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 Does My Cat Sit and Sleep on My Desk? 8 Possible Reasons

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat sitting on desk interrupting her owner

Why Does My Cat Sit and Sleep on My Desk? 8 Possible Reasons

Cats are interesting animals, which is one reason why they’re enjoyed as household companions by humans from all walks of life throughout the world. One quirk that many cats have is a fascination with sitting on our desks whether we’re there or not.

It can be endearing but also annoying. The big question is, why do cats sit and sleep on our desks? There happen to be several possible reasons for the behavior, and we’ll discuss them below.

cat paw divider


The 8 Reasons Your Cat May Sit on Your Desk

1. They’re Looking for Attention

Sometimes, a cat needs attention. If you’re sitting at your desk and your kitty is looking for attention, they are likely to jump up on the desk and hang out until they get it. Once they have your attention, they’ll want to keep it, so don’t expect them to get down because you afforded them a few strokes on the head.

You may have to invite them to sit on your lap if you want to get them off your desk so you can concentrate.

cat lying on desk behind the laptop
Photo Credit by: MariaBorovkova, Shutterstock

2. They Like Being Near You

Another reason your cat might like to sit or sleep on your desk is to be near you while you work, study, read, or play on your computer. You may be more relaxed while at your desk, which your cat enjoys because it helps make them feel more relaxed and secure.

It could be that they don’t want to miss any opportunity to be around you, especially if you spend a lot of time away from your house.

3. It’s a Preferred Nap Spot

Many cats enjoy sleeping on hard surfaces, like desks. If you have a desk calendar or keep a mouse pad on the desk, you’re providing just enough padding for your cat to enjoy a long nap.

Even better than using some padding, you can opt for a bed that fits seamlessly on the desk space you have available. Additionally, your kitty is more likely to nap on your desk if it’s near a heat source and stays warm all the time.

Our Favorite Cat Bed

Hepper Cat Nest Bed
  • 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.

Cats sleep away majority of the day so finding a bed thats supportive, warm and secure is key. Most cats find the modern design of the Hepper Nest Bed irresistible making it a practical option if your looking for a rest spot your cat will use consistently. Its supportive and caters to felines of all ages, sizes and ailments. The portability means that your cat can nap wherever you go - your desk, couch, side table or even your bed. Learn more about the heavenly Nest here.

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!

4. They Have a Great Vantage Point

Most felines like to see everything happening around them to know where their predators and prey are. In the case of a housecat, this usually means keeping an eye on the best toys and other household pets. Sitting on a desk provides an excellent vantage point for a cat to quickly scan the room and identify what’s happening. They don’t have to wonder what the noise on the other side of the couch is since they can see both sides from their desk spot.

5. There are Fun Things to Explore

If you’re like most people, the items on your desk change as time goes on. You might put mail on it for opening later from time to time. You may add a new nick-nack, photo, or candy dish to the desktop.

Or you could switch things up and rearrange everything for a different look and feel. Whatever the case, chances are that there is always something new or different happening on your desk for your kitty to investigate.

Bengal cat sitting on the messed work desk in the office
Photo Credit: Pandora Pictures, Shutterstock

6. They Like to Swat at Objects

If you use sticky notes or paper clips and keep coffee cups and stress toys on your desk, your cat might like getting on the desk so they can swat at everything that might move.

Cats tend to love loose paper, and if a sticky note is hanging off the side of your computer, it’s a tempting target. If you don’t want your items knocked off the desk, you have to move them or train your cat to stay on the floor.

7. They Enjoy Watching the Computer Screen

If it’s possible for your cat to see your computer screen while sitting on your desk, they might spend a lot of time on the desk because they like seeing all the lights and movement on the screen.

You might notice that your kitty looks at the screen every time you tap on the keyboard or when you’re playing a game with lots of colors and unusual sounds.

cat sitting on the desk with laptop, alarm clock, note, and stationery
Photo Credit by: Azami Adiputera, Shutterstock

8. Sometimes, There Is Food

Most people enjoy sipping on something and fueling up at their desks when working on a tight deadline or trying to finish a good book. There’s nothing wrong with it; in fact, it is quite satisfying.

Cats surely appreciate it when we leave a meal or snack on our desk, especially if we walk away and leave it unsupervised for even a minute. If you have food on your desk occasionally, your cat might hang out on the desk just in case something good to snack on shows up.

cat paw divider


There are many reasons why your cat might like to sit or sleep on your desk. If your kitty is not in danger physically or emotionally when on your desk, it shouldn’t cause any significant problems. However, you can place a comfy chair or a cat bed near your desk to prevent interruptions. If you provide a comfortable alternative, your cat may decide to leave your desk alone.

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, 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.