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Why Do Cats Walk on Keyboards? 5 Possible Reasons

Lorre Luther

By Lorre Luther

a tabby cat walking on a desk with computer setup

Cats are notorious for interfering with human activities involving keyboards. They send half-written emails with their butts, and many are happy to help their humans with important projects by taking over their keyboards entirely. Why do cats love to perch and walk on keyboards? Cats are most likely drawn to laptops because they’re warm, and it allows them to join you in whatever you’re doing. But here are five other reasons why cats love to walk, lounge, and nap on keyboards.

Why Do Cats Walk on Keyboards?

1. They Can Read Energy

Cats are often quite sensitive to the energy produced by people. When you’re busy working on your laptop, all your energy and concentration are usually directed toward your screen. Your cat may simply want to learn more about what demands so much of your energy because they love and are interested in you.

2. They Like Warmth

Black cat on top of a laptop
Image Credit: klinkow, Pixabay

Laptop keyboards sometimes get warm if you’ve been working intensely for hours. Most cats adore napping in warm places. And what better place to snooze than somewhere warm, nice, and close to you? Consider giving your cat an alternate place to rest if the keyboard napping becomes a problem, as it can if you’re working from home and regularly have feline-keyboard visitations.

A comfy cat bed next to your laptop may be just the thing to give your companion an alternate place to hang out while at the same time providing a sense of inclusion.

3. They Think It’s Interesting

Your cat may be interested in what you’re looking at, particularly if there are lots of moving images or fun sounds that grab your buddy’s interest. Cats can see what’s on screens, and many may be interested in the on-screen activities. To switch things up and give your companion a bit of stimulation, consider watching a cat-friendly video with your pet once they’ve taken over your computer.

Several app-based games encourage cats to use their paws to bat at moving objects. Electronic entertainment options can be a great tool to add to your feline enrichment toolbox.

4. They Value What You Value

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

Cats are incredibly adaptable creatures, so they thrive in so many different environments. Felis cacti, domestic cats, live indoors and outdoors and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. They’ve been loved and trusted companions in societies worldwide and throughout time.

Cats often look to their humans for information about how to understand and interact with their environments; it’s part of how they adapt to new situations. If you spend lots of time working on your laptop, your cat likely interprets this as a sign that you find whatever you’re doing or interacting with extremely important. Your cat’s interest in your computer may reflect the importance your pet sees you placing on your online activities!

5. They Think You May Be Hunting

When most people settle in to work or scroll, they become quiet, hunch over, and narrow their eyes, which cats do when stalking prey. Your cat may see your body language and interpret that as a clue to stay alert just in case something interesting happens.

They may then position themselves on your keyboard (between you and the stimuli) to better evaluate the situation. The sound of typing may also trigger feline interest; at any rate, it lets your cat know precisely where to find you.

Are There Ways to Keep Cats Off Keyboards?

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

Cats often keyboard surf out of affection and a desire to be part of the activities they perceive as necessary to their favorite human. So many are perfectly content hanging out somewhere near your workspace.

Beds & Window Perches

Consider placing a cat bed near your laptop for your cat to enjoy while you work.

You can also pull up a chair, so your cat has a cozy place to hang out next to you. If there’s a window in your work room, consider installing a window perch that allows your buddy to hang out with you while watching the birds outside. Reward your cat liberally with praise and treats when they head to alternative spots that don’t involve your keyboard.

Toys & Playtime

Giving your cat a bit of extra attention before you sit down to work on that important project may also help limit keyboard walks. Cats often sit and walk on keyboards when they want to engage with their favorite human; it’s their way of joining in the activities of your world. Consider giving your cat a food puzzle to keep them entertained while you’re working. Keep plenty of toys on hand for your cat, so it can play while you’re busy.

Ensure you provide your cat with enough mental and physical stimulation, as cats sometimes engage in keyboard surfing when seeking a bit of love. Most cats require around 20-45 minutes of daily physical activity. Stick to short 10 or 15-minute sessions to ensure your cat stays engaged and interested. Older cats may require less activity, and younger pets often need more playtime.


Cats generally walk and nap on keyboards because they love interacting with their favorite people. Most gravitate to keyboard walking and napping right when you’re totally engrossed in whatever you’re reading or working on. Cats want to be involved in the activity that attracts your attention, so they position themselves on your keyboard to join in.

It’s actually a sign of affection; they’re showing interest in you and what draws you in. Most people benefit from getting up and moving for around 5 minutes after about 1 hour of screen time, so sometimes, the best way to respond to a feline keyboard takeover is to take a break and give your buddy a bit of love.

Featured Image Credit: FalkenOBR, Pixabay

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