If you work on your computer or laptop from home and own a cat, you’ll know how often they jump onto the keyboard as you type. They seem to always gravitate toward your computer when you really need to get work done for a deadline, and it can sometimes be frustrating behavior. So why do cats do this? We’ve found five reasons that can answer these questions; read on to find out the answer and discover what you can do to stop your cat from bugging you as you work.
The 5 Reasons Cats Like Your Keyboard
1. The Keyboard Is Near You
Cats are social creatures. While some cats might seem indifferent to their human family, studies show1 cats can love their people even more than dogs do. They also found that cats prefer to spend time with their humans over food and toys in certain circumstances, and they have the same attachment rates to humans as human babies do.
For example, when you’re working, your cat might jump onto the keyboard just because they want to be close to you.
2. Your Cat Wants Your Attention
If your cat is bonded to you, it’ll turn to you for more than just food. Cats are highly attuned to their owner’s emotions and look to them to guide their own emotions about a situation. It’s obvious, then, that your cat will want your attention at certain points, and they’ll do whatever they can to get it. Cats have shown that they change their behavior according to how attentive their owners are, and they’re intelligent animals capable of adapting to situations.
For example, if you’re concentrating on your work and typing away, your cat might decide that sitting on the keyboard is the best way to get your attention. Your cat might want you to show it love or may need food. It’s likely that no matter what the reason for wanting it is, your cat finds that stopping you from working is the best way to get your attention. We even reinforce this as we stop working when they do it, mainly to tell them to get off!
3. It’s Warm
Cats love warm, sunny places and cozy spots next to radiators. It’s common to see cats sunning themselves on windowsills, so it makes sense that cats will make a beeline for warm, comfortable sitting spots.
Your computer keyboard makes for a flat, comfortable surface that’s warm if it’s a laptop. Cats love to seek warm areas because their bodies run slightly warmer than ours (101.0 to 102.5°F), so the immediate environment can feel a little chilly. A cat’s thermoregulatory environment is usually cooler, meaning cats will seek out places of warmth to compensate for this.
4. They’re Curious
Cats must learn new facts to survive, such as finding out when prey is most active or investigating where a rival is establishing territory. This investigation, learning, seeking, and observing is curiosity, and your cat may simply be curious as to what you’re doing sitting in the same spot and typing away all day!
Cats are intelligent, and more intelligence is linked to curiosity and the ability to seek out new learning experiences; your cat might be looking to gain something new out of sitting on your keyboard and watching you work.
5. They’re Playful
Play is essential to the development and well-being of kittens and cats. Kittens learn all about their world when they play around, and older cats can exhibit normal, natural behaviors when playing that they may not get the chance to do otherwise.
Cats that play with their owner are increasing their bond; your cat might jump onto your keyboard every time it comes out because they see the keyboard as a fun and interesting toy! If your cat crouches down and readies itself to pounce when you’re typing, they’re probably watching your hands on the keyboard rather than the keys themselves.
How Can I Stop My Cat From Sitting on My Keyboard?
There are ways you can discourage your cat from sitting on your keyboard while you’re working, but any method you use should always be positive. Your cat wants to be close to you because they love you, and it might even need reassurance from you that they’re ok.
In addition, cats are stoic and very good at hiding problems or emotional turbulence. Because of this, your cat sidling up to you on the keyboard could be their way of feeling safe and secure.
If you need to get your cat off your laptop while you work, however, there are a few ways you can do this as positively as possible.
Play With Your Cat
The first thing to try might seem counter-productive, but stopping what you’re doing and playing with your cat for 10 minutes or so could be what gets them off the keyboard for the rest of the day. Cats need stimulation and affection from their owners, so giving them a few moments of attention could be all they need until you’re finished for the day.
Distracting them with a toy, such as an interactive toy or a puzzle feeder, is also a good option. These can be great boredom busters that keep cats entertained while you work and can be placed near your desk so your cat doesn’t get lonely as they play.
Provide an Alternative Spot
Setting up a cozy and warm spot right next to your keyboard can also soothe your cat. Cats love high places, so a comfy bed on your desk or raised from the ground can provide a snuggly spot for your cat to nap in while you work.
Cats like keyboards primarily because we interact with them. When we use them, we have keyboards directly in front of us, and they’re often taking up the attention that our cats want for themselves. Keyboards on laptops are warm, so your cat might like to snooze on them when we’re not using them.
Cats often want to be near us, so a keyboard might be the perfect place to be close to their owners. Whatever the reason, we can let our cats sleep and sit on our keyboards or gently encourage them to move elsewhere with playtime or more comfortable resting spots. It’s up to you to reduce those cat-made typos, but your cat will appreciate the time spent with you regardless!
Featured Image Credit: Александар Цветановић, Pexels