Cat lying on person's chest

Why Do Cats Sit On Your Chest?

Cats have a unique personality.  Some days they are distant and don’t want to be bothered, whereas other days they want to do in your face all day and they may even sit or lay on your chest.

If you have ever wondered why do cats sit on your chest, this article will help to answer that question as well as give you options for what to do about it.   While some cat actions are inexplicable, there are reasons for this behavior.

Why Do Cats Like to Sit on Your Chest?

Cats can like to sit on your chest for a variety of reasons, some of which being, they are trying to get your attention, they are showing you affection, or they are looking for security.

Although cats are sometimes hard to figure out, we need to look at the circumstances surrounding when our cat is exhibiting this behavior to figure out the reason why.

9 Possible Reasons Why Your Cat Sits on Your Chest

Here are some of the most popular reasons why most cats like to sit or lay on their owner’s chest:

1.   To Show Love

One common reason why your cat likes to sit, sleep or lay on your chest is to show you love and affection. 

Cats show their affection in a variety of ways. This includes licking you, rubbing their head against your legs, and even grooming you.  A cat’s way of showing affection is different than a human’s but being close to you by sitting on you is one of those ways.

2.   Seeking Comfort

Do you know how you’d hold babies close to your chest to soothe them or put them to sleep? It’s the same idea.

Many times, as kittens, we hold out kitty to our chest, so this position becomes a place of comfort for them as they grow larger. 

In addition, your chest is usually a comfortable spot in general for them to lay, so if they think of your chest as a comfortable pillow, they are likely to sit or lay on it when they are looking to relax.

3.   To Feel Safe

Cats can sometimes wander around the house like indifferent queens, but at the end of the day, they also want to feel safe and protected.  Being close to you, their owner is a safe place for your cat.

Why do cats sit on your chest

As stated above, being held to their owner’s chest is common as a kitten, thus, when your cat is in need of a little extra security, it makes sense that they would return to the place that gave them security as a kitty. 

4.   It’s Warm and Cozy

Another reason cats like to sit on you is simply because you are warm!  Your head and chest are the warmest areas in your body, and cats love warm places.

If you take a close look, you’ll notice that your cat gravitates toward sunny areas near the windows, warm places like rugs, and even close to heaters. The body heat emanating from your chest can also give them the warmth they seek.

5.   To Get your Attention

Another big reason why your cat could be sitting on your chest is to get your attention.  Many people find their cat exhibits this behavior a lot in the mornings, when they are waiting for them to wake up.

If your cat needs you for something, and feels that you have been relaxing long enough, they may pounce on your chest to act as a friendly reminder that it is time to get up.

6.   To Feel your Heartbeat

In addition, the sound of your heartbeat is usually soothing to your cat.  So if you cat is feeling nervous or anxious about something, your chest is a good place to feel safer.

As kittens, they tend to nap close to their mother because their heartbeats are soothing. So naturally, when they lay on your chest and listen to your heartbeats, it gives them positive feelings. They feel loved and happy, the same way they felt by their mothers’ side.

7.   To Claim You

Another reason you cat likes to sit on you is they are claiming you as theirs.  Cats are often territorial, so when your cat is lying on your chest, it’s like they’re telling you: “You’re mine, human.” That’s not as creepy as it sounds; it’s actually cute.

When cats love an object very much, like a toy or a blanket, they tend to sit on top of it and claim it theirs. Your cat might love you to the extent that they see you as one of their belongings so they are sitting on you to tell the world you are theirs.

8.   They Like your Scent

Your cat could also be sitting on you because they like your scent.  Cats, like many other pets, have a strong sense of smell and familiar smells are comforting to them.

This is also the reason why your cat gravitates to other items that have your scent on them, like your clothes, blanket or towel. 

Of course, sitting on you will give them the strongest whiff of your scent they can get. So if they are looking for some comfort and tranquility and your chest is available, don’t be surprised if that is their favorite spot. 

9.   It’s a Flat Area

The last common reason on the list, is simply because our chest is a nice flat large area to sit or lay on. 

In comparison to your cat’s size, your chest is a large flat surface.  Although chests are totally flat, they are usually the flattest most stable part of our body for a cat to perch itself on if we are laying down. 

Cats like to have a flat stable space to lay on comfortably and stretch out as they please, sometimes your chest is just the right spot.

How to Stop Your Cat from Sitting on Your Chest?

Although it is nice our cats want to be close to us, and find us comforting, sometimes the behavior isn’t always convenient (like if you are trying to sleep!).  Luckily, there are some ways to try and deal with the behavior in a manner that doesn’t upset your cat.

It is important to remember not to get angry at your cat for sitting on you.  Now that you understand some of the reasons why cats like to sit on your chest, they are coming to you for security and comfort so the last thing you want to do is drive them away.

Of course, you don’t have to do anything about your cat sitting on you at all.  Many people love this behavior.  The below instructions can be used for those people who want to reduce the behavior for some reason. 

1.   Distraction

One good way of getting your cat to get off your chest is to distraction them with something else.  Have a toy or something near the bed and pull that out when you are ready for them to move. 

If you live with someone else, you can also have that other person distract them with something they love to get them to move.

2.   Using a Cat Bed

If your cat has a warm comfortable place to sit and sleep, they are less likely to use your chest as a bed all the time. 

Make sure your cat’s bed is warm and cozy enough, place their bed near you so they can still sense your presence, and also add an item like a blanket to their bed that has your scent on it.  Doing this will give them all the comforts of being on your chest, without them actually being there.

3.   Praise and Consistency

Whenever your cat voluntarily goes to their bed, praise them, and even give them a treat.  This will teach them that good things happen when they got to “their” bed. 

If you are consistent and encourage them to lay on their bed over time, they will eventually choose their bed more often than your chest. 


When you drill down to it, if your cat is sitting on your chest it is a good sign.  It is a sign that the loves you, trusts you, and has a desire to be close to you. 

Although this is sweet, sometimes, it isn’t always convenient.  If you love your cat sitting on your chest, there is nothing you need to do about it.  However, if you sometimes want a break, use the tips above to get your cat to give your chest a break from time to time.