My cats tend to do this a lot! If chair stealing was a sport, my cats would be champions. Just take a look at this little rascal! He always does this! He kind of reminds me of that cat from the dinner meme, lol.
Anyway, he quickly realized that all the yummy lunches take place at the dining table, and he always sits there hoping that he’ll get a bite. Hoping and judging, of course. However, we never give our cats a bite of any food at the table.
My sister often complains about it, saying how cute my cats are and wondering how can I not give them a piece?! But, imagine if I gave one of them a bite at the table… there are 7 of them! Lunchtime would become a disaster!
Other than yummy-smelling food, cats tend to steal their owner’s chairs quite often and for different reasons.
Can I Have Your Attention, Purrease
This is a somewhat obvious reason why your cat steals your chair when you get up. Your cat is simply trying to get your attention, especially if you get up to go grab something and you come back to your seat.
Cats are generally very smart, and they quickly pick up on our behavior and habits. If you tend to pet your cat after it steals your chair, then expect it to do that again. As far as your cat is concerned, it has succeeded. It wanted your attention and it got it.
You Warmed The Chair
Many cats steal their owner’s chair because they like the warmth. If you’ve been sitting in your chair for some time, and then you get up and your cat rushes to claim it, it’s because of the warmth.
Cats love to be warm, comfy, and safe – especially when it’s cold. Your body heat warms the chair, making it the warmest nap spot for your cat in that moment. Cats love to nap in the sun, next to a heater, or curl up to feel their own body heat.
You can always try putting a heating pad on a different spot, making it ideal for your cat. Perhaps put a heating pad on another chair, so your cat has its own place.
Your Cat’s Safe Around You
Your cat feels safer around you or your smell. Cats associate smells with feelings, and their owners are always a feeling of safety (if they’re good owners, of course).
If your cat has shown you some of the love signs, like sleeping with its belly up, then you know it feels perfectly safe in your presence. So your cat will connect the scent that you left on your chair with safety.
You smell safe and sound to your cat, and that’s all that matters. Your cat will safely relax around you, or around the spot where they sense your smell, and the chair that you just got up from is the safest spot at that given moment.
Every Cat Is Territorial
Even if you have an indoor-only cat, it will get territorial every now and then. All cats use pheromones to mark their territory, and indoor cats do it as well, even though there are no predators nearby that will lurk around your house.
Your cat sees you as their family, and they will mark you and your favorite spots. Cats will headbutt their owners as a sign of love but also to mark them. They’ll also mark your chair or your bed, and so on.
When you get up from your chair, your cat will often rush to it to rub its scent all over it and mark it.
If your cat doesn’t steal your chair every day, but rather only every now and then, then you should know it’s only doing it to mark the chair; pheromones fade over time so your cat needs to mark the spot again and again.
Finally, What Can You Do About It?
If your cat steals your chair, it’s probably because it loves you, wants your attention, or is just seeking a warm and safe napping spot. It’s not worth getting angry about, simply redirect your cat’s attention somewhere else and you’ll be fine.
Or, if your cat steals your chair quite a lot, perhaps you work from home and you don’t have time to deal with it every day. I know how that feels.
You can make your cat its own spot on a chair next to you, and use a heating pad if you realize your cat steals your chair because of its warmth. You can also add a piece of clothing or a blanket that smells like you, and that’ll be it.
Note: You can also give your cat a treat every time it uses its new “chair bed” to ensure that it will use it again.