Why Does My Cat Sit On My Feet?

By Mittens •  Updated: 04/09/23 •  10 min read

Cats are marvellous creatures. They bring so much joy and fullfillment into peoples lives. One of the best things about sharing your home with a feline companion is the unique ways that they choose to interact with you.

Cat behaviour is a mystery to so many people and it really doesn’t have to be. Cats behave in a way that makes sense if you consider their ancestors as well as their current environment. The last thing to account for is their unique personality and you are much closer to figuring out why your pet behaves the way it does.

To help demystify the situation and delve into your kittys psyche, today we are going to explore a really common behaviour and try to answer the question “Why does my cat sit on my feet?”

The simple answer is, your cat will sit on your feet to get closer to you. Your feet may be a comfortable resting spot or may provide a good vantage point to keep a watch out for predators. Finally, your cat may just be trying to get your attention!

That’s the quick answer but there’s more to it than this. Let’s now take a deep dive into all the reasons why your furry friend feels your feet are the purrfect lounging spot.

A Cute Kitten In A Shoe

Your Cat as an Individual

Your cat is an individual with a unique personality. Every cat has its own requirements, unique behaviour patterns, and individual preferences. This is what makes each little feline so special.

A huge number of different breeds can come into the mix when we talk about domestic cats, which can also influence their behaviour and personality. Having a greater understanding of cats, in general, can help you appreciate your cat as an individual all the more.

As well as genetic components, environmental factors play a huge role in your cats day to day activities and these also influence their behaviour. Other things such as life stage, physical health, and mental health are all worth considering when we look at each cat as an individual.

All these points coalesce and can make it very difficult to pinpoint why a cat will behave in a certain way at any given point. Factors can be considered to give us an idea why cats may be doing a certain thing but in the end, it’s only an estimation of the truth.

YOU are the most qualified person to understand why your cat may be behaving in a certain manner as you spend more time with them than any behaviour expert could. It’s always worth weighing up all you already know about your feline friend (and believe me, you know a LOT more than you may think!) alongside the suggestions here, and this will lead you as close to the truth as possible.

Cats’ Relationship to Humans

Cats have historically been labelled as solitary creatures and this can lead to a lot of misconceptions about their relationship with us. In the wild, cats can happily live an independent lifestyle but this isn’t the complete picture. Yes, they can hunt without any backup, take care of themselves and even raise their kittens as strong, independent working mothers, but there’s more to it than this.

Cats are solitary by nature but they are also clever enough that they don’t need to allow this label to define them. Domesticated cats have long shown that they are capable of forming complex social bonds with humans, other cats and even other species (ie dogs, rabbits etc).

Cats are amazing creatures that manage to strike a wonderful balance between holding onto their roots as solitary hunters as well as evolving and adapting to take advantage of new opportunities.

When you take into account the cat as an individual as well as its relationship to you, this gives you that wonderful bond that you share with your pet. A lot of cats will view their owners as their equal companions but sometimes cats will see you as their responsibility to look after. In some cases, cats will see you as their carer and come to you when something is wrong. Some cats will favour one of these roles whereas some will embody all three in different situations.

When all this is considered, we get closer to answering why cats choose to behave in a certain manner.

A Kitten Sleeping Beside Someones Foot

Why Does My Cat Sit on My Feet…

At Night

Cats are crepuscular which means they like to get the most done early in the morning or late in the evening. They like to follow all this hard work with plenty of nap time. As dusk falls, it’s very important for your feline companion to have their zoomies and get those important cat admin tasks ticked off their list. Once all this hard work is done, they need a good snooze and they are absolutely going to take advantage of the soft, prewarmed, cat bed that humans often sleep in.

If your cat feels like you need to be taken care of, they may position themselves on your feet as a sign of protection. If your cat is more timid, it may feel safer nestled close to you at this vulnerable time of rest. The bed offers a good vantage point that’s elevated off the ground so they can quickly spot danger approaching.

