Skip to main content

See also:

Choosing or making a lap sitting cat

Laps aren't so bad
Karla Kirby

There’s nothing quite like holding a soft, purring cat on your lap. They bring comfort, delight and pleasure to any cat lover as they sit happily on their owner’s lap and look up at them with love in their gorgeous eyes.

However, not every cat is a natural born lap sitter. Though some automatically jump into your lap the moment you sit down, others have to be called and coaxed, others till turn a deaf ear to your pleas, look the other way, or even walk away.

Studies have proven that if felines are raised without human company for the first seven weeks of their lives, they very well may never fully trust people. If a feline has had little to no contact with humans during this period, chances are he/she will probably never be the affectionate lap sitter you crave. But, you may get to have the honor of short, lap-sitting sessions.

Some cats inherit an affectionate disposition. Other cats by nature are more autonomous and detached than others; while some are simply scared. Such traits come across as an anti-social nature in regards to would-be human companions. Some of these withdrawn cats may be coaxed out of their shell by gentle and serene handling, but even the best consequences that can be attained in terms of friendliness to people may be a million miles from relaxed lap sitting.

If you passionately desire a lap sitter, pick out a cat that comes from affectionate parents, obtain a very young cat, be very kind and be gentle with these sensitive creatures.

If not all of these ideal features exist, know you can reverse some damage if not too much damage has been done. Have a quiet rehabilitation time just between you and kitty. Situate yourself in a large room with the cat, and some cat treats. If your cat is slightly hungry, he/she will be much more cooperative to your coaxing.

Sit down in a chair and toss a treat towards your feline, give him/her time to find it and consume, then gradually toss the treats closer and closer to you until you put one on the arm of your chair, then finally on your lap.

This will take several attempts, it usually won’t work the first time; but once kitty does land on your lap, lavish him/her with several treats, soft words of confirmation and the freedom to jump down at will. Let kitty associate lap sitting with treats, love and a pleasant place to be.

A cat can also be persuaded with a favorite toy. Simply draw the toy closer and closer to you till kitty leaps on your lap caught up in the fun of playing.

Remember, you must be patient. One day kitty may be very cooperative; the next just plain disinterested in his/her little lessons. Never force yourself on a cat; let kitty think it was his/her idea...