Hepper 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 Do Cats Sit on Laptops? 5 Reasons for This Behavior

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

Black cat on top of a laptop

You’ve just settled in for a good surfing session on your computer, but before you can even get started, your beloved feline has parked their butt on your laptop. Why do cats love our laptops so much? For that matter, why do cats like keyboards?

This behavior can be rather endearing when you’re using your computer for entertainment, but if you use it for your career, it can also be a little frustrating. So, in order to fix the problem, it helps to understand it.

There are five reasons that cats seem to seek out our laptops. We go over the whys and give a little advice on how to handle the situation if it’s disrupting your work.

Top 5 Reasons Cats Sit on Laptops:

1. Laptop Keyboards Are Warm and Cozy

We all know how much our cats enjoy warmth. If there’s a tiny patch of sun on the floor, your cat will find it and sleep in it.

Laptops are notoriously warm, and the keyboard provides a nice flat and toasty platform for your cat to get comfortable on.

2. Laptops Are in Prime Catnap Spots

Most cats love snuggling up in a warm human lap. Of course, that’s where laptops spend time as well. It only makes sense that your cat might be feeling a little jealous that your computer is taking up prime catnapping space!

orange cat squinting at laptop
Image Credit: Catherine Heath, Unsplash

3. Cats Want Your Attention

Your laptop is clearly taking up all your attention, and your cat is probably less than pleased. How many times has your cat walked in front of your screen while you’re looking at it? There’s probably a little jealousy going on here.

4. Cats Learn That They Have Your Attention

The laptop has your attention, and your cat wants that attention directed toward them. So, they sit on it as a means to get to your lap for your love. You can’t resist giving your cat a few chin scratches and the desired attention, so your cat has gotten exactly what was sought after.

Basically, this turns into rewarding a behavior for your cat. Your cat sits on your laptop and is rewarded for it by getting pets and your undivided attention.

Cat bored with Facebook newsfeed
Image Credit: acebrand, Pixabay

5. Laptops Smell Like You

Your laptop sits on your lap for hours. Your fingers are all over it, so it absolutely reeks of you. It’s quite probable that cats are attempting to deposit their own scent on your laptop.

Cats tend to rub their cheeks and bodies against almost everything in the household. This is territorial: Your cat is claiming everything as their own. But it is also making everything smell familiar and consequently, makes your cat feel much safer and more comfortable.

Since your laptop smells more like you than your cat, your cat is trying to make it smell more like them.

When Is This a Problem?

The first thing that you need to do is observe your cat. If there’s a great deal of yowling and following you around, your cat is looking for more attention, and they might have issues with anxiety.

If you’re concerned about your cat’s behavior, you should speak to your vet. You might also need to bring in an animal behaviorist to help with your cat’s anxiety.

Keeping Your Cat off Your Laptop

cat laying on top of the laptop
Image Credit: Trà My, Unsplash

There are certain tricks and tips you can use that can help keep your cat off your keyboard when you need to get some work done.

Create a Cozy Lounge Area

You should create a comfy space for your cat. This spot can be designed specifically for your cat’s comfort, so if you know that your cat loves a cat tree or a cat hammock, then set one up. Aim to have it close to where you typically sit while working on your laptop.

If this spot is made more comfortable than your laptop and is within hand’s reach, you can give your cat more attention. This will create an environment that cats will enjoy and have everything that they’re looking for. Hopefully, your laptop will be left alone.

Use Heat to Your Advantage

If you suspect that your cat is drawn to your laptop for the heat source, set up a heated cat bed next to your working area. If you’ve set up a comfortable space, you can also incorporate a heat source. Place a heated cat bed on the floor or on the cat tree next to your workspace.

If you happen to be working next to a window, add a window seat or hammock designed for cats. This way, your cat can hang out with you and enjoy the sun’s warmth at the same time.

Use Distraction

cat inside a drawer cabinet
Image By: skorchanov, Pixabay

Play with and distract your cat before settling in for an uninterrupted work session. If you work out and exercise your cat and go for complete exhaustion, you might find that your cat will sleep for most of the day.

Cats have a routine that starts with hunting (playing), eating (treats or meal), then grooming, followed by sleeping. This will be something that your cat will look forward to, and you should be able to work for a big chunk of the day (cats are nocturnal and like to sleep during the day, anyway).

No Attention

Try not to pay any attention to your cat while your laptop is being occupied by your cat. No talking, no petting, and no picking your cat up for removal from your laptop. If you can manage to ignore your cat, try walking away because you won’t give your cat that attention and your leaving can also prove to be a distraction. Your cat will probably follow you out.

Use Rewards

Never punish your cat for sitting on your laptop. This is still attention, and like a willful toddler, your cat will still be pleased.

Encourage your cat to go to the new space that you’ve created, and then reward them with a treat once they are sitting in it. If you are consistent with this, your cat will naturally start to be predisposed to this spot and might not be so interested in your laptop.

Young woman with tablet computer and cute cat sitting in armchair
Young woman with tablet computer and cute cat sitting in armchair


Now you know why your cat seems to love your laptop. It’s not your laptop as much as it’s you. You can try locking your cat out of your workspace, but your cat yowling and scratching at the door might also prove distracting, and you’ll probably feel a little guilty.

Wear out that cat and set up that cozy spot next to you, and you’ll both be happier, and you can work without having your cat flop on your keyboard every time.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: klinkow, Pixabay

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database