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Why Is My Cat Suddenly Clingy? 8 Possible Reasons

Kit Copson

By Kit Copson

girl carrying a cat

One of the most wonderful things about cats is their unique and diverse personalities. Some cats are just pure lovebugs that never leave your side (or your lap), whereas others have a more independent streak. If your cat’s being clingy or suddenly becomes overly affectionate or needy, it can be surprising and even worrisome.

There are various reasons why your typically aloof cat might suddenly become joined at the hip with you ranging from cold weather to illness. In this post, we’ll explore eight potential causes of why your cat is suddenly clingy.

The 8 Reasons Why Your Cat Is Suddenly Clingy

1. It’s Cold Out

One of the simplest explanations for an independent cat suddenly spending evenings snuggled in your lap is that it’s starting to get cold outside. We can attest to this because here at Hepper, we have a cat that only ever sits on our lap when the weather gets colder. For the rest of the year, the said cat is way too cool to snuggle up with us but when fall hits, this changes very suddenly.

Cats are wired to seek out warmth, so if the temperature outside has dropped recently, don’t be surprised if your independent cat starts to sit on or sleep with you all of a sudden.

Snowshoe cat cuddly warm in bed affectionate
Image Credit: Yuliya Alekseeva, Shutterstock

2. Your Female Cat Is in Heat

If you’re new to cat parenting, it can be quite a shock when your female cat first goes into heat. During this time, it’s normal for them to become excessively vocal, clingy, and desperate for your attention even if they’re not usually like this. They may become more cuddly than usual, rub up against you, roll around, or constantly treat you to a “delightful” view of their rear end.


3. Your Cat Is Sick

Illness and underlying health issues can make a cat more clingy than usual. One condition that can make a cat excessively clingy is cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), which means the cerebellar has not developed as it should. In addition to becoming clingy, your cat may have problems keeping their balance and may be disoriented.

If your cat is feeling unwell for any reason, they may go to you for comfort or to try and signal to you that something is wrong. If your cat seems more tired than usual or is displaying other symptoms of illness as well as clinginess, we recommend getting them checked out by a vet.

cat kneading and purring while lying on owner's lap
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

4. Your Cat Is Afraid

In some cases, fear can make a usually independent cat rush to their owner for safety and comfort. If it’s the 4th of July, for example, you may notice your cat become more clingy than usual or spot them hanging out closer to you because the sounds of fireworks are making them nervous.


5. There’s Been a Change in Routine

Cats are sticklers for routine, and any change in theirs can cause stress. You may have moved house, welcomed a new baby, adopted a new pet, or even just rearranged your home or invited a new person for dinner—all of these can contribute to a cat requiring more reassurance and support than usual.

New pets in particular may cause your cat to become more demanding of your attention as they may feel threatened by the possibility of their new “friend” taking your attention away from them.

bengal cat sits on woman's lap
Image Credit: golubovystock, Shutterstock

6. Your Cat Has Suffered Trauma

If your cat has recently had an accident or experienced another traumatic event, they may suffer from emotional trauma—feline PTSD, if you will. Traumatized cats may act in a variety of different ways, but clinginess is one possible effect.

Your cat may demand more of your attention than usual by pawing at you or sticking more closely to you than they used to. They do this as a way of seeking comfort and reassurance. Please speak to your vet if you suspect that your cat has been emotionally traumatized.


7. You’re Pregnant

It appears that cats may be more tuned into changes in our bodies and emotions than we think. According to Healthline, cats will more than likely notice things like changes in your activity levels, moods, behavior, and even body temperature when you’re pregnant, but how they react depends on the individual cat.

Some pregnant pet parents have reported that their cats have become more protective, attentive, and clingy. Conversely, some cats have been stressed out by the change and have taken to destructive behaviors like peeing outside the litter box or destroying furniture.

pregnant woman on sofa holding a cat
Image By: Vlada Karpovich, Pexels

8. You’re Down in the Dumps

Since cats are quite intuitive when it comes to human emotions, they may be able to sense when you’re unwell or are feeling a bit blue. If this describes you right now and your cat has suddenly started sitting on you, spending more time with you, or even just looking at you more, it’s possible that they’re trying to comfort you.

Final Thoughts

So, there we have it—eight possible reasons why your cat is suddenly clingy. They could be behaving this way due to changes in their environment, changes in you, feeling fearful or anxious, or due to feeling unwell. If you’re concerned about your cat’s sudden clingy behavior, please consult your vet to make sure an underlying health issue isn’t causing it.


Featured Image Credit: StockSnap, Pixabay

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