Why Do Cats Like to Sit on Laps

If you’re like me, you love when your furry best friend decides to lie on top of you. Even though at times, this can be annoying since I may be trying to get other things done (like creating content so I can afford cat food), I always let him stay anyway.

After all, Nibbler chose me, so how can I turn down that adorable face, even if I have been sitting for hours having to go to the bathroom.

With cats sleeping up to 16-hours per day, they are at their most vulnerable point while snoozing, so they must sleep in a trusted and secure location, which is our laps!

This presents a variety of questions: why do cats bestow their sleeping honor to owners? Why do cats love to sit on laps? What does all this mean?

Keep reading to learn a few things about why your cat has chosen to sit or nap on you!

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Why Do Cats Like to Sit on Laps?

There are many reasons why cats love to sit on our laps. Given that they are loving creatures, they seek attention and connection.

Also, our bodies emanate heat, so we act as warm spots in the winter, and our cats generally trust us. Furthermore, our cats love the way we sound and smell, which tends to draw them closer.

Additionally, we often wear nice, soft clothes which make them want to curl up in a ball and enjoy our winter sweaters. Finally, and most importantly, our cats like to sit on our laps because they just genuinely like us!

Why is My Cat Suddenly Sitting on my Lap?

While changes in animal behaviors can sometimes worry cat owners, there are non-worrisome reasons why our cats suddenly begin sitting on our laps. The answer to this question is cats are fickle and strange creatures.

If we have been traveling or spent a decent amount of time away from the house over the past few weeks, then our cats are showing a sign of affection because he/she misses us and wants to keep us home with them as a form of self-comforting behavior.

This type of behavioral change should not be concerning unless there are other symptoms like a loss of appetite, lethargy, loss of fur, change in the litter box routine, and increased thirst. If this is the case, then you should take a trip to or call the vet for a checkup. Otherwise, we should just enjoy how sweet our furry friend has become.

Per the journal Behavioural Processes, cats take behavioral cues directly from their owners. Therefore, a nervous or neurotic owner will result in their cat adjusting their temperament to be nervous or neurotic. Therefore, if our behavior or mood has generally changed, our feline friends pick up on this and could be adjusting their behavior to match ours.

Other reasons why cats suddenly want snuggle time include:

  • They are anxious or nervous and seeking reassurance.
  • They are pregnant or in heat.
  • They have an insecure attachment to us.
  • They want more attention than we are currently providing.

Why Does My Cat Sit on Me All the Time?

Our cats sit on us all the time for a variety of reasons. First, they are seeking warmth, and we provide the perfect spot for body heat.

Cats have a higher internal temperature than humans, with a body temperature falling between 100 and 102 degrees.

Therefore, they specifically seek warm spots so their bodies do not need to work as hard to keep up their temperatures. Not surprisingly, our laps are one of these warm spots.

Second, cats just want security, the same as humans. As a cat, you cannot get any closer to your secure human than sitting on top of them. By sitting on or next to us, it helps them believe that we will scare predators away.

Third, cats want your attention. Have you ever noticed that cats sit right on our laps when we are working on our laptops or reading a book?

This is certainly no coincidence. Our furry pals want our attention, and they know exactly how to get it! Since we are their favorite people, they know that if they sit on our laps, we will inherently pet them, which reinforces the behavior. Smart!

Fourth, just like humans, cats have different personalities, so some are simply friendlier than others.

Breed, personality, and temperament impact how social and cuddly a cat may be. Our cats may just naturally be drawn to people because they like to form a close human bond.

Finally, in some instances, our cats are just affectionate. Sometimes lap time is just one of the many ways our pals are showing affection and love.

This is especially true when we have been working all day, and they have been sitting alone in the house. Remember, there are many comfy spots around the house, but they choose us!

What Does it Mean When a Cat Lays on You?

In addition to the above reasons, when our cat lays on us, they are often marking their territory.

Cats mark territories using their scent, so by sleeping on top of us, and they are marking us as theirs. Interestingly enough, cats choose specific body parts to lay or sleep on. For instance, if our cat likes to lay on or near our head, it’s because our bodies release a large amount of heat during slumber, so it is a comfortable spot.

Also, cats know that we are less likely to move our heads while sleeping, so they won’t get whacked by a leg or arm. Additionally, they may lay on our heads because they enjoy the scent of natural hair oils or our shampoo.

If our cat likes to lay near or on our chest, it is likely due to the sound of our heartbeats, and the consistent breathing is comforting and draws them in.

Lap layers during nap time pick a great spot because they know they can stretch out, enjoy the warmth, and will get extra love and scratches when they are right in front of you. Cats are incredibly intelligent and intuitive creatures!

Why Does My Cat Sit on My Husband’s Lap, but Not Mine?

There are many reasons why cats choose one of the pet parents over another. With rescue cats, it is difficult to pinpoint their history, so (sadly) your cat may have been abused or mistreated by a female.

This would definitely cause them to shy away from any type of female interaction or snuggles. Another reason is your husband could be doing everything for the cat, feeding, cleaning the litterbox, playing, etc., which would draw them to the hand that feeds them.

On the other hand, maybe dad’s Lap is warmer and more comfortable, or perhaps your cat feels more secure during a vulnerable time. As I said, cats are fickle creatures, so there may not be a specific reason!

Why Does My Cat Often Rest on My Lap?

To understand why our cats rest on us, it is helpful to know that cat sleep differs greatly from human sleep patterns. Cats replenish their energy through many naps during the day as opposed to a single long block of sleep, as humans follow. “Catnaps” typically remain in a light sleep mode and rarely drop into a deep sleep. This boils down to the cat’s ancient role as a hunter.

Cats are always ready to defend themselves against a larger predator or attack prey, even if they appear to be out cold. They have advanced smelling and hearing mechanisms that allow them to instantly spring into action when required.

Since they are always ready for action, it is logical that they would seek extra protection from their human and curl up next to them, even during a vulnerable time.

Often, cats rest with their backs to us. Don’t worry, and they aren’t rude. They are being trusted!

Best-selling author and cat behavior expert Pam Johnson-Bennett notes that if a cat turns their back on you as they settled down for a nap, they are showing us the trust and that they are going to watch the environment to protect us both.

In addition to warmth, security, and affection, cats napping on us provides us with stress relief, and they sense this relaxation. Petting our cats releases oxytocin, a feel-good hormone, while decreasing our stress levels.