Catster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Why Is My Cat Suddenly Laying On Me? 13 Possible Reasons

Written by: Brooke Billingsley

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team


Why Is My Cat Suddenly Laying On Me? 13 Possible Reasons

If you have a standoffish cat or one that simply doesn’t care for snuggling, it can be special when your cat suddenly attempts to lay on you or cuddle with you. However, it can also be concerning. After all, there are multiple reasons that people may cite to you as to why your cat is suddenly wanting to be so close to you, from pregnancy (you or them) to a medical problem.

To help you better understand your cat’s unusual new behavior, we’ve put together the most likely reasons for your cat to start doing this.

cat + line divider

The 13 Reasons Why Your Cat Is Laying on You

1. Trust

Domestic cat lying on owner's lap
Image Credit: evrymmnt, Shutterstock

Suddenly wanting to lay on you and be near you can be a sign that your cat has developed a strong sense of trust for you. This is most likely to occur if your cat has been adopted or has been through a trauma and they have finally learned to associate you with a safe and secure place. For some cats, it can take a long time to trust people, and some cats may never fully trust you in this way. To earn your cat’s trust, make sure to spend time creating positive associations through meals, treats, and play.

2. Affection

Some cats are far more cuddly than others, and it may just be that your cat has decided that laying on you is how they’re going to show affection. Cats have a good sense of our emotions, and if your cat realizes that you seem to experience happiness or calm when they are laying on you, they may continue to do it as a way to show you affection and to earn more of your affection. If your cat chooses to show you affection in this way, make sure to not ruin the moment, so to speak, by doing things that annoy or frustrate your cat.

3. Warmth

man with cat and laptop
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Cats have a higher baseline body temperature than humans do, which is why they’re always seeking out warm, cozy spots, like sunbeams and fireplaces. Some cats choose to lay on humans to acquire extra warmth because this is an easy way for them to maintain their body temperature. If it seems like your cat snuggles with you to achieve warmth regularly, you may consider providing other warm spaces or increasing your house’s temperature. After all, you aren’t always available to help your cat get warm and cozy.

4. To Comfort You

Cats are intelligent and social creatures, and they are capable of being in-tune with our emotions and how we’re feeling in general. If you’re sick or going through a tough time, your cat may choose to start laying on you as a way to provide comfort and calm to you. A cat’s gentle purring on your chest can be a reassuring and soothing experience, and the more positive it seems to make you feel, the more likely your cat will be to continue doing this when you are stressed, upset, or not feeling well.

5. You’re Pregnant

Image Credit: Impact Photography, Shutterstock

This may be anecdotal at best, but many people swear that their cats became more cuddly when they were pregnant. Some people even swear that their cats seemed to know they were pregnant before they themselves knew. It’s certainly possible that cats can sense the changes in hormones and pheromones that occur during pregnancy, leading them to form a sense of protection or affection toward you and your unborn baby.

6. They’re Pregnant or In Heat

If you have an intact female cat who suddenly becomes more snuggly, then she could be pregnant or experiencing her heat cycle. Cats who are pregnant or in heat experience rapid shifts in their hormones, and they may begin to exhibit unusual behaviors. They may start having accidents outside the litter box, spraying, yowling, or become more cuddly and subdued. If you have an intact female cat that begins to become more snuggly, it might be worthwhile to discuss the behavior change with your vet to rule out her heat cycle or a pregnancy.

7. Pain

cat on lap
Image Credit: rock-the-stock, Shutterstock

If your cat is experiencing pain or discomfort, they may seek out your affection in an attempt to help them feel better. In much the same way that our cats can provide comfort to us when we aren’t feeling well, some cats may seek out their humans when they aren’t feeling well. Snuggling with their people may release happy chemicals in your cat’s brain, helping them feel some level of decrease in their discomfort. However, if you suspect your cat is experiencing pain, a vet visit is in order to determine the cause.

