What’s up With Cats and Chairs – Can we Talk?

by Deb at 4:50 AM • Cat Humor31 Comments

cats-and-chairs In the indelible words of the late Joan Rivers, “Can we talk?” I ask this because the other day I shared a picture of Kizmet sitting in my office chair after he stole it from me when I got up for a brief second to get a glass of water. I marveled at not only how quickly the act had transpired, but also at how quickly he fell soundly asleep considering I was literally only gone a minute at best.

Recognizing an opportunity to encourage some cat talk, I posted his picture on Facebook with the brief question, “Can anyone relate?” Being that my target audience is cat lovers like me, naturally I got an overwhelming response, that yes, everyone could relate and that got me to thinking further about cats and chairs and just what a great topic of cat conversation it is.


This was the picture I posted of Kizmet on Facebook. Just how the heck did he not only steal my chair so quickly, but fall so soundly asleep as well?

So, can we talk? Can anyone tell me what the correct answer is to this scenario – You walk into your office to sit down at your chair to do some computer work and you see your cat (or cats as the case might be) already sound asleep on your chair. Do you:

(a) Sit yourself down precariously at the edge of your chair so as not to disturb your cat and type uncomfortably from that position until your neck starts to cramp in pain, forcing you to get up,
(b) Leave the cat on the chair so as not to wake him/her and get a different chair for yourself, or
(c) Come back later, in about 12 hours when the cat is done napping and has vacated your chair?

The answer, of course, is any or all of them and when it doubt, remember that the comfort of your cat ALWAYS overrides yours and that way there is never any confusion. In this particular instance with Kizmet, I chose (b). Ironically, once I sat in a different chair, Kizmet woke from his nap to get up and sit with me. However, rather than sitting on my lap, he chose to sit BEHIND me, wedging his large body between my back and the back of the chair. Yes, I’m sure that was comfortable for both of us…

The other interesting thing about cats and chairs is that their rules ALWAYS trump ours. If you are sitting in a chair, for example, in your dining room and you randomly decide to pick up your cat up who is walking past you because you want to snuggle with them, chances are good your cat will look at you in horror, wondering how you could possibly dare pick them up and then he/she will contort and twist their body into some weird pretzel shape, struggling to get away from your loving and harmless arms, to then run off in a panicked huff. That same cat, however, will be the cat that will jump on your lap while you are sitting in aforementioned dining room chair at the most inopportune moment, like when you really need to go to the bathroom. If you will recall, however, being that the cat’s comfort always takes precedence over yours, you will just have to suffer and hold it in. Sorry, that’s just how it is.


This is Zee sitting on one of our dining room chairs, basically letting us know he was here first and will not be getting up any time soon, despite how inconvenient that might be for any of us humans who might need the chair

Another interesting cat/chair point is the cat color to chair color ratio. In other words, if your cat has light-colored fur that will be the cat that chooses to nap on any chair you might happen to have with a darker upholstered fabric so that the fur that sticks to the cushion is glaringly obvious (and vice verse for a cat with dark fur). I don’t know why this phenomenon occurs but it is a fact that has withstood the test of time, and again, being that you cannot disturb a napping cat; you will either have to leave the fur on the cushion, pretending you don’t see it or do a lot of vacuuming after they wake up from their nap. In my case, I tend to ignore it for as long as possible, or until we have company…


Jazmine has so much of her light-colored fur on this stool that it mutes the true dark brown color of the upholstery! But bless her little heart, she sure looks comfortable!

The last cat/chair topic is one I call “camouflage cats” meaning that your cat will pick a chair to nap on and somehow morph into looking like it is part of the furniture, causing you to accidentally sit on them because you did not see them. Being that it was completely innocent on your part, all you can really do since you clearly have disturbed your cat by squashing them with your body weight is to spend the rest of the day making it up to them with extra treats. There really is no other way around it.


Peanut has wrapped herself up so perfectly that she actually looks she is a cushion rather than a cat. It’s no wonder people accidentally sit on her…


Speaking of camouflage cats, I just had to share this picture I took of Harley back when she was still with us. Seen here, she is hiding under a mountain of pillows that grace a papasan chair we have. She was certain I could not see her!

So there you have it – some cat conversation courtesy of the catch phrase of Joan Rivers. How about your cats – do you have any cat/chair stories you can share – some idiosyncrasies that I did not mention? I’d love to hear them!

