Cats are mysterious creatures and it’s hard to predict their behaviors most of the time. They do a lot of strange things that sometimes leave us wondering why. Experts in animal behavior have a few theories from investigations into their peculiar behaviors, and most of them are centered around getting their needs met or expressing what they’re feeling inside at the time. Owners who use laptops or computers have reported frequently that their cats seem to have an obsession with computer keyboards. This is one of the most curious behaviors and some cats seem positively obsessed. If your cat is literally pushing your buttons or lying on your keyboard, there are some good explanations for this annoying habit. Here is why they do it and what you can do about it.
Why is my cat obsessed with keyboards?
Your cat may ignore you for hours at a time, but if he jumps on your keyboard when you’re using your laptop, he may have simply decided that it’s time for you to focus your attention on him. Cats crave attention and when they decide that they want yours, jumping on the keyboard is one of the best ways to get your full attention. In some instances, your cat is trying to wedge himself in between you and the thing that you’re occupied with so you will have to focus your attention on him. Some cats lie on the keyboard and others walk across the board, pushing the buttons as they walk.
Other reasons your cat has a thing for your keyboard
The keyboard is something that you use and your cat may be fascinated with the screen or may smell your scent on it. These are just two more reasons why a cat makes a habit of messing with your keyboard. Another reason is that laptops can get warm when they’re being used. Cats are heat-seeking creatures and they seem to be drawn to heat sources and what better place to absorb the heat than the keyboard?
It’s a common problem
It’s not uncommon for a cat to jump on your lap when you’re using your laptop. This can be annoying and distracting, to say the least. When the cat surprises you by making an unexpected appearance, it can result in the loss of work, or worse yet, your laptop tumbling to the ground. There have been a lot of cat owners who complain about this feline obsession, so if this has become an issue between you and your cat, you’re not alone. You’d think after a few unsuccessful bids for your attention your cat would get the notion that it’s not a good idea to jump on your keyboard, but that’s not generally the case.
Understanding your cat’s needs
The most likely reason your cat is coming in between you and your computer screen is that he wants your full attention. Most people are not aware that by picking kitty up, talking to him and giving him attention is actually reinforcing the behavior because he is getting what he wants. This problem can be turned into a learning experience for both pet parent and kitty. There are a few things that you can do to stop the behavior without damaging the relationship between you and your cat.
What to do about your cat’s obsession with your keyboard
Cats love to lie in comfortable places and even if your computer is generating a small amount of heat, a keyboard is hard and uncomfortable to lie on. Since most cats get in between you and your computer screen because they are seeking your full attention, the best solution to the problem is to be proactive. Fix a place for your cat to sit next to you and make sure that it is comfortable. Give him an occasional reward of affection and let him know he is important and the chances of him staying in place are high. Make sure to place your keyboard in a position that is difficult for him to access and this will also discourage him from getting in between you and your work.
Training your cat properly
Training your cat to break the habit of walking or lying on your keyboard is much like any other negative behavior you want to change. The best way to break the habit is through positive reinforcement. Punishing your cat for seeking attention isn’t the best course of action to take. Removing your cat from the keyboard and placing him in a designated place, preferably near you, and doing this consistently is necessary. When your cat moves into territory that he should not be in, pick him up and move him being careful not to pet him or give him positive attention. Be firm, put him in his spot and tell him that is his spot. Do it as many times as is necessary because cats learn quickly. Only give positive reinforcement when your cat is in his designated spot. It’s best to fully block his access to the keyboard when you’re training him to stay off of it. Don’t allow the behavior to continue because the longer it goes on, the harder it will be to break him of the habit.
Building your relationship with your cat
Experts warn that since cats are very sensitive animals, it’s wise to avoid scolding your cat for this behavior. Although it can be frustrating, punishment should be avoided because your cat is only seeking affection. Your cat will remember your actions and if you are excessively rough or impatient with him, and if you scold him he may not forgive you for a long time, if at all. You want to avoid rejecting the affection he is trying to show you. Make sure that you’re giving him plenty of attention when he is not trying to occupy your keyboard.
Cats get in between you and your monitor because they want to give and receive affection. Follow the recommendations for training your cat to stay off the keyboard with consistency and start right away. With a little patience and understanding, you can help your cat break his obsession with your keyboard.