Why does my cat attack my legs in a certain chair?

by Lara Salmon

My cat seems to feel like she needs to attack my legs when I sit in my computer chair. My family and I feel like she's offended by it somehow.

She's a rescue cat and is coming up on 5 years old (we've had her since she was a 6 month old kitten).

Editor's note: If you're sitting in a computer chair, I'm guessing you're using the computer, reading, writing, etc. In other words, you're focusing your attention on something other than your cat for a period of more than a few minutes.

I've noticed with my own cats over the years, that when I'm focused on something, that is often when they want the most attention from me. When I'm on the phone, using the computer, etc., that's when they often start acting up.

I've also noticed that some cats will jump up on the computer desk and walk all around. Others will sit on the keyboard or right in front of the monitor. Some will attack your legs or feet, or the back of the chair. Some will do all these things at different times to get your attention.

If that happens, I try to take short breaks and give my cat some playtime and attention.

Having more play sessions with your cat each day, and making sure your cat has things to occupy her when you can't play with her may help. Feliway may help, too.

Giving your cat an alternative to attacking your legs while giving her what she's after (access to you!) while you're working at the computer might help as well.

Here's an interesting test. Place an empty
box or cat bed on top of the computer desk (or on a table next to it). See if your cat will lie down in it while you work on your computer.

There are actually some products made for this kind of thing. There used to be one called Kitt-in Box by Refined Feline that clamped to the desk, but I'm not sure it's available anymore. Amazon sells this Cat Corner Desk Lounger, though.

Another solution would be to place a cat tree or elevated cat bed right next to where you sit. Something with a toy your cat can attack built-in might be ideal. For example, there's this one from Amazon. If your cat likes to be up higher than that, you'll have to get a taller one.

Another product from Refined Feline is this Kitty Ball Cat Bed, which has some elevation to it. If placed next to your computer workstation area, this would give your cat more access to you. You can hang a toy from it so your cat has something to bat around.

You know your kitty best, but since your cat is attacking your legs, maybe your cat isn't a climber. If your cat prefers to be down low, something with less height near your work area might work best.

A not so tall cat condo, such as this cat condo with a perch is an idea. This would give your cat the option to hide down low, or be up in the mid-range.

I hope that helps. Please keep us updated on what you try (such as extra play sessions or products) and any changes in behavior you see.

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