Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > Why Is My Cat Sitting by the Door? 13 Reasons & What to Do

Why Is My Cat Sitting by the Door? 13 Reasons & What to Do

cat near door at home

It can be concerning to see your cat sitting by the door all the time, especially if they’ve never done this before. There are a few reasons why cats may sit by the door and understanding these can help you figure out how best to address the issue. In this article, we’ll go over the reasons why your cat is exhibiting this strange behavior so that you can better understand your cat and his or her needs.

divider-cat

The 13 Reasons Your Cat May Be Sitting by the Door

1. Your cat wants to go outside

The most common reason cats sit by the door is because they want to go outside. They may be attracted to the fresh air, sounds, and smells of nature. Even if your cat is an indoor-only pet, they still have a natural instinct to explore the outdoors.

American Polydactyl cat walking outside
Image Credit: Jenny Margarette, Shutterstock

2. Your cat is bored or lonely

Your cat may be sitting by the door out of boredom or loneliness. Cats are social and thrive in environments where they can explore, play, and interact with people and other animals. If your cat isn’t getting enough stimulation from their environment, they may try to find something interesting by sitting at the door.


3. Your cat is seeking attention

Cats are known for their independence, but that doesn’t mean they don’t crave affection from time to time! Sitting by the door may be a way for your cat to get your attention and let you know that they want a bit of love and companionship.

calico cat in house backyard by wooden deck with owner sitting
Image Credit: Andriy Blokhin, Shutterstock

4. Your cat smells other animals outside

If there are other animals in the vicinity, such as wild birds or squirrels, your cat may be attracted to their scents. Sitting by the door gives them a better chance of smelling these creatures and possibly interacting with them.


5. Your cat wants to go see another person or animal

If there’s someone in your home that your cat really likes–such as a family member or another pet–they may sit by the door waiting for them to come home. Or, if they know another person is going to come over soon, they may want to greet them as soon as they arrive!

two cats touch each other's noses
Image Credit: Sandeep Gore, Shutterstock

6. Your cat just wants some peace and quiet

Sometimes cats need some time alone! If your house is particularly noisy or crowded, it’s possible that your cat is looking for a quiet spot to relax. The door may be their way of getting away from it all.


7. Your cat wants some fresh air or sunshine

Cats love being in the sun and getting some fresh air, so sitting by the door gives them an opportunity to do both at once! If your house is particularly stuffy, they may be seeking out a more pleasant environment by sitting near the door.

tabby cat sleeping outside
Image Credit: Ben Kerckx, Pixabay

8. Your cat hears something intriguing outside

If there’s something interesting happening outside–such as kids playing, birds chirping, or cars passing–your cat may be drawn to these noises and sit by the door to get a better listen.


9. Your cat knows someone is coming

Cats are incredibly perceptive, and they can often sense when someone is coming before anyone else in the house does! If your cat is particularly attuned to your comings and goings, they may be sitting by the door as a way of greeting you.

british short hair cat shot indoors
Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

10. Your cat wants to escape or explore

If you live in an area where outdoor cats roam freely, it’s possible that your indoor-only cat may be drawn to their environment and be tempted to sneak out if given the opportunity. They may also just want to explore outside–even if they don’t have access–and sitting by the door gives them a view of what’s out there.


11. Your cat is marking their territory

Cats have a natural instinct to mark areas as theirs, and sitting by the door may be one way they’re doing this. They may also just be scent-marking the area around the door as a way of claiming it as their own.

gray tabby cat crouched at the doorway
Image Credit: 42 North, Unsplash

12. Your cat feels threatened or anxious

Sometimes cats will sit by the door out of fear or anxiety if they sense something outside that makes them feel unsafe. This could be anything from loud noises to strange smells, and your cat may be trying to protect itself by keeping an eye on what’s going on outside.


13. Your cat is seeking comfort or security

Finally, some cats simply enjoy being close to an exit or entrance, as it makes them feel secure and safe. If your cat is feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, they may be seeking comfort by sitting near the door.

reverse calico cat sitting on window sill
Image Credit: Anna Krivitskaya, Shutterstock

divider-cat

What to Do If Your Cat Won’t Stop Sitting by the Door

If your cat has taken to sitting by the door, there are a few things you can do to try and distract them:

  • Offer them treats or toys. Cats love rewards, so offering them something they enjoy may encourage them to leave the door and explore elsewhere.
  • Play with them. Spending some quality time with your cat is always a great way to redirect their attention away from the door and onto something else.
  • Provide plenty of environmental enrichment. Investing in interactive cat toys or activities can help keep your cat entertained for hours–which means less time spent at the door!
  • Keep an eye on any changes in behavior. If you notice that your cat’s behavior near the door has changed, it could be a sign that they’re feeling stressed or anxious. Take some time to observe them and figure out what might be causing the change.
  • Talk to your vet. If you’re still having trouble getting your cat away from the door, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian. They may be able to provide more insights into why your cat is behaving this way and suggest other solutions.
cat playing an interactive toy
Image By: Maire, Pixabay

divider-catIs It Safe to Let Your Cat Outside?

It can be heartbreaking to keep a cat indoors when they want to go outside so badly. In general, it’s not recommended that you let your indoor-only cats outdoors for safety reasons–as there are many potential hazards such as cars, predators, and other dangers outside. Cats can also be a hazard to the local wildlife populations (especially birds, including some fragile bird species). However, if you do decide to let your cat explore the outdoors, there are some steps you can take to ensure their safety:

  • Always supervise your cat when they’re outside. This will help prevent them from getting into any dangerous situations or coming across any predators.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of illness or injury. If you notice that your cat is limping, coughing, or otherwise not acting like themselves, bring them back inside and contact your veterinarian.
  • Make sure your cat is wearing a collar with ID tags on it. This will help ensure that if your cat does get lost, they can be easily identified and returned home safely.
  • Provide plenty of hiding spots for your cat when they’re outside. This will help keep them safe from predators, as well as give them a place to go when they’re feeling overwhelmed or scared.
  • Take your cat for regular check-ups at the vet. This will help ensure that your cat remains healthy and free of any illnesses or diseases.

divider-catSafer Ways for Your Cat to Experience Nature

If you want to give your indoor-only cats an opportunity to experience nature without exposing them to potential dangers, there are a few ways you can do this:

  • Set up an outdoor playpen in your backyard. This will allow your cat to explore the great outdoors while still being safely enclosed in a secure area.
  • Invest in some bird feeders and baths so your cats can watch birds and other wildlife from the comfort of your home.
  • Place some houseplants around your home to bring a bit of nature indoors and provide a safe place for your cats to explore.
  • Visit cat-friendly parks and green spaces where you can take your cats on leashes so they can experience the sights, smells, and sounds of nature without being exposed to any potential dangers.
  • Take your cat on a walk with a leash and harness. This will allow them to explore the outdoors while still being safely tethered to you. It may take a few tries before your cat gets used to a leash or harness, but if you’re patient, they’ll eventually catch on!
Cat On A Leash
Image By: avbocherikov, Pixabay

divider-cat

Conclusion

Cats have many reasons why they might be drawn to sitting near the door–ranging from curiosity to safety concerns. If your cat is exhibiting this behavior, it is important that you understand why they may be doing so in order to figure out the best way to help them feel more comfortable and secure. While it’s not recommended to let your cat outdoors, there are still plenty of ways you can provide them with safe experiences in nature. With the right amount of patience and understanding, you should be able to help your cats find their way back to a happy and healthy life.


Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets