As a pet parent, chances are that there are three things on your mind right now. First, what’s the deal with cats and that whole nine-lives thing? Second, why are cats obsessed with butts to the point where they have to flash theirs all the time? And third, why do cats sit on their toys at the oddest of times?
As a matter of fact, the third one plagues your mind every time you see your four-legged friend playing with her toys.
Oh, you spend a couple of minutes watching her push the furry mouse around with her paw, chase after one of those Cat Tumbler Toys, and scratch at the yarn – only to place her little butt on top afterward.
God, why does she do that!? You thought that whole “If I fits, I sits!” was a simple meme that took Reddit by storm way, way back. But, your furry friend seems to live by that rule even today.
She doesn’t seem to mind sitting on her toys, or on the laptop while you’re trying to work. Even on the book while you’re trying to read.
And, knowing that cats love making themselves at home in the most troublesome of places, you don’t think her sitting habits are that disturbing. You don’t think she’s sitting on her Legos because she’s comfortable. Oh and, you don’t think she’s sitting on her Roomba because she has a thing for vacuums.
Who’s to say there’s a negative reason behind her behavior? Who’s to say she’s doing that because she’s under the weather or stressed out? Nobody, but there’s always that little voice inside of your head wondering “Why do cats sit on their toys?!”
Oh, that little voice seems to be winning because you’re here and we’re bringing you the answers!
Why are cats the way they are?
Oh, the quirky kitty antics! One moment you’re typing “Why do cats sit on their toys?” and the next you’re chasing after her trying to stop her from scoffing down an entire thing of rotisserie chicken. One moment you’re snuggling with her on the sofa and the next you’re licking the battle wounds she gave you for no reason.
What can we say? Cats are weird, but we wouldn’t say that do what they do “for no reason.”
Whether she’s doing something for attention, because she’s communicating with you, or because she’s annoyed with you. There’s always a reason and you’re responsible for figuring out what that reason means.
For example, she might start doing something along the lines of the “elevator butt” thing. Actually, she might start lifting her butt to the sky the moment that you scratch her back or snuggle the right spot. And, that’s a good thing! That means that she’s happy with what you’re doing and she’s giving you the green light to continue!
On the other hand, she might start kneading on your thighs out of the blue. More times than not, she might even proceed to make herself at home, put her little paws away, and go to sleep. But, cats do the “kneading the dough” thing because they’re marking the territory and claiming you as one of their own.
Oh, and we can’t forget about knocking down everything they can get their paws on! What’s the deal with that? Actually, cats do that because they’re bored and they’re trying to get your attention. Scolding won’t do a thing. But, you might want to start by learning the ins and outs of your cat’s odd behavior.
Why do cats sit on their toys?
1. They adore the warmth
“Wait, her toys are warm?!” We understand where that question might be coming from. But, toys can be a warm spot for your fluffy friend to rest her butt. And trust me, she adores snuggling somewhere warm (regardless of how uncomfortable the spot might be).
Chances are, you’ve seen her sleeping pretty much everywhere around the apartment. Maybe she’s a professional at finding that one patch of sunshine on the floor and resting her paws right there and then. Maybe she’s known for stealing your laptop every time you’re trying to hop on a Zoom conference with your boss.
Or, maybe she’s obsessed with your Roomba and never passes the opportunity to promenade around the apartment without having to lift a paw.
And sure, her toys might not be as warm as some of those examples (depending on what she’s playing with at the moment). But, they’re warmer than the floor, right?
2. They’re stopping to “smell the roses!”
“Why do cats sit on their toys!? I’ve seen my curious creature roam around the room only to stop, sniff her toys, and proceed to sit on them for the following hour! What’s up with that!?” Oh trust me, you’re not the only pet parent perplexed with their fluff’s behavior.
But, more times than not, our fluffy friends have a good reason for doing what they’re doing. As a matter of fact, your kitty might be sitting on her toys because she’s sniffing your scent right on top of them. And. that makes sense since you’re the one cleaning after her every single day, right?
Actually, fluffs are really big on scents! They sniff pretty much everything because that’s one of the ways they read the room. Check whether someone’s marked the territory before them, scan the room for leftovers and kitty treats, and make sure nothing odd’s going on.
So, your little fluffer might be sitting on her toys because she knows that’s where you’ve been and she’s waiting for you to come back. How adorable!
3. Maybe they’re marking their territory?
Oh, don’t even get me started on this one! A pet parent’s nightmare, the whole “marking the territory” thing stems from your cat’s predatory past. At some point during their life, cats start really caring about letting everyone know what belongs to them – your house, your sofa, and you.
Oh, they start leaving little traces of pee everywhere they go. And, they start pawing and clawing at the furniture and headbutting every part of your body making sure they really stake the claim.
But, that’s not even the only reason why they mark their territory. They also do that to recognize what’s theirs and what’s not.
So, when your little fluffer starts sitting on her toys every time she catches a glimpse of them, she’s probably trying to mark them as her own. That’s especially true when she’s not the only cat in the house.
Whether you have kittens or you’ve brought another cat home from work, she might be feeling a little threatened.
4. They’re predators, what else did you expect?
“Why do cats sit on their toys? What’s wrong with them?!” Nothing’s wrong and everything’s right, for the most part. As a matter of fact, your curious creature might be displaying her hunting and predatory behavior. And trust me, there’s nothing more innate and instinctive than sitting on top of your prey.
