Why Won't My Cat Be a Lap Cat?

Oct 18th 2012  |   15 Contributions

Steven asks, “How do I make my cat a lap cat -- or at least lie next to me? She is so headstrong and independent, I feel she doesn't love me. It's on her terms. Every once in a while she will lie down next to me.”

Aw, Steven! It is not in every cat’s nature to cuddle and be affectionate in the ways that we want them to be. I didn’t get my lap cat until Puma Bean Jackson, my fourth kitty, came along.

You might try adopting another! If that is not an option, here are several tricks for you to try. Remember, it takes time, so make a consistent effort every day.

Sit on the floor in a quiet space with your cat. Toss a few treats her way, and see if she comes closer. If she does, gently reach out to scratch her chin or her back. I find putting a hand over a cat's head and eyes causes fear, so stick to the ears, chin, and back. You could also move her favorite blanket or catbed next to you on the couch or floor. I have a nubby blanket that my kitties love to knead. They will follow it to whatever chair I lay it on. Be sneaky with your affection!

Finally, playtime is a great way to interact with your kitty and build trust. Use handheld toys to get closer to her and gain proximity for petting. She may not wish to sit on your lap, but she will learn to trust you. While there is no guarantee that you can make her a lap cat, she will hopefully come to enjoy the attention -- and at least share the couch with you!

"I Want A Lap Cat!" by Sarah Donner

Lyrics:

Everybody wants a friend to settle down and sleep on them
Laps were made for sitting on and holding big bowls of popcorn
You can have these things if you pull some strings

On the floor or in a chair keep some treats with you there
Toss them to the cat you see, closer incrementally
When she gets real close, gently stroke her nose

It can take years for them to come around and be a friend
Be pleased if they sit next to you, it might be all they want to do

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