Why Do Cats Sit Everywhere?

(Last Updated On: April 28, 2020)

Why Do Cats Sit Everywhere?

If you’ve been anywhere near a cat (either in real life, or on the internet), you 100% know that cats will sit anywhere. Not only will they sit anywhere, but they will also sit places they should not fit. It’s a well documented phenomenon for those who are unfamiliar. So why do cats put themselves in things, on top of things, on things you’re actively using? Why do cats sit everywhere?

Why Do Cats Sit Everywhere?

A lot of intense research has been done on cat behavior, with some thick books coming out of Cambridge. So let’s start with why cats like to sit on stuff you are using. Apparently it’s been documented that cats walked on old books as they were being penned in the Medieval ages. Which means your cat sitting on your keyboard while you’re trying to write something on the internet (help!) is a pretty universal phenomenon. 

Most of us just say “oh our cat is really needy” or “our cat is just a jerk” and call it a day. Cats are super sensitive to smells, like many furry house pets. Assuming your cat likes you, which we will assume, your cat is sitting on your stuff simply because it smells like you. Simple as that.

Maybe your cat doesn’t actually care about you, and they’re just being territorial. They like rubbing up on your stuff so they can say they also own it. Just be happy your cat didn’t decide to pee on your stuff, because cats mark stuff with pee as well.

Perhaps your cat is actually being needy. It’s not like they understand what they’re doing with your hands on your keyboard. Maybe you’re giving it a nice like, cat massage or something. Imagine how annoyed you would be if your parents gave like, the roomba more attention than you. Same thing, we guess.

Cats Sitting On Top of Things

You might find that your cat sits on top of an inactive laptop, desktop, or just lays on your arms while you’re trying to get important work done. There’s a common theme with all of these–they generate heat. Ambient cat body temperature sits between 100 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Which is far above your ambient body temperature in the high 90s (around 98). If your temperature hit what cats tend to sit at, you’d have a pretty bad fever. Depending on the person, you might have to go to the ER.

Because cats exist at warmer temperatures they’re going to need sources of heat–probably because you exist at a cooler temperature and have a cooler house. 

Cats and Weird Places

Cats are predators. But you probably already know that. If you want, you can read more about how much your cat kills while they’re outside here on the blog.

Sadly for an indoor cat, they don’t get to stalk prey while they’re in the kitchen. Unless you count cat toys, but we’re talking live prey here. The instinct is still there, though, and your cat is probably getting ready to stalk something that isn’t there. That, or they’re hiding from potential predators themselves–since house cats are not exactly… Apex predators. It’s generally agreed upon that cats just feel safe with the walls of a box or laundry basket on all sides of their body.

Heck, in the wild you’ll see cats doing stuff like this–just in tree canopies and little crevices instead of a shoebox. But with all the litter floating about, maybe you’ll see a bobcat sitting inside of a cardboard box someday.

Hiding in boxes is also a warmth thing for cats. For the same reason you layer up when you’re cold, the box insulates the cat’s body heat so they can maintain their high ambient body temperature. So, you can think of your new Amazon order’s box as your cat’s new wool sweater. 

Especially because we both know your cat would 100% destroy a wool sweater.

That cats sit in weird objects and contort themselves is probably just because they have very flexible spines. 

Maybe Your Cat Is Just Needy

Yeah, we’ve already established that with your cat sitting on and marking your stuff as their territory. But when your cat sits inside of your grocery bag or on top of the cupboards, think about all the attention you probably gave them afterwards. 

At the end of the day, you might have just Pavlov-ed your cat into sitting in some places that would make terrible hiding spots. 

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About Kyler 727 Articles
Kyler is a content writer at Sporcle living in Seattle, and is currently studying at the University of Washington School of Law. He's been writing for Sporcle since 2019; sometimes the blog is an excellent platform to answer random personal questions he has about the world. Most of his free time is spent drinking black coffee like water.