How you can teach your cat to be a lap cat

Cat owners often ask if it is possible to change a reluctant cat into a lap cat. A lot of people dream about being by the fire sitting in a comfortable chair with a sleeping feline snuggled up on their lap.

Are some cats naturally suited for cuddling while others are not? There is something to be said, though, about genetics. Kittens whose parents are sociable and kind cats are more likely to consider a person's lap to be a welcoming space. In terms of social behavior, kittens reared by amiable mother cats typically want more intimacy with their owners.


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Not all cat wants to be lap cat though, some cats despite your best endeavor would rather sit next to you than on your lap, however, guess what? That’s totally ok.  It might not be exactly how you wanted it, but rather than being disappointed, take pleasure in the special and loving ways your cat expresses love and trust.

But how can you teach your cat to become a lap cat? Let's find out.

Create a secure environment for your cat

A cat needs to feel comfortable and secure in their home and environment to feel safe. Your feline won't feel comfortable putting themselves in a weak position if your surrounding is disorganized or uncomfortable.

Your cat may not feel secure enough to emerge from hiding and be seen on your lap if the household has other cats. Assess the living arrangements to make sure they offer stability, safety, and ease. It may imply that to get the cat to stay in the same area with you, you must first set up a cat perch, cat tree, or some hiding places in the room.

Provide a calm, trustworthy presence for your cat

You should make some "pre-lap" preparations if you want your cat to sit on your lap. Begin by checking that your mobile phone's ringer is off and that your phone isn’t stuck in your pocket. When your cat is just getting comfortable on your lap, you don’t want to be struggling around in the chair trying to get your phone out of your jeans pocket.

Additionally, use a soft and soothing tone of voice when speaking to others in a room or on the phone. Your cat will undoubtedly fly off your lap with a violent loud laugh or scream.

It is essential to be the person a cat wants to be around if you want your lap to be a place they feel at ease. Your cat will understandably be hesitant to make close physical contact with you if you have physically punished them for bad behavior with your hands or warned them off your laps. If so, it is your responsibility to restore that trust through constant encouraging teaching.

Determine the cause of any undesirable behavior your cat demonstrates so you can come up with a better solution without using punishment.  Whether it has to do with the litter box, scratching, biting, attention seeking, and other issues.

To help your cat develop a favorable association with your presence, spend time engaging in interactive play sessions with them. One of the finest ways to repair a shattered friendship is interactive playtime.

Make lapping a reward for your cat

Your cat may need a small form of bribery to lure them to approach your lap. Instead of sitting on a chair when trying to get more intimate with your cat, pick a sofa. Your cat will feel more confident to move closer if you do it that way. They may not feel at ease about being so surrounded or trapped if they sit in a chair with high arms.

Treats should always be made available for your cat. Gently throw one at a time on the floor in front of you. Next, throw a treat on the couch if your cat responds favorably. Work your way up to advancing till you can place a treat on your lap. Don't try to pet or hang on to your cat during this period. Allow them to feel totally free, even to walk across your lap. If you want them to feel secure enough to climb on top of your lap later on, taking this crucial step in developing trust in them is important.

Correctly interpret your cat’s body language

It can be simple to presume that the cat approaching you wants to cuddle, but she might be trying to tell you something else. They might be asking for food, playtime, or another type of attention if they are vocalizing or moving to and fro in front of you. Your cat can be in play mode rather than loving mode.

Your cat may be agitated to sit on your lap but becomes unsettled or exhibit behaviors like tail flicking, skin twitching, meowing or shifting ears into a position that resembles airplane wings. The cat might not want to be petted or they might have gotten to their tolerance limit if you began petting them for the joy of having them on your lap.

When your cat is attempting to slumber or simply doesn't want to be stimulated by repetitive caressing, they may show aggression if you try to lap them. Your cat will bolt from your lap if they don't want to be petted. They might also be unyielding to come back.

Petting your cat the right way

If your cat does love being petted and shown affection, make sure it stays that way by being sensitive to any preferences they may have. Instead of stimulating your cat, pet them to calm them down.

Long, delicate strokes are preferred by certain cats, while others prefer shorter, partial-body strokes. Check to see if your cat flinches when you stroke them close to the base of the tail. This area of the body might be delicate for many cats.

Avoid the urge to hold your cat's paws if they stretch out onto your lap. Cats like to have their paws left alone in general.

Never trick your cat

The last thing you want to do is fool your cat when she jumps on your lap by utilizing that time to give them medicines or cut their nails if you're trying to teach her that your lap is a secure and comfy place to be. Your cat will keep it as a memory and will keep avoiding your lap.

Always give your cat the freedom to move away

Do not restrain your cat if they become agitated, tries to flee, or jumps down. They will be more likely to return to your lap the following time if they're aware that they're free to come and go as they wish.

If you force your feline to stay on your lap against their will, they might stop seeing being close to you as a good thing. Keep the experience positive and laid back even if your cat only stays on your lap for a short while. She might stay longer the next time. It's off to a wonderful start.


Teaching your cat to form positive associations with you requires you to maintain a calm demeanor. This promotes confidence and mends any broken friendships.

Sometimes, a timid cat needs to be lured with bribes like treats thrown in her direction. As she approaches you, feel free to let them be completely unrestricted.

Make sure you accurately read your cat's body language so you can determine whether they want to be snuggled or lapped at that given time. Give your cat the freedom to come and go as pleased and never force them to stay on your lap.



Improve your cat's quality of life with these simple tricks which you can implement immediately.