Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your cat.

Why Does My Cat Lie on My Papers?

Cats want their owners’ attention.

Does your cat ever hop up on your desk or table and try to lie down right on the papers, book, or laptop you're working on? And even when you try to nudge the curious kitty off, she just refuses to budge, planting herself right in the center of what you're doing?

Why do cats lie on papers?

Your Kitty Is Looking for Attention

If you're sitting quietly in one spot, odds are your cat is going to want in on that action. Throughout the day, people are bustling about, moving from one task to another, and we often don't have a lot of time to give our cats too much one-on-one attention.

So, when your kitty sees that you're finally still for a moment, it's natural that she would want to insert herself into that situation, hoping for some attention.

Your Kitty Is Putting Her Scent on Your Things

Cats have scent glands in their cheeks and paws, and in the wild, they use their odors to mark territory and communicate with one another. So, when your cat rubs on you or your things, she is trying to say that the two of you are in the same pack or pride. She's claiming you and saying she loves you all at the same time.

What If You Really Need to Get Something Done?

Most of the time, having your cat climb on your papers, book, or keyboard isn't a problem. It can be cute and remind you to take time out for fun with your kitty. But if you regularly need to do work and your cat is impeding it by climbing on your papers or keyboard, you can work on redirecting her to a more mutually-beneficial behavior. Here's how:

  • Make sure you're taking time out of every day to pay one-on-one attention to your cat. This can be holding and petting, and it can also be interactive playtime.
  • Get your kitty a cozy bed and put it as close to your workspace as possible. Cat trees work great for this because their level is often perfect for getting your cat up near you. Ideally, place it within arm's reach, so you can randomly pet your cat while you work, and she can easily see what you're doing and feel like part of the action.
  • Reward your kitty when she comes nearby but doesn't climb on your stuff. That will teach her that she gets more attention for not impeding your work than for getting on your papers.

Don't get angry and yell or be rough. That will damage the relationship with your cat and lead to unwanted stress-induced behaviors like inappropriate urination and scratching.

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