Side note: While this post was not about Joan Rivers per se, I still would like to pay my respects to a woman I greatly admired and who I will miss dearly. She had been in the background of my life since I was in my 20’s and I loved her honest and raw humor. I had the pleasure of seeing her perform years ago with Don Rickles (yes, it was as crazy as you might think it would be) and I also have a few pieces of jewelry from the line she sold on QVC.

I loved watching her on QVC – even off the cuff she was quick-witted and she always made me laugh. I also loved the fact that she would bring her dog, Spike, on the show with her and it was always so funny watching him wander around the set! You could see that she adored that dog and finding out that he helped her through a rough spot in her life caused me to love and respect Joan even more.

RIP Joan – the world was made a better place with you in it and you will be missed…

And one last note – I know many of you enjoy my posts that evoke provocative conversation and I wrote one a few days ago for Catster.com that might be of interest to you if you care to drop by and read it! I discuss how having a cat nowadays seems so much more complicated than it did years ago when we weren’t inundated with so many rules, opinions, options, and guidelines to follow when raising a cat. I would really love your feedback on this one and for those of you close to my age; I think you will especially relate to this compelling article! Please click here to read.

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  1. Brian says:

    Um, they are not really chairs, they are thrones!

  2. Such a funny topic and yes anyone that shares their home with a feline “gets it”. As always, I LOVE your photos but the one of Harley truly struck a chord. Makes me think of my Marcus. Abby is always so accommodating…but NOT Marcus! The hours I spent on the corner of a chair because it was HIS….now makes me *smile* at what an interesting personality he was and how much I still miss him after five years!

    Oh and I too was a Joan Rivers fan….I guess I just love someone that is so honest…though at times she was brutally honest. Sitting in the safely of my home, knowing I would never be one of her targets….I could love her! And most often….agreed with her. She will truly be missed!!

    Great post!

    • Deb says:

      Toni – Marcus sounds like quite the character and I am not surprised you still miss him… The other day I saw a story about a Golden Retriever that reminded me of my Bailey who passed over 15 years ago… it brought back such pain I couldn’t believe it…

      I am also not surprised you were a Joan fan. She would have loved you and it would have been a riot seeing the two of you holding a conversation!!!

  3. Marg says:

    I have a hard time finding a chair for myself in this house. They are always full of some cat or other. And if I happen to get up, my chair is immediately occupied. I sometimes think I need to sit on the floor. Have a great Saturday.

    • Deb says:

      Oh my goodness Marg… the visual you have just given me is hysterical and I can only imagine the throngs of cat lovers across the world sitting on their floors as their cats hold court on all of their chairs!!!

  4. The cats love to lounge!
    Thank you for remembering Joan. I rediscovered her on QVC too, and I think that is why this hit me so hard. When you welcome someone into your home as often as Joan was on TV these last few years it’s like you grow to know them. Live TV only magnifies someone true personality. I have seen Joan do some very generous things for people who would call into the show she was on. As acerbic as her wit was as an on stage personality, nearly to a person, those who called her a close friend, said she was a wonderful generous kind loving person. I shall miss her greatly.

    • Deb says:

      You are so very right Angel Abby Grace – as a result of QVC, the Apprentice, and Fashion Police, she really was a part of my life more than I realized and I think that is why I was hit hard with her passing too. I followed her from the very beginning – way back to the Johnny Carson days and I always admired her strength in the face of such adversity in what was very much a man’s world at the time.

  5. The world is a much sadder place without Joan. Thank goodness she got out a memoir and that fab doc to show the other sides of her larger than life personality. She cracked me up every week on Fashion Police.

    Re: chairs. Most cats have favorite chairs except for Odin. He likes to play musical chairs which I attribute to his mercurial Gemini nature.

  6. It wasn’t until I noticed even GLOMAN gingerly sitting down on the sofa as to not disturb Waffles that I realized Katie & Waffles truly DO rule our little kingdom.

    ; )

    Thanks so much for visiting during our vacation!

  7. Jan says we ALL – cats and dogs – act like we own the chairs.

  8. Flynn says:

    Many times Flynn is sleeping in the office chair when I want to use the computer. I always end up dragging a dining room chair over and work at the computer at an awkward angle. If I am already working, he will jump up on the desktop, climb up on my shoulder and on to the back of the office chair and watch over my shoulder as I work.

  9. All the chairs and sofas belong to us cats. We just let the humans use the when we say it’s okay. 😉

  10. Caroline says:

    I’m an awful cat servant. I will move Sam if he’s sitting on my task chair or recliner. Fortunately he rarely sits on either so we’re generally good. I’m afraid that my fibromyalgia ridden body’s comfort takes precedence over his ‘but it’s the only place to sprawl’ and since it’s just the two of us and there’s also a nice, soft sofa and arm chair he’s not hard done by.