And sure, she can’t really think her toys are her prey, right? On the other hand, what other prey can she have considering the fact that she lives her life surrounded by walls and furniture? Give her a break, she’s doing the best that she can with what she has. And, a stuffed mouse has to do the trick.
Other than that, make sure he gets plenty of playtimes. She needs something that’s going to replace the hunting and the “being a predator” thing. And, you might think it’s not a great idea to let your precious purrincess tackle another animal (that’s fine).
But, she needs the chasing, the treasure hunts, and the clicker training to be happy and healthy.
5. They adore small spaces
Back to the “If I fits, I sits!” trend. It’s for a good reason because cats can’t live without the confinement of a tiny, tiny place to sleep. Think about that; you must have seen your fluffy friend climb into a vase with only her tail sticking out from the top.
Or, maybe she steals every package your Amazon delivery guy leaves for you on the front porch (oh, the pesky package thief!). Maybe she even snuggles with you under the cover AND under your arms whenever you’re trying to get some rest after a long day at work.
Whatever the case might be, cats love sitting where nobody else would want to sit. That seems to include their toys, too. And, your cat might be sitting on top of her toys because she loves the feeling of fitting on top of small surfaces. Who knows, maybe she’s checking whether she’s gained weight!
6. Attention, attention!
Oh trust me, there isn’t a thing your mischievous monster does that’s not because she wants your attention! Meowing, howling, headbutting, pawing, clawing, purring, knowing things down, running around like a headless chicken – she does that and more because she wants your eyes on her.
Sitting on her toys doesn’t sound that bad, now does it? And, there’s a chance you’re the reason why she keeps doing that. Actually, attention-seeking behaviors typically repeat themselves when they get the result they were looking for. Wait, what?!
That’s right! When you find her sitting on top of her toys and you laugh at her, record her, or even scold her, you’re giving her the attention she craves. Not only that, but you’re encouraging her to do that whenever she wants your attention. Next time she does something like that, take no notice of her!
Trust me, she won’t take long to realize you’re not giving her what she wants. But remember, when one type of attention-seeking behavior doesn’t get the reaction she wants, she’s simply going to move on to the next one.
7. Stressed, but dressed to a tee
That’s our way of saying that your kitty might be the most adorable, precious purrincess out of the bunch. But, that’s not to say that she’s not stressed out. Stress doesn’t have a face. This makes things even worse knowing that stress can have debilitating effects on cats (and humans!).
“Why do cats sit on their toys? What do cats even have to be stressed about?!” First things first, cats have a bunch of reasons for stress and anxiety.
Such reasons might seem foolish to a human, but they’re pretty much the reality for a cat. Situations such as going to the vet, having people over, and adopting another cat might send your fluff over the edge.
Sitting on top of her toys might mean that she finds them comforting! Whether they remind her of her childhood or they smell EXACTLY like you, her toys might be the only things that bring her peace. That means that you shouldn’t try to move her away from them, but you should try to comfort her yourself.
8. They’re bored
“Aren’t we all!? What does she want when she has every single toy from PetSmart and the highest quality scratching tree?” We didn’t say we knew why she was bored. But, she might be sitting on top of her toys because she doesn’t really know what to do with herself.
One of the most common signs of boredom seems to be self-simulation. And, sitting on top of her toys IS a self-simulation of sorts. Oh and, she’s probably doing that because she thinks she’s amusing herself or because she thinks you’re going to see her and give her the amusement she needs.
Does that mean you should do something when you catch her moping around on her toys? Absolutely! You’re responsible for providing her with activities that are going to make her happy and healthy. You’re responsible for keeping her company so that she doesn’t become stressed or depressed.
9. That scent you sense? Pheromones, honey!
Similar to the “marking the territory” thing, cats use pheromones to communicate with humans and other cats. As a matter of fact, pheromones are found within different parts of a cat’s body (and even within their urine). And, each cat has a unique set of pheromones that send different messages to humans and other cats.
So, your beautiful beast might be sitting on her toys because she’s trying to leave a trace of pheromones on them. Now, there might be a bunch of reasons as to why she would need to do that. First things first, she might be trying to mark the toys as her own – other cats must not touch them.
On the other hand, she might be leaving her pheromones everywhere because she’s looking for a mate. Cats do that as a way of saying “Hello, I’m Cat. I’m single and ready to mingle. Oh, and I’m a girl!” That’s because pheromones can signal the gender of the cat. The more you know, right?!
10. They’re playing hide-and-seek
“Why do cats sit on their toys? What are they trying to do and what do they want me to do?” Oh, they want you to play with them! As a matter of fact, most cats adore playing the game of hide-and-seek because they enjoy hiding in different places of the house.
Come on, have you never seen your feline friend hide behind the curtains? Only to get disqualified from the game because she keeps clawing at the curtains!?
Cats are notoriously great at finding entertainment in the weirdest of places, and they seem to really be fond of the prospects of playing this (human rather than feline) game. And who knows, she might be sitting on her toys because she’s hiding in plain sight?
When does the “sitting on toys” thing become a problem?
How about never!? As you might have noticed while reading the article, your fluffy friend probably doesn’t do the whole “sitting on toys” because of a health problem. More often than not, she’s doing that because she wants to, because she’s asking for attention, or because she’s marking her territory.
And, there are no reasons why you wouldn’t be able to let her do whatever she wants to do with her toys. Of course, there’s a chance her behavior’s annoying to you and other cats. But, you should give her a break because she’s only looking for entertainment – and she’s not hurting anyone.