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Seven Tips for Turning Your Cat into a Lap Cat

Quote from Beth Stern


Trust and consistency are also important here. If you want your lap to be a place your cat finds comfortable, then it’s crucial that you be the person a cat wants to be around. If you’ve physically punished your cat with your hands for unwanted behavior or reprimanded her for being on furniture, she’ll be understandably reluctant to come in close physical contact with you. If that’s the case, your job is to rebuild that trust through consistent, positive training. If your cat displays unwanted behavior, figure out the underlying cause so you can create a more acceptable alternative that doesn’t involve punishment. You’ll find numerous articles on our website that deal with training methods to build trust and minimize stress, whether it relates to the litter box, scratching, biting, attention-seeking and so on.

Spend time engaging in interactive play sessions with your cat so she forms a positive association with your presence. Interactive playtime is one of the best ways to rebuild a damaged bond.

Tip 3: Make it rewarding for your cat

It may take a little bit of bribery to entice your cat to come close to your lap. If you’re working with a very reluctant or timid kitty, choose a sofa to sit on instead of a chair. This way, your cat will feel she has more control as she inches closer. If you sit in a chair with high arms, she may not feel comfortable about being so enclosed or trapped.

Keep a supply of treats in your hand and gently toss them, one at a time on the floor in front of you. If your cat responds positively, toss a treat on the couch. Work up to inching closer until you can put a treat on your lap. During this time, don’t reach out to pet your cat or grab hold of her. Even if she does cross onto your lap, let her feel she has complete freedom. This is an important step in trust-building if you ever want her to feel safe enough to settle on your lap in the future.