Why Do Cats Like To Walk & Sit on Keyboards as Much as They Do?

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Amusing scene featuring a mischievous cat nestled among computer keyboards.

The best seat in the house for a cat? It’s the keyboard of course. And usually when you’re in the middle of an important meeting or shopping for groceries! Your cat can have as many cozy beds and blankets as you can fit in your home, but they still like to sit on our laptops.

Key Takeaways

Cats are fascinated by the way we interact with computers, and are intrigued by our focus on them

The warmth of a computer and the sounds and movements of keyboards and mice attract cats’ attention

Your cat might get between you and your screen to gain your attention

Most cat owners are familiar with having to keep their pet off the keyboard, but why is it that cats love to walk on computer keyboards so much? This question has been plaguing cat owners for as long as keyboards have existed. The answer is not straightforward, as we know that cats are mysterious creatures, and that cat behavior is a complex subject.

Why Do Cats Love Keyboards?

To a cat, a computer is a fascinating device, and all cat owners know how curious our feline family members are. We need to put ourselves in the furry shoes of our cats – it’s not that they deliberately want to get in the way of our work or shopping, but more that they are incredibly curious about the way we interact with a device which to them is simply just a strange metal box. To your cat, this is very interesting.

When we sit at our computers, our energy is projected directly, and often despondently at the screen. Cats closely observe the behaviors we display, such as how quiet and focused we are, and the way our eyes might narrow the longer we stare at the screen.

As cats are such prolific and skilled hunters with strong predator instincts, they will notice that the way we interact with our computers is similar to the way a good hunter will focus on its prey. So, to your cat, this is very interesting, and they are likely to come and check out your prey, or really, just your screen!

There are some other simpler reasons why our cats love to sit on our keyboards!

1. It’s warm

Cats are also drawn to warmth, and keyboards are a very nice source of heat! A cat’s thermoneutral zone (the temperature range where they don’t need to use energy to regulate their temperature) is between 85-100 degrees Fahrenheit. So that’s why you’ll always find your cat lounging in a sunbeam or sleeping on your warm laptop!

2. Attention Seeking

When we work at our computers, the device has our undivided attention. And our cats don’t like that. Laying or walking across the keyboard between us and the thing we are most focused on will bring our attention immediately to them.

Also, our cats like to be close to us, and they gain comfort, security, and happiness from that proximity. Sitting between us and the device is also their way of being closer to us.

3. It’s Entertaining and Playful

The fast clicking and tapping sound that the keyboard makes, and the speed with which our fingers move across it as we type are fascinating to cats. They see this as a fun game and chasing our mouse or cursor can keep them entertained for some time.

It might seem irritating to us, but these are simply cats’ natural instincts, and they can’t always understand the difference between playtime and work time.

4. It’s a Valuable Resource

Feline curiosity on display as a cat confidently occupies a cluster of computer keyboards.

Cats have a dependency on the accessibility to resources and prioritize their value.

Cats have a dependency on the accessibility to resources and prioritize their value. Because our computers attract so much of our undivided attention, our cats will learn to recognize them as an important or high-value resource. Therefore, they will want to spend time with it just the same way you do.

How To Keep Your Cat off Your Keyboard

Whether you’re chasing a deadline, or simply catching up on your favorite box set, it can be pretty annoying to have a furry obstruction in front of the screen. Not only that, but your cat could damage your keyboard or even press something they shouldn’t!

Recognize Attention Seeking Behaviors

It’s important not to punish your cat for this behavior, as they are simply being curious and friendly. And if your cat is seeking attention then you need to consider why. Perhaps your cat feels you haven’t spent enough quality time together, or they are hungry.

If your cat is really persisting at your keyboard, it might be time to take a break, give your cat its meal or enjoy some playtime together before you get back to your device. Hopefully, they will be ready for a nap while you finish your work, or they will be happy to curl up on your lap while you watch a movie.

You can prevent attention-seeking behavior by ensuring your cat has enough enrichment such as toys and scratching posts, and that they have access to the outdoors if appropriate. Cats need physical and mental stimulation in order to stay happy and healthy, so you should always listen to and act on the signals they give you that their needs are not being fully met.

Teach Them No

It’s all about compromise with cats, so you should also make sure your workspace has some designated areas for your cat. Your cat might be happy curled up on your lap while you work or enjoy having a bed just beside your desk. That way they can still be close to you and receive your affection, but you’ll avoid a lot of typos!

Using simple words such as ‘stop’ and ‘no’ said in a calm, but firm tone followed by moving your cat away from your keyboard can also reinforce to them that this is not appropriate behavior. It will take patience and consistency for your cat to understand that walking on the keyboard is annoying for you. Remember to never push them away, but gently lift them off and put them on your lap, in their bed, or offer them a toy as a distraction instead.

Final Thoughts

Playful cat immersed in a jungle of computer keyboards, further emphasizing its affinity for unconventional resting spots.

Kitty typos might be cute, but they can also be very distracting and irritating to us when we are trying to work.

Kitty typos might be cute, but they can also be very distracting and irritating to us when we are trying to work. But they don’t do it to get on our nerves, cats are fascinated by our behavior and interactions with computers.

We give our screens our undivided attention and focus, which catches the intrigue of our cat’s predator instincts. They are simply curious, and often want to join in with whatever seems to be so interesting to us.

Cats are also drawn to the warmth of keyboards and find the sounds and movements entertaining. But it can also indicate that our cat needs our attention for some reason – sitting on the keyboard is their way of telling us they want something from us and might be feeling some separation anxiety.

You can keep your cat off your keyboard by teaching them simple commands with positive reinforcement, and by making your office space more feline friendly. You also need to address any problems that lead to attention-seeking.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Sit On Laptops?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do cats love to walk on keyboards?

Cats are fascinated by the way that humans interact with computers. They are also drawn to the warmth and the sounds and movements of keyboards and computer screens. Sometimes cats are also seeking our attention.

Why do cats like to sit on notebooks?

Cats will often choose to sit in between us and something that has our undivided attention, such as a notebook or laptop keyboard. This is their way of attracting our attention.

Why do cats like to sit on electronics?

Cats are drawn to the warmth of electronic devices, and often they find the sounds and movement on screens and keyboards entertaining. Cats also notice that electronic devices gain a lot of our attention and recognize them as a high-value resource, so will try to get our attention away from the device and onto them.

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About Dr. Holly Anne Hills BVMEDSCI MRCVS

Holly has worked as a small animal vet in several clinics across the UK and has taken short breaks to volunteer in India and the Caribbean working with street dogs. Her interests are in surgery, caring for geriatric patients, and client education. She writes behavior and nutrition articles for Cats.com.

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