If your old cat is laying on you more than usual, it may be due to a number of reasons:
● Arthritis. As cats get older, their joints can wear out and become painful.
● Age-induced lethargy. Just like an old human, an elderly cat will play less and will seek
comfort in the familiar.
● Sensory decline. If your old cat’s senses of sight and/or hearing are degrading, it may
seek out security by staying close.
● Cognitive dysfunction. Cat dementia is very real and can cause felines to withdraw
into themselves and sleep more.
● Hypotension, or low blood pressure. While lower blood pressure will lead to reduced
overall energy, it is often a symptom of something even more serious.
Why is my old cat laying on me more than usual?
Time spares no one from its touch; not you, not me, and most certainly not our cats. Nothing
was meant to last forever, in mint condition, perfect, and unchanged. Noticing my old cat laying
on me more than usual was an ominous reminder of that fact.
Sure, having the little fluff-bag keep me company at all times was lovely, but I couldn’t help but wonder about his health. Is he alright? I wondered while stroking his still soft and thick fur coat. What if he had some sort of health condition, or his age demanded a special kind of attention that I simply wasn’t
Worse yet, I couldn’t help but think about that inevitable moment when the two of us
would part ways for the last time. I knew that it would come at some point, but I was
So, I did what I always do when faced with questions I can’t answer: I dug around the net. Why
is my old cat laying on me more than usual? I searched, over and over, and in countless
variations. Although I did eventually take my furry friend to the vet, who confirmed that his
condition was not life-threatening, I did end up with a fair bit of knowledge on the issue.
Today I will share what I’ve learned with you.
Just keep in mind that the rest of this article will
not be a replacement for a visit to a veterinarian. I want to let you know what to expect and help
you prepare for what is to come. Whatever is causing your furry friend to treat you as a pillow
may be major, or it may be nothing at all.
Old Cat Laying on Me More Than Usual — Potential Causes
As it turns out, there are a lot of potential reasons for an old cat to lose its luster for playtime
and seek comfort on your lap. Five are by far the most common, however, so I will list them
here. They include:
● Age-induced lethargy
● Sensory decline
● Cognitive dysfunction
● Hypotension, or low blood pressure.
I will go into each one in detail.
Arthritis is uncommon in younger cats, but older ones can easily develop the condition. A cat
that also happens to be overweight is within the high-risk group. If your feline friend is unwilling
to run, jump, or climb stairs, recoils when you play with its legs, or even refrains from climbing
into the litter box, there is a good chance that it has arthritis.
So, what is arthritis? It’s a degenerative joint disease that occurs (and worsens) as the cartilage
between two bones deteriorates. The joints no longer slide smoothly but grind instead, which
results in pain. The pain can range between bearable and absolutely horrible, depending on the
state of the bones and the amount of cartilage left. Naturally, joint degeneration is a normal part
of aging, and almost everyone experiences it at some point.
The bad news is that arthritis is essentially incurable; there is no magic pill that will make it go
away. Once your cat develops the condition, it will forevermore be a part of its life. There is a
silver lining, however: a veterinarian will be able to develop a treatment plan to help manage
your cat’s pain. Such a program may include:
● Pain medication that you will need to dose your cat with.
● Food supplements that will help your feline replenish some of its lost cartilage.
● Weight loss, if your furry friend is a bit on the chubby side. The lighter it is, the less strain
will be put on its joints.
You will probably also want to make your pet’s life easier by making necessities easier for it to
reach. The less it has to walk or climb, the less pain it will have to endure. Remember, a cat with
arthritis may not play as much, but the condition is otherwise not dangerous.
Getting older will leave everyone with less energy to throw around, and cats are no exception. A
senior cat will understandably take less pleasure in playing and exploring, and will almost
always prefer to nap. And what better place is there for a cat to rest than its best friend,
surrogate parent, and owner?
I am the one who feeds my cat, cleans its litter box, and takes care of all its needs. When my
fuzzy buddy wants something, he comes to me. I am warm, comfortable, and provide safety; is
it such a surprise, then, to see my old cat laying on me more than usual? When I think about it,
not at all.
Of course, what I wrote above doesn’t mean that you should entirely rule out the possibility of
your elderly feline being sick. You should take it to the vet at least occasionally if only to check
for signs of cancer. Remember, cancer is the number one cause of cat fatalities, so you will
want to have an expert examine your cat every once in a while. Better safe than sorry.
As natural predators, cats rely heavily on their senses, even if they no longer need to hunt.
Unfortunately, old age may slowly rob them of said senses, and they often don’t take it well.
They will usually feel cut off from the world around them and may retreat into themselves or
sleep the day away. In cases of extreme sensory decline (such as complete blindness or
deafness), a cat may even start and attacking you or the furniture.
Much more often, though, your furry friend will simply want to know that you are close by. It will
lay next to (or on top of) you whenever it can, just to feel your warmth and your breath. Your cat
will likely feel threatened by the surroundings that it can no longer perceive that well. So, it will
turn to you for security, again making you wonder, Why is my old cat laying on me more than
Unfortunately, the age-induced sensory decline is often hard to reverse, or even impossible.
Regardless, you should probably still take your pet to a veterinarian, just to check if anything
could be done. If you are lucky, the sensory decline may be caused by a disease or infection
instead of old age. In such cases, you may be able to restore some (or all) of your cat’s senses.
If that proves impossible, however, there’s no need to despair.
Cats can get by on scent, hearing, or eyesight. As long as you take some special effort to make your home more
hospitable to a disabled cat, it will still be able to lead a long life.
Not unlike humans, cats can also develop a kind of dementia. A senile (so to speak) cat will be
confused, disoriented, and often scared. The world it lives in will no longer make any sense—a
terrifying prospect in all ways. Thus, the feline will turn to what it knows: the warm embrace of its
Dealing with cognitive dysfunction is never easy, regardless of whom it affects. Like so many
other potential factors I’ve listed, cat dementia is incurable. All that you can do is try to keep it at
bay and prevent it from progressing further. Your vet will be able to help by providing advice and
suggesting a diet rich in antioxidants and vitamin E, as they improve brain health.
While low blood pressure may be somewhat common in us humans, with cats it is almost
always a sign of something more serious. There are many health problems that could lead to
● Heart problems
● Kidney dysfunction
Because there is no way for you to diagnose your cat for anything mentioned above, I again
advise that you take it to the vet at least semi-regularly.
Conclusion: Old Age Is Inevitable, But Not NecessarilyUnpleasant.
Some would call the sight of an old cat lazing away its days sad. I couldn’t disagree more; to
me, an elderly feline is not only a loyal companion but a reminder of a life well-lived. Oh, sure,
he may not hop around as much anymore, but he loves me and I love him. My old cat laying on
me more than usual is a show of genuine affection, and I couldn’t be happier for it.