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Why Do Cats Like to Sit on Keyboards? 5 Possible Reasons

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on June 5, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team


Why Do Cats Like to Sit on Keyboards? 5 Possible Reasons

We’ve all walked into our office or been working in there, only to have our feline pal leap up onto our desk and make themselves at home on the keyboard. Despite your best efforts, they will fight you to stay in their chosen sleeping spot. While this behavior is adorable and endearing, it can become frustrating when you’re trying to work.

So, why do cats like to sit on keyboards? Can you stop this behavior? The primary reason your cat likes your keyboard is that it’s warm and near you, their favorite person. As for stopping it, you’ll have to show them that there’s a better alternative for them to use. We provide a few examples and answer more questions here, so read on!

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The 5 Possible Reasons Why Cats Like to Sit on Keyboards

1. Coziness and Warmth

Cats like to be warm and cozy, and that’s what a keyboard is to them. Although we don’t think curling up on a keyboard would be all that comfy, our cats certainly do. Keyboards are warm, so cats love to curl up on top and take a snooze.

woman with cat using computer
Photo Credit: ORION PRODUCTION, Shutterstock

2. Attention

In many cases, your laptop and by extension, your keyboard take up all your attention as you focus on what needs to be done. Your cat might not like that the keyboard has your attention and is working to distract you from your work.

Your cat may be jealous of your laptop screen and think, “Look at me, human! I’m a lot more interesting than a computer screen and keyboard!”

While it is cute if the cat realizes that they can get your attention by lying on your keyboard, it’s a habit they are doomed to repeat, and you might never get any work done when the cat is in the room.

3. Perfect Cat Nap Spot

Everyone knows cats love to curl up on their pet parent’s lap and nap. Not only is it warm, but it’s also safe and cozy. If you’re using a laptop, it sits on your lap for hours, meaning it smells like you.

In your cat’s opinion, this makes it the perfect spot to curl up and take a nap. It smells like you, it’s comfortable, and it’s warm; what’s not to love? Your cat could also be trying to make the keyboard smell like them to show it that you are theirs, not the keyboard’s.

orange cat food on laptop keyboard
Photo Credit: Александар-Цветановић, Pexels

4. Hunting Instincts

When you’re working, you’re focused on the keyboard and the screen in front of you. You’re quiet, serious, and concentrating hard. This is the same thing your cat does when preparing to hunt. Your cat may be stalking your movements as a form of entertainment and decide to leap on the keyboard.

5. Copycat

Cats are very curious creatures, and they learn from watching what you do. It’s possible that your cat is copying you when they sit on your keyboard. They see you watching the moving objects on the screen and think it’s a game.

woman in red sweater watching laptop beside white cat
Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska,

Cat ball divider 1Tips for Keeping Your Cat Off Your Keyboard

Sharing with your cat is nice, but when it comes to your keyboard, the cat must learn that it’s off-limits. Here are a few tips to help you keep your cat off your keyboard.

Create a Cozy Lounge Area

Since your cat is attracted to the heat and the coziness of your laptop keyboard, try creating an area where the cat can like instead. If your cat has a favorite cat tree or a tree hammock that they love hanging out in, try moving those things into the room you’re working in.

If the spot is more comfortable than your keyboard and warmer, the cat may choose to lie in it while still being able to be close to you.

Use Distractions

Sometimes it’s as simple as distracting your cat with toys or treats. You can also try playing with your cat before you settle down to work. If a cat has had an active play session and is tired, they’re apt to curl up beside you and sleep instead of trying to climb on your keyboard to distract you from your work.

british shorthair kitten playing with puzzle toy
Photo Credit: lowpower225, Shutterstock

Ignore the Cat

Try to ignore your cat while they’re sitting on your keyboard. Don’t talk to or pet them, and don’t pick them up to remove them from the keyboard. When your cat realizes you’re ignoring them and can’t grab your attention by keyboard-hopping, they will find another spot to curl up.

Use a Reward

The one thing you should never do is punish your cat for sitting on your keyboard. It’s best to use positive reinforcement methods, such as giving the cat a treat when they don’t sit on the keyboard instead.

Encourage your feline to sit in the spot you’ve prepared with the bed, then reward them for good behavior when they choose the bed instead of the keyboard.

british shorthair cat reaching for its treat
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

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Cats love to sit on our keyboards for several reasons. The warmth, the coziness, and the fact that the keyboard and the computer attached to it seem to be getting more attention than our furry friend lead them to try to take over the keyboard for themselves.

While this is funny, cute, and laughed at by cat parents everywhere, it can become a habit you’ll find hard to break. Try using these tips to keep your cat off your keyboard for the best results.

Featured Image Credit: Billion Photos, Shutterstock

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