Why Do Cats Sit On Laptops?

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Do you find your cat loves joining you on your laptop while you’re busy working from home? Or maybe you often get up to go make a coffee only to come back and find your cat lounging on your laptop when you return?

Quick Overview

01

Cats sit on laptops because they enjoy the attention they get from you as well as the computer's warmth.

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It's safe for your cat to sit on your laptop, but your equipment could become damaged by claws, teeth, or hair.

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If you prefer to keep your cat off your laptop, there are plenty of ways to encourage them to stop the habit.

Cats seem to love making the most of our frequent use of tech in the household, so read on to find out why cats really do sit on laptops.

Why Are Cats Attracted To Laptops?

Cats that love attention will do anything to tempt you to give them a little bit of love.

Many cats will sit on your laptop because they love the attention it gets from you. In order to slide them away from the keyboard or pick them up to move them to a different perch, you are forced to interact with them and maybe give them a little cuddle!

Some cats that love attention will do anything to keep you from your work and tempt you to give them a little bit of love instead. Your cat’s behavior might just be a sign that they really enjoy your companionship.

Another common reason is that your laptop is usually warmer than most other household surfaces. Cats love to sit in warm spots. You might have noticed your cat sitting on a sunny window ledge for warmth, or near the radiator. The warmth from your laptop gives your cat a comforting space to sleep where they don’t have to use up any energy to keep warm.

This is because sitting on your tech devices provides them with a thermoneutral zone—they don’t have to generate any warmth or expend energy to cool off.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Curl Into Balls When Sleeping? A Veterinarian Explains

Cats who have a preference for hopping onto your laptop for attention might be just trying to initiate playtime if they’re indoor cats. Therefore, trying to alleviate their boredom in other ways might discourage them from disrupting your workspace.

These could include giving them an interactive treat toy while you work or engaging in an intense play session during breaks in order to tire them out. This way, you can use your laptop while they’re getting a good nap elsewhere.

Also Read: How To Train Your Cat To Sit: A 10-Step Guide

Is It OK For My Cat To Sit On My Laptop?

Your laptop can’t hurt your cat, but your cat might inadvertently damage your computer.

There isn’t anything wrong with your cat sitting on your laptop however your laptop might be at more risk of scratches from cat claws or teeth, and getting covered in fur if you do let them.

The other thing to consider is that if your cat goes outside, they might be bringing in dirt, bacteria, and parasites, which you could potentially end up on your hands once your cat has sat on your laptop. If your cat is a frequent laptop lounger, you might want to make sure you disinfect it safely and regularly.

Also Read: The 5 Best Cat Scratch Deterrents

Why Does My Cat Rub Her Face On My Laptop?

If your cat rubs their face on your laptop, they are claiming it as theirs, probably because it smells like you.

Cat owners might have noticed their cats have scent glands on their cheeks so when they rub their faces against something they transfer their scent onto your laptop. This essentially marks your laptop as another part of their territory.

They are then more drawn to things that smell of them or smell familiar. This means they’re likely to be more comfortable sitting down with their favorite person when you pick up and type on something that smells of them.

Also Read: Do Cats Have Scent Glands In Their Paws?

Should I Discourage My Cat From Sitting On My Laptop?

If you can manage, it’s perfectly fine for your cat to lie on part of your laptop while you work.

If your cat is not disturbing you, then gently lifting them to the side of your laptop so that they can hang out with you while you work is absolutely fine. Alternatively, placing their cat bed nearby can encourage them to leave your laptop alone but allow them to spend time with you.

How Can I Keep My Cat Off My Laptop?

Offering a nearby cozy spot to lounge might keep your cat off your laptop so you can work

There are a few different tricks you can try if you want to encourage your cat to stay away from your laptop. You can start by trying to withhold giving them a hug or attention when they do sit on it.

Simply pick them up and move them to a more desirable location without fuss. If they do go to sit in the better spot without automatically going for your laptop, then treat them or give them some praise to positively reinforce the behavior.

Another alternative is to provide a different heated area to sit on. You can buy heated cat beds, or DIY one by placing a warm hot water bottle under some blankets (make sure it’s not too hot and won’t burn them).

If there’s a particularly sunny spot in your house, you could place a bed there for your cat to enjoy. Creating a nice high perch in the sun is often a perfect place for your cat to soak up the warmth.

Also Read: 8 Purrfect Games You Can Play With Your Cat

As hinted already above, you can also encourage play time before you intend to use your laptop and wear out your kitten with lots of exercise. Even if you only have small spaces for your cat to roam around in, getting some interactive play in with a wand toy to chase can be great exercise, and means they can have a nice nap while you’re starting working.

It can also receive some pent-up boredom or frustration that you aren’t spending time with them while you’re working.

If you want to keep your cat occupied with something while you’re working, you could also try an interactive treat toy or feeder. These let your cat play around with the toy, stimulating their brain.

Also Read: The 7 Best Automatic Cat Feeders

​​​​​In Summary

If your cat’s laptop-sitting is becoming annoying, there are plenty of things you can try to break habit.

Hopefully, you’ve now found a few reasons why your cat might be sitting on your laptop. The beauty of lots of remote working now means that people get to spend much more time with their pets, and can give their cats a more enriched day-to-day life.

If your cat is sitting on your laptop too much, there are plenty of ways to encourage them to stop the habit, but lots of people like the company and a chance to give their favorite cat a snuggle when they want a break.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do cats sit on things you're using?

Cats sit on things you're using mostly because they enjoy the attention they get by interacting with you. If the things you're using are warm, then it can also be because the item is cozy for them to sit or lie down on.

Do cats feel love when you kiss them?

Some cats love the attention of kisses, and while it's impossible to know if they truly feel love when you kiss them, if they respond to the gesture with kisses back, purrs or slow blinks, they are definitely communicating positive emotions toward you.

Do cats mirror their owner’s laptop?

You can buy dummy laptops for your own cat to mimic your laptop use. These often include scratch pads so they can use their natural instinct and enjoy a good scratch.

Why do cats sit on new things?

Cats are naturally very curious animals and when you get something new, they'll naturally want to check it out. They will also likely want to claim it as their own territory and rub some of their scent onto the new item by sitting on it or rubbing against it.

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About Dr. Joanna Woodnutt, MRCVS

Dr. Joanna Woodnutt (MRCVS) is a small animal veterinarian and writer who is passionate about helping owners to learn more about their pets in order to improve animal welfare. She loves to write and wants to empower owners to make the best decisions for their pets by giving them all the information they need. In her spare time, she takes consultations on the small island of Guernsey.

2 thoughts on “Why Do Cats Sit On Laptops?

  1. Paul goldston

    I just lost my furry friend named Pandora of15 years n human years 55 years old and I want another cat but it mourning over her , friends offermea cat but I can’t find the urge to get one , I put up for another one but I decided to wait til spring break for me to find another one to replace her , should I get another one orwsit for mourning period

    Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta

      I think it’s okay to wait until spring to try getting a new cat, but if the opportunity arises sooner, and it feels right, there’s no requirement to wait. I think you’ll know when the time is right.

      Reply

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