Most cats are usually independent creatures, happy to do their own thing without much interaction from their owners. Some cats, however, are more dog-like in their temperament and tend to follow their owners around almost constantly. This is an endearing quality, but the behavior can become overwhelming at times and may even cause concern for owners.
If you have a strong bond with your cat and they are following you around constantly, there is usually no reason to worry. Read on to find out the possible reasons for this clingy behavior.
Cats are extremely curious animals and can be downright nosy at times! They want to be wherever the action is and may simply be following you around purely due to their curiosity. Some cats love to know what you are doing at all times, from jumping up onto your keyboard while you’re working, wanting attention while you’re cooking, and even following you to the bathroom. It’s simply their innate curiosity for the world around them and their primary caregiver — you!
Some cats are independent and happy to be on their own most of the time, while others need far more attention than just feeding and occasional petting. In fact, many cats are just as affectionate as dogs but show it differently. Following you around may be a call for attention and petting, and they are patiently (or not!) waiting for you to sit down so they can settle in on your lap.
Since cats are curious and have a keen sense of smell, anytime that you are preparing food is a sure invitation for them to check out what’s happening. The smells and sounds in the kitchen are too enticing for them, especially if dinnertime is near, and your cat may simply be hungry or angling for a taste of whatever it is you’re eating. They also may simply be hungry and are telling you, not so subtly, that it’s time to eat!
Some cats may see their owners as their adoptive mothers and feel safe and secure in their owner’s presence. Even adult cats can continue having this maternal relationship and are simply trying to stay close to their adoptive parents for safety. Since you are responsible for providing them with food, attention, and care, they may follow you into every room just to feel safe and protected. This behavior often goes away after your cat hits adulthood, but cats that are separated from their mothers too early may develop an overdependent relationship with their owners.
5. Fear and anxiety
Some cats may follow their owners out of fear or anxiety. There may be a person, dog, or another cat around that they are afraid of and are staying close to stay safe. If you are away from home frequently, your cat may be following you in fear that you will leave again. Contrary to popular belief, many cats can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone at home, especially indoor cats, and this may be the reason that they become so attached to you.
Routine is important to cats, and like most wild animals, cats develop their own routine for survival. Cats have their own time for napping, sleeping, playing, hunting, and eating, and the same may be true for spending time with their owners. Since most of your cat’s needs are taken care of and they don’t need to stick to the same routines that they would in the wild, they often develop new routines of behavior. Routine gives your cat comfort, and following you around the home may have become a routine and thus, comforting action for them.
This could also be their way of guarding their territory. While following you around, they can scan the perimeter and mark their territory by rubbing themselves over everything, including their most prized possession — you!
Since domestic cats do not spend much time hunting, play is a vital part of their growth and development. Without this release of energy during hunting and the stalking and climbing involved with it, your cat will need an adequate replacement. They may follow you around the home as a part of their playtime and exercise, stalking your legs, hiding around corners, and running and jumping on things. It may also be that they simply need interactive playtime with you and are trying to coerce you into it. Toys are ideal for giving your cat playtime, as well as perches, ropes, and cat trees, especially for indoor cats that don’t have access to living trees to climb on.
The biggest reason for your cat following you around the home is simply love. Your cat loves you and wants to be close to you and involved with whatever it is that you’re doing. Cats need affection, and this may simply be their way of trying to get it. Most of the time, there is nothing to be concerned about, but if your cat is following you around in a skittish, fearful way, there may be something in the home causing them stress that you’ll need to address.
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