Why Does My Cat Jump On My Back?

Why Does My Cat Jump On My Back?

Have you been caught off-guard when your cat suddenly jumped on your back from out of the blue? Ever wonder why cats do that? 

Why does my cat jump on my back?

Your cat may jump on your back for the following reasons:

1. She wants your attention. 

Your cat is jumping on your back since she wants your full attention. She is probably hungry or just wants you to focus your attention on her. Jumping on your back often works since you tend to stop what you are doing like cooking or working on your computer and give your attention to your cat. However, this type of behavior should not be encouraged. 

2. She is being playful. 

Cats are naturally playful especially when they are still kittens and jumping on your back may just be play for her. This gesture is her invitation for playtime and they want to lure you to spend some playtime with her. Kittens will usually outgrow this antic and it is vital to correct this behavior while the cat is still at a young age. 

3. She wants to be close to you. 

Your cat could be jumping on your back because she wants to cuddle and be near you. Some cats tend to be more clingy and needy compared to others and your cat could be one of them. Affectionate cats like to follow their humans around and like to put their noses on what their owners are doing. This is cute and adorable but you should also train your cat to become independent since you are cannot always at home with her.

4. She is marking you as her territory.

Your cat is jumping on your back because she is marking you as her own. This usually happens if there are strange cats around and it could be your cat’s way of showing dominance. Your cat may also be doing it since she is being threatened by other cats around.

5. She wants access to your shoulder because it gives a good view.

Your cat may also be jumping on your back so she can climb on your shoulder.  Cats instinctively hang out in elevated areas since they give a better view of their environment. High places are also safe spots for cats especially when they snooze off. For the same reasons, your cat may be jumping on you to see what you are up to as well as to keep track of their surroundings.

Some cat breeds like the Siamese are more predisposed to jump on their owner’s back and perch on the shoulders. So, if you intend to own one, prepare yourself to become a human perch. 

How do I stop my cat from jumping on my back?

Having your cat jump on your back may look adorable but it is not necessarily a behavior we want to encourage. Here is how you can stop your cat from jumping on your back:

Install cat trees.

Place multiple cat trees and cat condos in your home so your cat will forget about jumping on you. These are safe places where she can jump and climb to her heart’s desire. 

Use the time out method.

This method enforces a penalty to your cat such as locking her up for a few minutes in a room each time she jumps on your or a family member’s back.  It will allow your cat to associate jumping on your back with being locked up which will hopefully stop the behavior.   

Say “No” and move away.

Be firm with saying “No” each time your cat attempts to jump on your back. Take hold of her and put her on the floor and slowly move away. 

Schedule playtime sessions to burn off her excess energy.

Your cat may be experiencing the zoomies i.e. running around like crazy and attempting to jump into your back since she has too much energy to spare. Play with your cat and tire her out so she will not annoy you as you do the cooking or house chores.   

Why does my cat jump on my shoulders?

Some cat owners believe that your cat jumps on your shoulders to seek your attention.  Cats seem to know that when people like what they do and think of it as cute they will praise and pet them. If you reward the behavior with attention she will likely jump on your shoulder regularly.

Your cat may also jump on your shoulders because she likes the security and how it feels to be in an elevated place.

Cats in the wild are arboreal creatures and your cat could also be acting according to her instincts. They like to be in elevated places where they can easily spot threats and potential pray.

Felines also jump on their owner’s shoulders as their way of showing affection. While there are so-called lap cats, some cats prefer to jump and perch on the shoulder. Maine Coons and Abyssinian cats are known for being perchers so if you intend to get one of these breeds your shoulders should be sturdy enough to accommodate these gentle giants, should you allow them. 

Jumping on your shoulders can also mean your cat wants to directly interact with you and she feels more equal if she is at your eye level. She feels that she has a better chance to communicate with you, you can look at each other “eye to eye” and she can smell you better, too. 

Why do cats sit on my back?

Cats sit on your back because they crave connection and attention. They instinctively gravitate toward humans they like such as their owners.  They will sit on your back to get your attention because they like to be cuddled or petted. They will also do it as their way of expressing their trust and affection to you. 

Image: istockphoto.com / mclemay137