Why do cats perch on people? I wouldn’t be able to relax as much without a purring cat on my lap. When a cat decides to lay on top of me, it is one of the best parts about having cats around. Both my cat and I benefit from our particular bonding time since it helps my cat with some of her demands and decreases my blood pressure. Although some cats grow up to be lap cats, not all cats like to sit on their owners. Even though some breeds, such as the Ragdoll, are well-known for being lap cats, each cat is unique, so only time spent with that particular cat will reveal.
According to Marilyn Krieger, a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (CCBC) located in Redwood City, California, and the author of Naughty No More!, every cat is unique, and it depends on the particular cat. When a cat is sitting on a person’s lap, they often look for a few fundamental necessities. Cats can sit on you for a variety of reasons, including your clothing. Here, let’s examine several responses to the question “Why do cats sit on you.”
1. You’re cosy
Cats like warmth, and people’s laps are generally warm, Marilyn says.
2. They want to connect
Cats gravitate toward people they like, and they seek connection with their favorite people, Marilyn adds. Sometimes they’re seeking petting, because people often pet the cat on their lap. Petting resembles their mom’s grooming, so most cats love receiving petting from their favorite people. Some cats also knead while they sit on someone’s lap. When they’re kneading, they’re simulating their neo-natal days when they did that to their mothers to stimulate milk flow. “It can be a self-comforting behavior, as can purring,” Marilyn says.
3. They feel secure
One of the answers to “Why do cats sit on you?” is that some cats feel safer when they’re on their favorite person’s lap, Marilyn says.
4. Smell is a factor
If you have a bathrobe that smells like you, your cat might sit on it whether you’re wearing it or not, Marilyn says. And if you’ve been to an animal shelter, your cat might detect a lot of other animal scents on you and avoid you. Don’t take it personally.
5. Attire matters
Marilyn, who has three lap cats, noticed that her cats won’t sit on her when she’s wearing a plastic raincoat. My husband, Mark, noticed that when he wears his soft bathrobe, our cat Maddie, who usually sits on me, will sit on him instead.
I discovered the difference texture can make when a feral cat I helped take care of for about a year finally came and sat on my lap when I was wearing a soft fleece jacket. The first time I tried to pet her, she scratched me. But eventually, she let me pet her. Then she started sitting next to me on a picnic table bench and gradually started letting me pet her while sitting next to me. Then on a cold day, she rubbed up against my fleece jacket and, to my astonishment, climbed onto my lap.
Cats want to be comfortable and warm, Marilyn said when I told her this story, “and she trusted you.”
6. Showing faith
“They really do have to trust you to sit on your lap,” Marilyn says. She stresses the importance of not making a cat sit on your lap and giving the cat the option to leave. “When you give them that choice of sitting on your lap or not and leaving when they want to, they become more trusting of you.”