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This is why your cat won’t stop lying on your things

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Hayley Spencer
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Cats have a habit of lying in the most inconvenient place possible at any given time. Be it a laptop, your latest book, a drawer – a lot of the time, the less comfy the item looks to us, the more keen they seem to hunker down into it. The bizarre habit has even prompted the Instagram accounts @CatsOnAmps and @CatsInBoxes.

But it turns out our fluffy friends aren’t just trying to be pests – there are several physiological reasons for why they take over our belongings…

1. They’re territorial

Firstly, don’t forget cats are jungle creatures and they’re used to having to stake out their territory. Lying on your stuff is a way of claiming the spot. And the higher up it is, the better, as they’re imitating the prancing and resting they do in the wild – hence why your laptop or notepad is more appealing than the desk itself. As Hello Giggles notes, you’ll notice your cat will mark your stuff by rubbing its face and paws on it to transfer their pheromones.

2. They know what’s important to you

Though, as one owner found out when she wanted to know why her cat kept lying on her open books, cats can be quite choosy about what they mark. They know what you value (they’re smart like that), and they they want a piece of it, too.

The owner placed dummy books around the house, but her cat was only drawn to the ones she’d been reading. This is because as their owner, you’re thought of as the more dominant creature – and they feel safer if they rub on anything carrying our scent, such as books and laptops. 



Your cat is well equipped to sniff out the stuff you love, as it has 200 million smell receptors in its nose and its sense of smell is 14 times stronger than ours. Its acute senses don’t stop there: they also have a great eye for what you’re giving attention and will promptly move themselves on top of it as if to say “Nope, pay attention to me.”



3. It makes them feel safe

If you’ve noticed that your cat likes to lie in your stuff, this also goes back to the jungle: they like enclosed spaces. Business Insider explains that being confined makes cats feel safe and secure and help them feel hidden from predators. 

4. They need to stay warm

Now for probably the least flattering reason: warmth. You kitty has a resting body temperature of around 102 degrees, and they jump in your metaphorical grave by staking claim on anything you’ve just used (or that emits heat) due to their need to gain warmth.

Main image: iStock

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Hayley Spencer

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