Why does my cat keep trying to walk on my computer keyboard?

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Theories abound about why cats seem to be so fascinated with computers. This interest is now much more focused on tablet devices—cats seem to love iPads (visit YouTube for proof). The traditional computer keyboard is still an object of great interest to a curious, engaged house cat. Many pet owners wonder if it is the warmth of the machine, the clicking sound of the keys or a desire to be close to their people who intrigue them.

It’s likely that some element of all these things comes into play when it comes to cats and computer keyboards. The real truth probably lies in understanding how a cat perceives his world and interacts with others of his own kind. Unlike dogs, cats are not pack animals. As solitary hunters, they have evolved with an uncanny ability to read and interpret their environment.

It is a myth that cats are not capable of love and affection. They are extremely loyal to their people, who are established as the primary relationship in their lives. Not only will cats be curious about this “thing” that is accompanying so much of their person’s attention, but they will also be attracted to the keyboard’s smell.

Cats use scent mark their territory, which includes their humans. When a cat rubs up against a human with his face and chin, he’s using the sebaceous glands in that area to mark you as “his.” To the cat, the keyboard smells like you, and therefore needs to be claimed.

Unfortunately, it’s not a good idea to just ignore kitty on the keys, since unwittingly strolling across the keyboard can lead to a disastrous set of keystrokes. Cats frequently re-boot computers and have been known to accidentally order items online without their owners’ knowledge.

It’s a good idea to either put the keyboard in a drawer when you’re away from the desk, lock your screen, or use available software that detects “cat-like” typing. These options may help to prevent your cat from doing a little unsolicited editing on his own time.

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