    • Deb says:

      Caroline – I think in your situation you do trump the needs of your sweet Sam… but, it sounds like you have his comfort taken care of and that he loves you very much!

  11. As we kindly let our humans live in our home with us, it’s normal we’re first to use a chair or the sofa as it belongs to us, isn’t it ? Purrs

  12. I’d never push a cat off a chair to sit there myself, even if that chair ‘belonged’ to me only a minute ago 🙂

  13. Happens at our house ALL THE TIME. You snooze you lose. Well actually… You get up from the couch and you LOSE ’cause the cat is SNOOZIN’ where you left.


  14. Cathy Keisha says:

    TW used to love Joan Rivers many many years ago but we cannot condone someone who unapologetically wears fur and says how great wearing fur is. Now that that’s off my chest, I don’t sit in our office chair. It rolls so TW wouldn’t be able to share it with me if I did sit on it. I DO play musical chairs with Pop over meals. He sits down and warms up a chair. I jump on the table. He offers his chair. I sit down. He sits in the other chair and warms it up . I sit up and stare at him. He gets up and I take that chair. We do this until the meal is over. MOL!

    • Deb says:

      CK – I can understand why TW feels that way. I vehemently oppose wearing fur as well and honestly did not know that about Joan. While I am saddened and disappointed to learn of this, I can’t erase the fact that she made me laugh on many an occasion. I must say that overall as an animal lover, it is very hard to live in this world with a pure heart. From our gluttonous ways of eating meat as more than just a means of sustenance and survival to clothing, furnishings, and accessories made from animal pelts and body parts, to destroying our fragile ecosystems (sometimes causing the extinction of animals) to create our cities, homes, and whatnot, it is all dreadfully overwhelming when you think about it.

      I love the game you play of musical chairs with your Pop!

  15. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    guys…chairz wuz invented in de 12 th centuree BC ….FOR catz….we looked it up on de internet N de furst chair
    wuz made for a cat named kitteh…sure it mite knota been az cozzee az chairz two day but thatz coz de dood
    who invented de sewin masheen wuz knot born yet…..

    all sew, we reeded yur catster article yur mom rited N her iz rite…back in de day oh gram paw dude’s
    grate grate grate gram paw…kittehz went two de vet onze a yeer for shotz N stuff; ore if they got a case
    oh werms…knot de fishin kinda……phew….frum eatin two maneee mice N bugs N stuff like that…plus they
    went out…a lot…..coz they WUZ mouserz….they slept with de dog, came inn side when it wuz cold, had
    one kinda kibble & one kinda canned…..played with bugs sted oh toyz….. ☺

    any way…happee week !! ♥

  16. Elic says:

    Actually, around here the cats get moved. We have too many to be sentimental about the brats. I do have favorites and *I* always put them down gently. The totally blind roommate just dumps them out, the other roommate who is visually impaired, but a cat lover, is kind of between, depending on the cat.

    The fact is that we only have a few upholstered chairs BECAUSE of the cats. The rest are wood or folding chairs because its just not worth worrying about them tearing them up. Also, the house isn’t big enough to have a lot of chairs taking up floor space that the blind roommates need to walk safely.

    I love my brats and I love sleeping with them, but there are days when waking up to find they threw up in my shoe isn’t so fun. That’s why the house shoes are plastic, so I can just wash them off.

  17. Rex says:

    Around here, the cats get moved too. Supposedly, the chair thing is a dominance play, and animals that live in human households should (generally) never get the impression that they are dominant. That could be a problem waiting to happen, especially if you have kids. My daughter’s friends have a “dominant” cat that everyone walks on eggshells around, and one day, the cat attacked their youngest child like it was prey, then of course, it was a big deal when it could have simply been avoided by maintaining the common-sense line between human and animal. You know what they say, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

    Also, when our cat used to make that play, I almost sat on him a couple of times, and at 200lbs, it would not have been pretty.

    Just like canines (well, not JUST LIKE, but with modifications), felines are generally better off, less neurotic, and all around better pets when they are integrated into a human paradigm that they are not at the top of.

    Cats know nothing of human responsibilities, and wouldn’t want to even if they could. like most creatures, they don’t truly want the dominance they seek, like most creatures, they just feel compelled to seek it anyway.

    Showing an animal that they have a competent leader, and that they are not even close to dominant, is, at the end of the day, the best thing you can do for them. Lack of of leadership in a confusing world is stressful for any living thing.