The Reason Your Cat Loves to Sit On Your Computer Keyboard

Just try to send an email.
Just try to send an email. / Trà My, Unsplash

As many remote workers know all too well, computer keyboards are prime real estate in the eyes of pretty much every cat. So frequently do they bypass the comfy cat bed in the corner and plop down on your laptop that it hardly seems random—and, in fact, it’s not.

One reason is the heat emanating from your device. As cat behavior consultant Marci Koski told, cats are most comfortable when they don’t have to use their own energy to heat or cool their bodies. This temperature sweet spot, or “thermoneutral zone,” is between 86°F and 100°F. Computer keyboards are often warm, as are radiators, heating vents, sunny spots, and probably other places your cat likes to lounge.

But even if your laptop doesn’t run hot, your cat might still hang around it whenever you’re trying to get some work done. After all, it’s where you are. “The laptop is on your lap, which is prime kitty territory,” animal behavioral consultant Amy Shojai told Inverse. “You stare at it constantly, and the cat would prefer you direct your attention to them, so it gets in between you and the screen.”

Many people no doubt welcome the opportunity to break up the monotony of emails and spreadsheets with a visit from their favorite furry coworker. That said, being able to see only half your screen and use only half your keyboard isn’t ideal. And unfortunately, giving your cat attention—even if just to move them out of the way—can reinforce the behavior.

According to Koski, the best way to convince your cat to steer clear of the keyboard is to reward them whenever they settle down somewhere else. This might require setting up an appealing alternative spot, like a heated cat bed or a pillow-filled corner near a window. Tempt them there with treats and pay plenty of visits to their new turf, and they’ll eventually lose interest in your boring old keyboard.