Which Cats are Great Lap Cats

Picture of a cat being held

Is your idea of the “perfect cat” one who will curl up in your lap whenever you want? If so, you may be disappointed. As we all know, cats have a mind of their own, and will only do something when they feel like doing it. Having said that, there are some breeds of cats who are more prone to being “lap cats” than others. In fact, these cats might get in your lap even when it’s not the most optimal time for you! Let’s examine some of the breeds who make great lap cats.

What Makes a Great Lap Cat?

A lap cat is, of course, a cat who wants to be in your lap a lot. This might not always be at the most convenient times for you, but a lap cat wants affection and wants it from you, often. Some cats might be lap-friendly with certain members of the family and not with others, too. Cats do form attachments to humans and could be more prone to sit in their preferred human’s lap than they are with others in the household.

Signs of a great lap cat include:

  • A cat who walks up to you when you, or the cat, enters the room
  • A cat who is always wrapping their tail around your legs
  • A cat who licks you a lot
  • A cat who rubs up against you often
  • A cat who leans in towards you
  • A cat who seems to spend a lot of time looking in your direction, but isn’t afraid to break eye contact

Can Any Cat Be Trained to Become a Lap Cat?

Cats can be “trained” to sit on your lap more often. Training a cat, however, is never easy. Some tips to train a cat to become a lap cat include:

  • Gradually get to know your cat over a period of time. If you are adopting a cat, visit the shelter often, and try to find a cat who is affectionate, approachable, and likes to be picked up.
  • Have your cat spayed or neutered. Cats will become more affectionate and less aggressive when this is done, and may be more inclined to sit in your lap.
  • Make your cat’s environment safe and secure. Keep the room quiet and calm, and your lap accessible.
  • Place your cat’s bed next to your favorite spot to sit on the couch. If they sleep next to you, pretty soon they might cross over to your lap to see if it’s as comfy as their bed.
  • Show the cat positivity, calm and trust. Even lap-prone cats need time to adjust to new people before they will sit on their laps.
  • Don’t stare at the cat, as this might threaten them.
  • Don’t approach the cat with an angry stance with your arms crossed.
  • Never force a cat to sit in your lap or restrain them. The cat must choose to get on your lap or they will see your lap as a negative place.
  • Don’t ever use punishment to control a cat. It’s ok to sit and place your cat on your lap during a cuddle session, but if the cat doesn’t want to stay, don’t restrain them.
  • Reinforce your cat’s behavior with rewards. If your cat lays on your lap for a longer period of time, give them praise, cuddles and treats.
  • Pet your cat in the way they want to be pet. Each cat likes to be pet differently, so take cues from your cat to what they like and don’t like.
  • Don’t use your lap for anything negative to your cat, like giving them medication. Make your lap a happy place that they associate with cuddling, not pain.
  • Keep your cat on a routine, with meals the same time each day. If a cat learns to expect food from you at certain times of the day, they will see that you are a positive force in their lives and might reward you with a lap cuddle.

Which Breeds Make the Best Lap Cats?

Some cat breeds are more affectionate and therefore, more prone to sitting on their human’s lap than others. They include:


Picture of an Abyssinian Kitten

The Abyssinian is a playful cat who can quickly become attached to their owner. Some people have remarked that Abys can become almost dog-like in their behavior, following a human around the house and craving attention. When your Aby isn’t cuddling up in your lap, expect them to want to play with you and perform for you.


Picture of a Birman Cat

The Birman is cuddly and fluffy, with its longer, fluffier, silkier fur. This breed was bred to be companion cats, so naturally, they are people-oriented and affectionate, and quite sensitive. Birmans can be highly curious too and may get into things around the house, so keep an eye on them. They love other animals, as well as cuddling on your lap.


Picture of a Bombay Cat

The Bombay loves exercise and attention from humans. In fact, they can be quite demanding of your attention, and will jump on your lap in order to get it. They tend to follow humans around the house and are quite vocal. Bombays enjoy human companionship so much that they aren’t the cat for you if you won’t be home much to keep them company. If you are away a lot, the Bombay isn’t the ideal cat for you.


