Last Updated on: September 11, 2023 by Crystal Uys

fluffy cat sitting on a laptop's keyboard

Cats have a mind of their own and often do things that leave us feeling puzzled or confused. One common behavior that many cats engage in is sitting on their owners’ laptops. While it’s not completely certain why cats choose to sit on laptops, there are some common speculations for this behavior. Sitting on laptops may be a means of seeking warmth or attention or alleviating boredom.

While there’s no danger in having your cat sit on your laptop, it can definitely be disruptive, especially if you work from home and do most of your work on a laptop. So, here are some things you can do to prevent your cat from sitting on your laptop.


The 3 Reasons Cats Sit on Laptops:

Cats will have different reasons for sitting on laptops. Since your cat can’t verbally tell you why they’re on your laptop, it’s much more effective to look for clues and patterns that cause this behavior. Make sure to be observant of your cat and of any events that may happen before or after your cat sits on your laptop.

1. Seeking Warmth

Cats generally prefer warmer temperatures than humans. So, if you’re someone who feels more comfortable in cooler temperatures, your cat may look for sources of heat. The warmth that radiates from your laptop may feel extremely comfortable for cats because it’s a gentle heat and doesn’t get too hot to touch. Your cat may also perceive your laptop to be a safe item because you’re near it and use it frequently.

cat sitting on a silver laptop
Image Credit: Simon Hrozian, Unsplash

2. Attention-Seeking

Cats are intelligent and observant, so it’s no surprise that they’re quick to pick up on ways to get your attention. Sitting on your laptop can be a straightforward means for your cat to get you to look at them. You may even unintentionally encourage this behavior if you do end up giving your cat attention whenever they sit on your laptop. Giving attention will only reinforce this behavior, and your cat will learn that it’s a reliable way to get you to pay attention to them.


3. Boredom

Even the most independent and introverted cats require daily mental stimulation and exercise. When cats don’t have healthy outlets to express their energy and curiosity, they’ll start to feel bored and often start to exhibit unwanted behaviors. Cats will display their boredom in a variety of ways. They can become more aggressive, destroy furniture, or act needy. Similar to attention-seeking behaviors, your cat may sit on your laptop if they know that it’ll get your attention and alleviate their boredom.


Ways to Stop Your Cat from Sitting on Your Laptop

Once you find out the reason why your cat is sitting on your laptop, you’ll have a better sense of how to prevent the continuation of this behavior. If your cat’s looking for warm spaces, you can try introducing your cat to a hot water bottle or heating pad. It can also be helpful to add blankets and pillows for your cat to burrow in whenever they’re feeling a little chilly.

It’s important to make sure your cat is getting plenty of daily exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom. So, if you suspect your cat is sitting on your laptop because they’re bored or seeking attention, try incorporating more exercise and play sessions throughout the day. You can also teach your cat to play with enrichment toys, like treat puzzles and treat dispensers, to keep their minds active and occupied. Some cats enjoy “hunting” for food and will enjoy sniffing out treats hidden throughout the house.

If the behavior of sitting on your laptop is particularly disruptive to your work productivity, make sure to refrain from reinforcing this behavior. This includes refraining from talking to your cat or picking them up and placing them somewhere else. Instead of reacting to your cat and giving them attention, you can calmly walk away from your laptop and call them to a different area. Make sure to reward them with pets or treats every time they follow you to the alternative area. Eventually, your cat will learn to retreat to this spot rather than sit on your laptop.

It’s often helpful to enlist the help of a cat behaviorist if your cat’s laptop-sitting behavior is too disruptive. A cat behaviorist can help determine the cause of this behavior and come up with solutions and a training plan.

a cat lying on a laptop
Image Credit: Billion Photos, Shutterstock

Conclusion

Cats can start sitting on laptops for a variety of reasons. If this behavior is becoming frequent and disruptive, try to understand the reason behind this behavior. Understanding why your cat chooses to sit on your laptop can help you come up with effective solutions to help your cat get their needs met in a different way. If you’re feeling stumped, don’t ever hesitate to reach out to a cat behaviorist for help.


Featured Image Credit: Simon Hrozian, Unsplash

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