What Does It Mean When a Cat Sits on You?

Cats are known for a lot of things, but chief among them are their DGAF attitudes and their lazy, lazy love of sitting. Combined, these qualities have led many a cat to plop down on their owners over the years, but what does it mean when a cat decides to sit on you? Here's everything you need to know about what cats are trying to tell us when they sit on a human.

They feel safe

Close-Up Of Cat Sleeping
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One thing cats are trying to say when they sit on you is a simple, "Hey, I feel very safe with you." This can be especially true if your kitty is laying on you when he's ready to take a nap—it means that your feline friend trusts you to keep him safe from predators while he's sleeping.

Showing trust

Speaking of trust, it's not just nap cuddles that show trust. Any time a cat decides to lay on you, it's a big sign of the trust you've developed.

A little kitten is lying on the lap
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"They really do have to trust you to sit on your lap," Marilyn Krieger, Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (CCBC), based in Redwood City, California, and author of Naughty No More!, says. She stresses the importance of not making a cat sit on your lap and giving the cat the option to leave. "When you give them that choice of sitting on your lap or not and leaving when they want to, they become more trusting of you."

You're one of their favorite people

Yes, cats play favorites and yes, they're more likely to lay down to rest on the person they like most in any given room.

Woman in her bed
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"There are a number of ways including head-butting, purring and sitting on laps. Proximity also can demonstrate favoritism. Some cats follow their people around the home or always choose to be near them," Marilyn told Cuteness.

They want you to pay attention to them

Cats will also lay on a person when they're craving attention. It's important not to overestimate cats' independence and to remember that even these aloof creatures crave affection from time to time.

Young woman relaxing at home with her cat
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As we've written before, "Cats can get lonely when you're not at home and most will seek out attention when you're around. While cats are undisputedly independent and may be aloof to some people or strangers, feline standoffishness is overestimated."

They're stealing your body heat

best friends taking a nap
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Cats love to lay around in warm places and the human body is pretty warm. According to Marilyn Krieger, cats sometimes lay on their owners because they're craving that warmth.

They love the way you sound and smell

Cuddling with loving cat
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Cats love to sleep and, it turns out, the sounds that the human body makes naturally (like the rhythm of the heart beating and the sound of our breath) can be really soothing and sleep-inducing for cats. So, yeah, your cat might be using you as nature's noise machine when she snuggles up to you. On a more personal note, however, your smell is unique to you and might put your cat in that safe, trusting mindset we discussed above, which is totally unique to your relationship.