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Home > Cats > Why Are Some Cats “Lap Cats” and Others Are Not? Facts & FAQ

Why Are Some Cats “Lap Cats” and Others Are Not? Facts & FAQ

a tabby cat lying on pregnant womans lap

Studies have shown that cats sit on a human’s lap primarily for two reasons. One is for warmth and the other is to be in contact with their favorite person. But what if your cat isn’t a lap cat? Does that mean they don’t love you as much as your cats that are lap cats do? While some cats enjoy the warmth and bonding time with their owners, there are cats who, because of a few different factors, prefer to keep to themselves and show affection in other ways. We’ll take a closer look at why some cats are lap cats and others aren’t, so join us.


What Makes a Lap Cat and What Doesn’t?

There are a few factors that make felines more likely to be lap cats.

cat sleeping on owner's lap
Image By: Karpova, Shutterstock

The Cat’s Backstory

How a cat was raised before it came to live with you could have a lot to do with whether the cat wants to lay in your lap. For example, if the cat was raised in a home where it was held and petted a lot, that’s what it’ll be used to.

However, if the cat was in an environment with little love or socialization, it might not be used to it and shy away from close contact with you. This doesn’t mean the feline doesn’t love you, but it may take a while to adjust and accept you.

The Age of the Cat Matters

Age can be another reason cats like to curl up in your lap and sleep all day. Kittens are young, full of energy, and like nothing more than to run around energetically, exploring everything around them. Your kitten may not be ready to relax on your lap because it’s too stimulated by the new sights all around it. As a cat ages and loses some of that energy, it may seek comfort and warmth from a trusted person’s lap so that they feel safe and secure.

The Cat Just Isn’t a Lap Cat

Face it, some humans don’t like close contact or to be hugged and touched all the time, and cats are no different. The cat may be just the independent, aloof cat that most felines are accused of being. Some cats aren’t lap cats.

They show their affection in other ways, such as purring when you get home, rubbing against your leg, or even sitting on the couch beside you. A cat doesn’t have to curl up in your lap to show affection, and some never will just because it’s not in their personality to do so.


Which Cats Are More Apt to be Lap Cats?

Some cat breeds are said to be lap cats more than others. While there is no scientific evidence to back this up, we’ll list some of the more common breeds for you below.

While these aren’t all breeds that are said to be lap cats, they are the most common. That isn’t to say that other species can’t be, and there’s no guarantee that if you give one of these cats a forever home, it will be a lap cat, either.

cat lying on woman's lap
Image By: zavalnia, Pixabay



Some cats love to curl up on their pet parent’s lap and sleep the day away, while others prefer to sit in the window across the room. While these cats might not be lap cats, that doesn’t mean they don’t love their caretakers. Some cats are independent, aloof, and don’t want to be touched or sit on a person’s lap. Every cat loves their owner in a unique way, whether sitting on your lap or just purring when you get home from work. Your cat might be a lap cat, and it might not, but it loves you either way.

Featured Image Credit: Sunsetoned, Pexels

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