“Why does my cat jump on my back?” you turn to your best buddy Google hoping to get some answers. You’ve been a pet parent for a couple of months now. But, you can’t say you’ve gotten used to those kooky kitten antics your little fluff has been putting you through.
Oh, you’ve been over the whole “Does my kitten act crazy because she’s crazy, or because she’s contracted a deadly disease that’s been manifesting itself via nightly energy outbursts?” thing many, many times. And the answer remains a mystery to you.
Cats are curious creatures and they tend to get themselves into all sorts of predicaments daily. And, one of them seems to be the constant need to pounce on everything. The beautiful beige sofa you got recently, the kitchen counters, the shower curtains, and (apparently) you!
Whether she’s chasing after moths, honing her hunting prowess, or practicing for the Olympics, your fluffy friend doesn’t seem to have a thought behind those eyes. God, she doesn’t even seem to care that you’re spending your Friday night with her, snuggling after a jumping scare, and deciphering her behavior.
But, turns out your search brought you to the right place! Maybe your little devil is using your back as a stakeout. Maybe she’s looking for a napping spot and your back fits her requirements. Whatever the case might be, we’re bringing you everything you need to know about her quirky antics.
Why does my cat jump on my back? What does she want?
Why do cats do anything that they do!? Because they’re cats. Because they know you love them enough to let them do whatever they want. And, because that’s their way of communicating how they’re feeling, what they’re planning on doing, and what they want you to do.
As a pet parent, you’re the one who needs to find a way to understand what your furkid wants when she does something out of the ordinary. But, you’re not the only one dealing with such a predicament – you don’t have to deal with anything alone. Take a look at our contribution!
1. It’s simply her regular attention-seeking move
“Why does my cat jump on my back? Every now and then she gives me the look, wiggles her butt back and forth, and jumps as high as she can! She doesn’t always land on my back. But, when she does, she makes sure to use her claws as leverage! I swear she hates me!”
Oh, she doesn’t hate you! She’s simply looking for a little attention and she seems to know what works best! As a matter of fact, cats have a bunch of methods to get you to do something for them. They knock things down, paw and claw at your thighs, do the “elevator butt” thing, and more.
So, your feline friend jumps on you to communicate something along the lines of “Here I am, peasant! Now feed me and give me cuddles!” And, her tactics work every single time, which means you’ve accidentally encouraged her to keep doing what she’s doing.
2. She’s bored and wants you to play with her
“I come home from work at around the same time every day, and my cat welcomes me by jumping on my back and demanding something. What does she want!?”
Turns out, cats don’t really like staying home alone and not knowing what to do to entertain themselves. There’s a pawsibility your kitto hops on your back to get you to play with her!
So, when you spot her hiding behind the curtains, peeping through an opening, then playfully pouncing on you, don’t shy away from giving her what she wants. Argh, there’s nothing cats hate more than being bored!
3. She loves you more than meows can say
“Why does my cat jump on my back? We spend hours and hours cuddling, snuggling, and scratching each other’s backs. But, the moment I get up to leave she jumps on me from behind!”
Cats have odd ways of communicating their emotions, and hopping on your back might be one of them. Purring, melodious meowing, grooming, headbutting, exposing their belly, and jumping on their owner’s back are some of the most popular ways that cats show affection.
Trust me, you’ve spent hours and hours enjoying each other’s company. She’s simply trying to give you a little “Thank you!” with her paws on your back.
4. “Nothing to see here; I’m just marking what’s mine!”
Your cat may jump on your back when she sees your other cat playing with you or spending time with you. And that’s not surprising because cats are very, very territorial! Cats don’t like sharing things (or humans) with other cats, which is also why they mark their territory.
And, you might assume that cats mark their territory by urinating on everything. You’re not wrong. But, cats have other means of marking through the use of scent glands located on the feet, cheeks, face, and tails.
So, when your cat hops on your back, she may be leaving a trace of her scent for other cats and claiming you as her own.
5. “Oh, I can see everything from up here!”
Cats simply love climbing on high spots. You must have noticed your cat hopping on kitchen counters, climbing on the highest of shelves, or even clawing her way UP your door.
Cats do odd things when they’re being themselves. But, especially when they’re young, brimming with energy, and oblivious to what they are and aren’t allowed to do.
And, not to mention that cats instinctively hang out on higher grounds because that allows them a vantage point (meaning, to see prey)! Your cat’s hunting prowess seems to be getting the best of her!
Why does my cat jump on my back at night?
“Wait, what!? There’s a difference in meaning due to the time of the day?” Oh, there could be. Don’t dismiss the pawsibility that your cat might not be doing what you think she’s doing. She’s certainly not jumping on your back while you’re sleeping to get a better look at her prey, right?
As a matter of fact, she’s probably hopping on your back to get your attention. Maybe she’s hungry and hoping to wake you up and get you to give her a plate of that Thanksgiving turkey. Maybe she heard something strange and is trying to wake you up.
Whatever the case might be, you might want to check what’s going on and go back to sleep once you’re done comforting your fluffy friend. And, don’t worry, she’s not THAT likely to hop on your back because she’s under the weather or experiencing some sort of emergency.
How do I stop my cat from jumping on my back?
So, you might be amused by her hopping for a little while. But you also might want to stop her from clawing your back or waking you up. Here are a couple of tips and tricks on how you can do that!
First things first, ensure you’re providing your fluffy friend with enough activities, exercise, and playtime. When cats get bored, they tend to seek attention and display odd behaviors (such as hopping on your back) to get you to do something. Consider getting her one of those cat trees, and voila!
Then, just as important, don’t encourage her behavior. Whenever she repeats the behavior, employ “the time out” method. Show her that she did something she wasn’t supposed to do by immediately removing her from your back and leaving her alone for a couple of minutes in a separate room or a separate space.
And, on the off chance that your clawy critter continues doing the same thing, don’t shy away from contacting an animal behaviorist. Whatever you decide to do, good luck!