bed. Then he becomes focused on getting back underneath the covers. After several minutes of this game, I’m wide awake. Boo!

Fact: Cats like to sleep on top of things. Sometimes it’s a pile of towels, and other times it’s a folded blanket or pillow. Enter: nighttime with Velcro Cat! I place a pillow beside me and, after I’ve reached my “cat must go” temperature, I direct him to the pillow. Would you believe he stays there? It’s true! That is, until he makes his way to overtaking my pillow.

4. Nightstand basket

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Another option for sleeping with persistent feline heaters is the nightstand basket. Again, they’re close to my head, and then there’s the basket. Praise the basket! I saw this idea on My Cat from Hell, so I know it’s a quality solution. #ThanksJackson.

5. Side chair or ottoman

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When I’m working at a smaller desk, I use an ottoman or chair as a kind of sidecar for my cats. I always place a comfy blanket or pillow on top, and they’re good to go! When one of my kitties is positioned like this, I like to call the cat my assistant. I sometimes tell them to hold all my calls. I really tell them that, but they never do. Insubordination!

How do you keep your cats nearby when up-close-and-personal time isn’t an option? Tell us in the comments!

Read more by Angie Bailey:

About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.