Picture of a Burmese Cat

The Burmese is a very social breed of cat, like the Bombay (who is their close relative). They have been known to be friendly with everyone, even strangers, and enjoy being held and sitting on your lap. They are playful, intelligent and adaptable to social situations. They also like having humans around them, and won’t fare as well in a household where they are alone for long periods of time.

Devon Rex

Picture of 2 Devon Rex Kittens

Also known as the Devonshire Rex, this breed is friendly and intelligence, and can therefore be more easily trained to sit on your lap. Devon Rexes also love to play and follow humans around the house, and can be quite vocal. This smaller breed of cat enjoys children and is therefore a great cat for families.

Domestic Shorthair

Picture of a Domestic Shorthair Cat

A cat with mixed ancestry that doesn’t fall within a specific breed category, the Domestic Shorthair is likely the cat many people have. They have also been referred to as a Moggy cat. Domestic Shorthairs who are rescued can be quite affectionate and cuddly, as they form attachments to humans who show them comfort, security and love.

Kurilian Bobtail

Picture of a Kurilian Bobtail

This breed is less common, which might be why you haven’t heard of it. They are not found as pets in the United States as often as they are abroad. Originating in Russia, the Kurilian Bobtail is an affectionate, loyal breed who enjoys sitting in their owners’ laps. They tend to get along with all ages of humans, as well as dogs, making them perfect for families.

Maine Coon

Picture of a Maine Coon

These large cats are quite gentle and affectionate, forming close relationships with the humans in their lives. Maine Coons are perfect for families and love being with people. They also enjoy playing and are very intelligent and curious. This breed gets along well with all members of the family, even dogs.


Picture of a Persian Cat

The most popular cat breed in the world, the Persian is very calm and quiet, and less playful and active. They like calm, serene environments, but can live with families with children as long as the children are gentle around them. They will not seek attention and can be left alone for longer periods of time, but will enjoy your affection and attention when you are home.


Picture of a Ragamuffin

The Ragamuffin is a larger version of the Ragdoll, their close relative. They are quite friendly, especially with children, and are gentle and affectionate. They seem to crave human attention and will fare best when in a household where they are not left alone for long periods of time.


Picture of a Ragdoll Cat

This calm, relaxed breed loves humans and tends to go limp when picked up. Your Ragdoll may even ask you to be picked up and cuddled! Ragdolls have dog-like qualities and can be trained to fetch. They fit in well with families with children and other pets.

Russian Blue

Picture of a Russian Blue Cat

The Russian Blue is known for being affectionate, but not clingy. They are calm, intelligent and playful cats who love living in families. Russian Blue cats tend to bond with one person and can sense their emotions sell. While they enjoy people and being social, they also like to have their own quiet time, and can be left alone but will enjoy seeing you when you return.

Scottish Fold

Picture of a Scottish Fold Cat

This breed has been bred to be human companions for thousands of years, and are therefore very affectionate and docile around humans. Scottish Folds tend to form bonds with humans rather quickly, and can handle a variety of living environments with their easygoing personality. They also love to play and talk to you.


Picture of a Siamese Cat

While the Siamese are known for being a vocal breed, many people don’t know that they also make affectionate, social companions. These cats are energetic and intelligent, and crave human companionship. If you give them enough stimulation during the day, they will likely curl up on your lap at night.


Picture of a Siberian Cat

This dog-like breed is loyal and enjoys following their owner around the house. They crave human attention and companionship, and fit in well with families. Siberians also get along well with other pets in the family. This breed is costly, however, with a price tag of $800 to $2000.


Picture of a Sphynx Cat

The Sphynx is an affectionate, loving, playful breed that is always looking for a warm place to sit and cuddle, as it is hairless and gets cold easily (hence, your lap!). This breed wants to be with people all the time, and is energetic and curious as well.


Picture of a Tonkinese

This social, intelligent breed loves human companionship and will be quite vocal with their owner. The Tonkinese fits in well with families, and enjoys playtime and activity. They should not be left alone for long periods of time, as they always want to be with people, but may fare well with another pet in the household to keep them company.



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