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Why Do Cats Like Sitting on Laps? 5 Interesting Reasons

Written by: Lorre Luther

Last Updated on June 5, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Domestic cat lying on owner's lap

Why Do Cats Like Sitting on Laps? 5 Interesting Reasons

Cats generally love to curl up and sit on laps, and it’s a favorite feline activity. If you have a lap cat at home, you may wonder why your buddy loves sitting on your lap so much. Cats sit on laps for various reasons, from warmth to comfort. It is almost always a sign that your pet feels safe and happy in your presence and enjoys spending time close to you. Keep reading to learn more about five interesting reasons cats like sitting on laps.

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The 5 Reasons Cats Like Sitting on Laps

1. Warmth

Cats generally like hanging out in warm places. They have warmer body temperatures than humans and prefer indoor environments between 89ºF and 97ºF. Cats often seek warm places to rest when the temperature drops, with many napping in front of heat vents and radiators to stay nice and toasty. Cats also turn to their favorite people when it’s time to warm up. Many sit on laps as they provide a nice, soft, warm napping place.

ginger cat and woman in bed with laptop
Image Credit: Konstantin Aksenov, Shutterstock

2. Comfort

A cat’s sense of smell is about 14 times stronger than a human’s. Cats have special scent glands around their whiskers, ears, and chins. When they rub against people, they leave a bit of their scent behind, which then mixes with yours to create a comforting smell your cat identifies with safety and love.

Sitting in your lap envelops your cat in aromas that provide them with a sense of safety and comfort, making your lap a great place to hang out!

3. Affection

Cats bond deeply with their human companions, often mourning when separated from those they love. Cats have incredible memories for those who care for them and provide lots of loving attention. They respond to their companions’ emotional states and can identify their humans’ voices.

Cats often climb on their favorite person’s lap for love and petting. Maine Coon, Ragdoll, and Persian cats often really enjoy spending time around their people.

Image Credit: Impact Photography, Shutterstock

4. Companionship

While most cats are fine being regularly left alone during the day, even the most laid-back cat seeks attention. Cats often sit on laps just because they need companionship.

Kitties who are deeply attached to household members often turn to those individuals when it’s time to hang out. Cats, much like humans, often enjoy doing nothing in the presence of their favorite people. Birman and Himalayan cats usually prefer just hanging out to wild bouts of playtime.

5. Kneading Opportunities

Many cats knead or make biscuits with their paws when feeling relaxed and comfortable. It’s usually a sign that a cat feels happy and safe. Cats often knead while sitting on their favorite person’s lap when they’re getting ready to settle in and get comfortable.

Kneading may also help stressed-out cats soothe themselves a bit. Kittens naturally knead to get their mothers’ milk flowing when nursing, and it provides adult cats with a similar sense of comfort. Some cats even take the kneading up a notch and start sucking their favorite humans’ clothing.

sleepy cat laying on owners lap
Image Credit: Alena Ozerova, Shutterstock

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Cats generally enjoy sitting on laps—they’re warm, soft, and comfortable. While many cats love nothing more than curling up next to or on their humans’ laps, it’s perfectly natural for some kitties to prefer different interactions. Cats sit on laps to warm up on cold days and let you know they want some attention. Others snuggle up when they want to hang out close to someone they love.

Because cats rely so heavily on smell to understand their environment, being close to their owners gives them a deep sense of comfort and safety as they’re enveloped by scents reminding them of being loved and cared for.

Featured Image Credit: evrymmnt, Shutterstock

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