Home Cat Behavior Why Do Cats Like To Perch On Shoulders?

Why Do Cats Like To Perch On Shoulders?

by Modi Ramos
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Cats like to do lots of things that makes us feel special. They’ll curl up in our laps, they’ll wrap their tails around us, and some cats will even go as far as to perch themselves on our shoulders. I’ve personally never had a cat that’s perched on my shoulder, but I’ve always wished they would! Have you ever wondered why some cats like to perch on shoulders? Cats of all kinds can do this, and the reasons why are pretty interesting. Let’s take a look.

Here are Three Reasons Why Cats Like to Perch on Shoulders…

I love this view!

If you have a kitty that’s obsessed with getting their parrot on, you are one of the lucky few! Perching in cats is not super common, so feel very special if your cat does this to you. There are some particular breeds of cats that really enjoy being up high, like the Maine Coon and the Abyssinian. Cats that fancy themselves a good perch on your shoulder often love the view from above and the security that your shoulder is giving to them. It’s a way for them to show you affection but to also satisfy their instinctual urge to perch. Remember, heights give your feline friend a natural sense of security that they crave.

I’m getting exactly what I want now

Cats will do things to get our attention when they want, exactly when they want it. Your cat is not going to be shy about grabbing your undivided attention, and it’s hard not to give it to them should they plant themselves right next to your head.

Cat behavior consultant Ingrid Johnson, CCBC, tells Mother Nature Network that:

“Typically it’s a young agile cat that can maintain the posture for a while. Generally it stems from attention-seeking behavior. If people like it and they think it’s cute, they’re going to praise them, pet them and before they know it, the cat’s going to do it on command. But I think those cats are few and far between.”

Bobby Flay’s cat, Nacho Flay, is a gorgeous ginger Maine Coon cat that loves to perch on his famous chef dad’s shoulders anytime he sees fit.

why some cats love to perch on shoulders

Your shoulder cat is likely a cat who is quick to remind you that you are their humble servant. They will prefer to perch as they see fit…even if they’re a tad heavy. It’s their world, and you’re just living in it, right? Although it can get to be a bit demanding at times, know that your cat is using this as a way to bond with you, even if they are a bit pushy about it. Should it become an issue and you do not like this behavior, do not encourage it. Cats are opportunists at heart, and if opportunities repeatedly present themselves, you can’t blame your cat for going after what they want.

shoulder cats

Perching often has to do with the age of your cat and their athleticism

While a Maine Coon on your shoulder might get heavy rather quickly, remember that although these are large cats they’re quite agile. Cats that perch on shoulders are often athletic or on the younger side. It is highly unlikely for a chonky cat or a senior cat to have the ability to hop up and transform themselves into a shoulder cat. But, hey, a cat can learn new tricks, right? If you’d like to teach your cat that your shoulder is a fun and safe place for them to hang out, start by showing them that when you’re sitting on the sofa together.

Cats will often like to sleep on your head as it’s less likely to move and not disturb them when they’re sleeping. And your cat knows that you’re not a giant cat without fur. They look to you as their guardian and caregiver. Build up some trust with them and try taking baby steps and maybe you can have yourself a shoulder cat, too.

Did you learn anything new and interesting about our feline friends? Don’t forget to share this article with other cat lovers that you know so that they can learn something, too. 

Have you ever wondered why cats love to follow you to the bathroom? Read about it here on cattitudedaily.com.

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