8. Marking Territory

Your cat wants few things more in life than for you to smell like you belong to them. The reason that cats are constantly rubbing on us and our things is to mark their territory. Cats have multiple scent glands spread across their bodies, which allow them to easily and quickly mark their territory. By snuggling with you, your cat may be seeking to leave plenty of their scent and pheromones behind to let any other cats in the area know that you belong to them.

9. Insecurity

furry tabby cat lying on its owners lap
Image Credit: Impact Photography, Shutterstock

Just like with people, cats can experience insecurity. This is especially common if there have been significant changes in the household, like the arrival of a baby or new pet, or if your cat has experienced trauma and is unsure of their standing in the home. An insecure cat may want to snuggle with you as a way to reassure themselves that they are safe, as well as to further convince you to continue showing kindness and love to them. You may also see insecurity and uncertainty in kittens that have recently been separated from their mother and littermates.

10. Old Age

Older cats may become more cuddly for a variety of reasons. Not only are older cats more likely to experience pain, discomfort, and stiffness, but they may also just want a comfortable and reassuring spot to spend time. Aging can bring about a lot of significant changes for your cat, and finding safety and comfort in your lap may be their favorite way to manage their uncertainty about their changing body and situation.

Keep in mind, though, that age is not a disease, and pain and suffering are not a normal part of aging. If you suspect your cat is experiencing difficulty with their aging, talk to your vet about the options to maintain your cat’s quality of life.

11. They’re Sick

senior tabby cat sitting on person
Image Credit: Debra Anderson, Shutterstock

In much the same way that your cat may snuggle with you when you aren’t feeling well, they may also seek you out for snuggles when they aren’t feeling well. This can be a combination of many of the above factors, like pain, insecurity, trust, and warmth. Different illnesses can bring a variety of symptoms in cats, and it can be confusing and difficult for your cat to manage an illness, even those that are short-term. By cuddling with you, your cat is showing you that they rely on you as a provider of positive things, like love, affection, and care.

12. Attention Seeking

Some cats never feel like they’re getting enough attention, even if you spend hours every day with them. Other cats may spend most of the day alone by choice. Both of these types of cats may seek you out for attention. One of the easiest ways for your cat to get your attention is to climb into your lap. An attention-seeking cat may need more time with you, or they may need new or different toys, puzzles, and games to keep them entertained. Either way, be prepared to make some changes, even small ones, if you feel like your cat’s sudden cuddliness is related to attention-seeking behavior.

13. Anxiety

If your cat has learned to trust you and associate you with a safe and comfortable place, then an anxious cat may seek you out for cuddling. This may happen with short-term fear and anxiety, like workers in your home, or with long-term problems, like behavioral anxiety or a high-stress home environment. Either way, you need to find ways to ease your cat’s anxiety. Medications from your vet can be beneficial to managing your cat’s anxiety, but you should also look into changes you can make in your home to help your cat feel safer and less anxious, like providing more healthy outlets for energy, more quiet spaces, and high-up places for your cat to spend time.

Those caring for anxious cats understand the struggles and discomfort that their companions feel on a daily basis. The innovative bowl shape of the Hepper Nest Bed provides nervous pets with support and its high sides offer a sense of security, diminishing stress and worry. To learn about how to the Hepper Nest can provide solace to your cat, click here.

Hepper Cat Nest - Washable Cat Bed with Removable...
  • HAPPY COZY CATS - Your kitty will bask in luxurious sherpa-lined comfort while feeling warm, safe,...
  • MODERN DESIGN - Contemporary styling with upholstered fabric construction; just like your human...
  • WARM FLEECE LINER - Self warming, thick sherpa fleece with microfiber trim.

At Catster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

cat + line divider


If your cat suddenly becomes cuddly out of the blue, then you may want to evaluate other indications of problems that may be present. Some cats may simply learn to trust you, or maybe the weather has changed and they’re just looking for a warm spot.

Many cats that have not previously been cuddly may suddenly become cuddly if they are experiencing illness, anxiety, insecurity, pain, or difficulty with the aging process. All of these are reasons you should reach out to your vet to get a diagnosis, and treatment options, and ensure your cat’s quality of life is good.

Featured Image Credit By: Kuiper, Shutterstock

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Catster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.