(Closed) Can I turn my cat into a lap cat?

posted 5 years ago in Pets
Post # 2
697 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

Usually with cats, I would say no. They have to want to and it’s usually something you train them to do when they’re kittens. My Fiance and I have 2 cats as well and they love to cuddle and lay on our laps. But we’ve cuddled them and have held them lots since they were really young, so they’ve become accustomed to it and have grown to like it. It also depends on the cats personality too. My only sugguestion would be to maybe try holding them more and see what happens from there. Some cats become more affectionate with age too.

Post # 3
4009 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Cats tend to have a mind of their own. My parents have a cat (they’ve had her for 14 years) who doesn’t like to be placed on someone’s lap. As soon as you put her in your lap she jumps down even though she’s an affectionate cat. It completely had to be her idea. Once she decides she wants to lay on someone’s lap she’ll jump up there. You could maybe use cat treats to encourage your cat to jump up on your lap, but be prepared for her to be too stubborn to do so. 

Post # 4
524 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Once a cat is over a year old it’s hard to change their personality. 

When mine was a kitten I forced him love. Constantly held him and had in my lap. Now 12 years later I can’t do anything without that cat wanting to be carried. Lol 

Maybe try treat training her? Sit on my lap get a treat, sit long enough get more. ??

Post # 5
1841 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I would try taking a nap on the couch, or sitting there without moving for a long time.  They kind of have to decide for themselves, but if you sit around without moving, it encourages them.  Put a snuggly blanket on you, especially on that they like to sleep on.

Post # 6
1836 posts
Buzzing bee

Probably not. But how old are they? Because they might become lap cats on their own. I have a very moody Maine Coon who didn’t even want anyone petting him for the first five years of his life. Then he came around a bit, and would sit next to me for a couple of mintues and put up with a few strokes, but never more than five or six of them. Then around seven years of age something change and he became a cuddler and sits on my lap all the time. 

So the short answer is: cats kinda do what they want. 

Post # 7
138 posts
Blushing bee

I’ve turned one of my cats into a lap cat.. its a careful dance…   


Do your cats ever sit near you?  Or do they sleep on the couch or something so you have a chance to get next to them?  


If they do then you can try this.. Sit next to them.. close enough so that you can reach over and touch them but not close enough that youre always touching them or like right up against them.


If they seem like they are in a good happy mood, you can start petting them the way they like.. while keeping a very obvious distance.  If they start positively responding like purring.. you take your hand away for a minute or so.  Then you can pet them again if they dont seem bothered.  When they start purring again take your hand away.   If they really like your petting.. they might try to scooch a little closer to you or they will come over to you so its easier for you to pet them.  If they dont do this.. just repeat this a few times a day.. If they really at least enjoy petting then they will eventually get closer and closer to you.

I tricked my cat into this.. he knows if he wants to be pet that he has to follow my hand… he can be sitting next to me.. but if I bring my hand over my lap.. he will now follow my hand onto my lap as long as I pet him.  He might then get comfortable and sleep.


It just takes positive reinforcement really and not forcing them to get them to do this.


Post # 8
138 posts
Blushing bee

View original reply
pearlrose:  I agree with the blanket idea.. my cat is way more likely to sit on my lap if there is a blanket.

Post # 9
23589 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

Another vote for the blanket thing! But, our cats just do whatever the hell they want. lol. 🙂

Post # 10
739 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Cats are too temperamental to train to do anything usually I’d say. As PP said, your best bet is staying where you are and looking super comfy with them nearby.

We have three cats – all huge lovers but only one will lay in my lap, another will lay on top of me periodically and surprisingly the youngest and most affectionate will not rest on us much at all. It would take time and you just never know if it’ll end up happening. I would say pet the cats in bed as often as possible and I think it’ll usually happen that they’ll at least snuggle up. Lap cats are wonderful but I personally prefer my cats crawling on me when they’re ready to bed down. I wake up to my shy girl perched on my shoulder every morning – she just started doing it this winter 😊

Post # 11
301 posts
Helper bee

We have had 2 brothers since they were 8 weeks old. We were always picking them up, cuddling them etc and now we can’t sit down without them jumping on our laps! I think its something you can teach them as kittens because they are so independent as cats

Post # 12
1471 posts
Bumble bee

I have two ragdolls too. 

Even when your ragdoll doesn’t want to sit on your lap, does he/she still sit by your side? Near your feet? Just nearby you in general?

My two are both massive lap cats, but when they are not in the mood, they just aren’t. 

If they still enjoy your company and like being close to you, I would just accept their personalities and it would be unfair to try to change them. 

If they don’t seem to like being near you in general, then I would research some things you could try to improve the bond! 

Post # 13
390 posts
Helper bee

I think it’s something that comes with age (for the cat) if they’re not snugglers to begin with. Both of my parents’ cats were aloof (if affectionate) young cats but they basically lived in your lap as they approached five, six years on.

My cat right now is incredibly affectionate and docile. But she won’t stay in your lap for longer than thirty seconds. I’m holding out for a change of heart with age, she’s not yet two right now. 

Regardless, I don’t think you can train a cat to sit in your lap. They’re pretty staunchly untrainable. All part of their charm. 

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by  ehmmgee.

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