Why Does My Cat Always Steal My Seat When I Get Up?

tabby cat in chair

When you live with cats, saving your seat isn’t always possible. It doesn’t matter if you stand up for a few seconds to grab the remote or take a two-minute bathroom break—your sneaky cat always steals your spot. They jump into your recliner and hog the couch without any sense of guilt or regret. In fact, they look quite pleased when they’re sitting comfy and you’re left standing. It’s not the naughtiest habit your cat could have, but it’s still worth an explanation. If you’re frequently forced to change seats because of your cat, keep reading. Here are likely reasons why your cat steals your seat.

cat in chair

Mmmm, That Smells Safe

Cats are serious about their sense of smell. They can pick up on scents you don’t even realize are there, and they associate different scents with different feelings. If you and your cat have a good relationship, they most likely relate your personal scent with feelings of safety and contentment.

To them, you don’t only smell good, you smell safe. And who doesn’t want to feel safe? When a cat feels safe, they feel like they can relax. And when they’re looking for a good place to curl up, the seat you recently vacated smells too safe to resist. They immerse themselves in your safe scent by jumping into your seat every chance they get.

Combining Scents

Besides feeling safe when surrounded by your scent, your cat might also be trying to claim you as part of their family. Cats sometimes try to combine scents with people and animals they deem part of their pack. It makes sense that family members share the same scent, and taking up your favorite part of the couch is a good way for your cat to claim your scent and add their own. It’s the same reason why cats head bunt the people they love. 

 cat steals your seat

It’s All About Warmth

If your cat is quick to steal your seat after you get up, it could be because they love the warmth. When you sit in the same spot for a while, your body heat naturally warms up that area. So when you leave, that spot is probably the warmest seat in the house.

Cats love to feel warm and cozy. They take naps in sunny spots on the floor and curl up next to heaters and fireplaces. Even in the summer, cats love to feel the warmth on their skin. If you’re desperate to keep your seat, you could try offering your cat a different warm spot with a heating pad on the lowest setting or a bed set up next to the heater.

Attention, Please!

Another likely explanation for why your cat steals your seat is that they’re trying to get your attention. Cats learn quickly which behaviors earn them desirable reactions.

If you usually pick your cat up or pet them after they steal your spot, you’re reinforcing their behavior. If it happens often enough, your cat is more than capable of connecting the dots. You stand up, they steal your seat, and they get your attention. It’s a predictable chain of events with a desirable outcome for an attention-seeking cat.

No matter what’s motivating your cat to steal your seat, it’s not worth getting upset over. Never yell at or punish your cat. Instead, you can take it as an invitation to sit together and cuddle. It’s okay to pick your cat up and put them in your lap so you can both share the same spot. And overall, having the cat steal your spot is a compliment. They either like you a lot, or they at least appreciate your taste in chairs.

Did you learn anything new about why your cat steals your seat? Share this article with fellow cat lovers so they know, too!

cat steals your seat

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