We all know cats rule the internet, and in doing so, they’ve also conquered our laptops. An animal behavioral consultant tells Inverse this could be another move in their master plan to achieve world domination — or at least get our undivided attention for five minutes.
Cats love plopping themselves in unusual places like laptops or Amazon Prime boxes because their thermoneutral zone — where they’re not expending energy to cool off or get warm — is between 85 and 100 degrees. Cozy zones like blankets (and sometimes computer keyboards), can help cats keep their body temperature nice and high.
This makes sense, but it’s not the only reason.
“The laptop is on your lap, which is prime kitty territory,” animal behavioral consultant Amy Shojai tells Inverse. “ You stare at it constantly, and the cat would prefer you direct your attention to them, so it gets in between you and the screen.”
Other experts agree, adding that this sort of behavior is guaranteed to get humans to react somehow. Cats know this and use it to their advantage, probably to get pets and treats, which we will, of course, always give them.
“Many cats sit on spots such as keyboards and laptops because they are near their favorite person and can be at the center of their attention,” Marilyn Krieger, certified cat behavior consultant and author of Naughty No More! Changing Unwanted Behaviors through Positive Reinforcement, tells Reader’s Digest. “Usually people reinforce the behavior by petting the cat and/or talking with him. Cats quickly learn that when they sit on the keyboard they get what they want—attention.”
Yes, cats love to be cozy and warm, but there are plenty of places around the house for them to snuggle up. What they really want is your undying love and devotion.
Here’s a bit of semi-scientific evidence, courtesy of the internet.
One other possibility for the laptop infatuation is that cats just want to watch Beyoncé videos. We have no scientific explanation for this, other than the fact that she’s a genius and nothing but a light unto this world.
Maybe we’ll never know whether your cat loves you, your laptop, or Beyoncé. I’d guess it’s all three.