Cats and Computers: Why Does Your Cat Bother You When You’re on the Computer?

Cat at the computer
Written by Clair Chesterman

Because they are near to you and can be the center of their attention, cats like to perch on keyboards and laptops. Cats are actually very affectionate, despite the fact that they could seem stoic. In exchange for their time with you, they want to receive the same affection and attention. If you’re engaged in your work while you type and click, your cat can feel a little jealous of the computer.

Another reason is that computers are warm, and cats are drawn to them. It’s no surprise that cats prefer warmer temperatures than humans. Their thermoneutral zone is between 85 and 100 degrees, which is why you’ll notice your cat snoozing in a sunbeam whenever possible.

It is more likely, though, that your cat is drawn to your computer’s smell rather than its heat. Cats are territorial creatures and for the same reason that your cat rubs against you, it also rubs its face on your laptop. Cats’ scent glands enable them to leave their fragrance on surfaces they brush against, claiming those surfaces as part of their territory.

Reinforcing Your Cat’s Behavior

Cats repeat behaviors when there is a benefit or when they are useful. Some people usually support the cat’s behavior by caressing and/or chatting with the cat. Cats rapidly learn that sitting on the keyboard gets them attention, which they love.

While you’re on the computer, you might not even be aware that you’re encouraging your cat’s behavior. There’s a significant likelihood that you’ll pet the cat or otherwise notice her if she approaches while you’re on the phone. She might leap up into your lap, and without you realizing it, you might begin to stroke her.

Ignore your cat’s undesirable behavior and only praise it when it exhibits desired behavior, as opposed to rewarding unpleasant conduct. When your cat is quiet, reward him with a treat, praise, play, or caressing. This method will stop him from repeating unwanted behaviors.

Even if his quiet conduct only lasts a little while, you need to change your training strategy so that you can catch and reinforce the behavior you desire.

Keeping Your Cat Away From Your Laptop

Cat is lying on a keyboard

There are actions you may do if your cat’s laptop obsession is becoming a serious issue. 

  • Give your cat a cozy and appealing area to settle down close to you and concurrently reinforce and reward him with love and attention when he is sitting or lying on that spot.
  • By making the keyboard difficult to reach and uncomfortable to sit on, you can deter him from lounging there.
  • You can also try using a decoy laptop but this trick does not work for all cats since most cats are attracted to their owners’ scent on the computer.
  • Be consistent in teaching your feline companion to not sit on your laptop.

Bottom Line

Cats are affectionate and territorial species. Sometimes these felines can be also jealous. They may tend to disturb you when you are engrossed doing something but this behavior can be corrected.

Be mindful of what messages you want your feline companions to perceive. Patience and consistency is the key to training your cat. Eventually, your kitty will learn how to stay away from your laptop.


  • Clair Chesterman

    Clair is a professional cat breeder having her own cageless CFA and CCA Registered cattery & fostering company FluffyMeowPaws in Eugene, Oregon. Clair knows everything about multiple cat breeds and how to use the latest technologies to make the cat's life better.

Leave a Comment