On the Sofa

If you’re relaxing on the sofa in the evening then the reason your cat will choose to sit on your feet is very similar to why they do so at night. Some cats feel safer lower down and prefer to relax at ground level so feet positioned on the floor can be a perfect place to perch and keep watch.

Whilst Standing

Have you ever been busy in the kitchen, trying to get dinner cooked and suddenly there’s a cat on your foot?

Cats like to take control of the situation and if they feel you’re moving around too much or you have forgotten to give them attention then they may position themselves on your feet to draw attention back to them. It’s a really clever tactic as you can’t move whilst they’re balanced here and they’re guaranteed to get some attention this way.

It is worth checking that their litter box is clean, the water bowl is topped up and any toys haven’t been misplaced as the sit-on-foot tactic can be your cat trying to tell you that they need assistance.

Whilst Eating

If you’re sitting at the table enjoying a plate of food and the next thing you know, there’s a fuzzy hot water bottle balanced on your tootsies then you know this probably means one of two things. Either your fur baby is hungry and has spied that you have something tasty on the go or they want you to stop eating and pay them some attention.

It’s best not to reward cats for disturbing the dinner table as they shouldn’t be eating human food and even if they disagree, the truth is they really can wait until you’ve finished eating before they get some head scritches.

When I’m Trying to Work

A lot of cats favour the keyboard to draw your attention away from that boring old job and back on them where it should be but some cats prefer a more subtle approach. The good ole’ ‘sit on my human’s feet’ approach is a sneaky way they can divert your attention away from boring emails and spreadsheets and they still look innocent in the process.

As Soon as I Get Home

The most obvious reason why your cat is interested in your feet when you get home from work is that they have missed you. Your feet are the easiest part of you to reach and they can smother them in love as soon as you walk in the front door.

Another reason could be that your feet smell. Yes, you read that correctly! If you’ve been busy on your feet all day then they’re going to be ripe with all kinds of interesting scents. Cats have a much more developed sense of smell compared to us humans and can gain a lot of information from a pair of smelly feet.


Why Does My Cat Attack My Feet?

Cats in the wild need to hunt to survive and this skill requires practice. Kittens love to play hunt by chasing and pouncing on each other and this behaviour often persists into adulthood. Your feet are an easy target and they get the added benefit of you joining in the play by moving to get away from them or you may make a noise (such as “ouch!”) that’s satisfying to your cat.

Some cats will chase your feet because they are over or understimulated day to day so it’s worth ensuring that they have enough playtime during the day but also get enough time to rest and recover once the fun is over.

Why Does My Cat Lick my Feet?

Your cat may lick your feet because they have a sweaty, salty taste that is pleasing to them. Another reason they may do this is to clean them for you. They may notice that you don’t seem to be doing a very good job of licking yourself clean so they choose to step in and help you out. Your cat licking and grooming you is a sign that they love you and want to take care of you.

Sniff My Feet?

Your feet have a very concentrated smell that sums you up to your cat. They may be gaining some information about where you’ve been or just enjoying that intense whiff of you.

Why Does My Cat Rub Its Face on my Feet?

Cats have scent glands around their whiskers and when they rub their cheeks on something it leaves a unique smell on that object. This tells other cats that the object belongs to your cat.

When they rub their face on your feet they are essentially telling other cats that you belong to them and they best stay away. It’s your cats’ way of declaring ownership of you.


Cats are unique individuals that have a complex and deep bond with their owners. They can choose to express their love, dedication and need for attention by strategically positioning themselves on your feet whenever it suits them best. The best thing to do when your cat appears on your feet is to thank them for being such a wonderful companion, make sure they have all they need at that moment and count your lucky blessings that you have such a loving friend to share your home with.


Meow. Meow! My name is Mittens and I am a proud feline writer. It's not easy taking over the keyboard from my purrson, but I am determined to share my cat tales with the world. I may spend most of my days napping in the sun and playing with my toys, but when inspiration strikes, I am ready to pounce on the opportunity to write about all things cat. From the joys of catnip to the struggles of hairballs, I am here to provide a cat's perspective on life. Scratch my chin and give me some pets, and I'll keep on writing like the purr-fessional I am.

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