Contrary to what is usually said, cats are extremely affectionate and sociable animals. Of course, most of them need some personal space, but they are all emotional and need our company to feel secure and joyful – even if they don’t show it. Most cats adore observing the world that surrounds them, spending time with humans, and being cuddled. This concerns both kittens and senior felines, as well as outdoor and indoor cats. If you see that your kitty is from time to time cuddly and follows you around the house everywhere you go, there is no need to worry. Their behavior is completely normal.
Reasons why your cat shadows you everywhere
All cat-lovers know well that cats are quite special animals whose behaviors can’t be compared to any other domestic animals. Most cats love cuddling as much as dogs do, but, at the same time, they have a stronger need for independence and personal space. This is why it may be surprising for novice cat owners to always have their companions around. People usually get confused when cats, who usually prefer being alone, decide to spend all their time following their owners around the house. Although such behavior may seem weird and may even irritate you, in most cases, you simply need to get used to it.
There are several reasons why cats always want to be close to us. This happens essentially when your cat:
- feels lonely,
- is hungry or needs help,
- is curious about what you are doing,
- wants to be in the center of attention,
- wants to play,
- feels insecure.
If you are asking yourself why your furry friend shadows you everywhere, there is, unfortunately, no clear answer to this question. Luckily, with careful observation of your cat, you can find some other signals in their behavior, which will help you understand what their intentions are. However, be careful! In some cases, the situation in which your cat is following you around can be a sign of separation anxiety and lead to serious behavioral problems. Keep reading to learn more about this.
Your cat wants to feel secure
Most kittens follow their cat mothers everywhere to learn basic skills needed to survive. Spending time around their birth giver allows them to find out what behaviors are expected and gives them a sense of security. Once a kitten is separated from their mother and brought to a new home, they usually look for someone to step in for their birth mother. As you feed your cat, clean their litter box, cradle them and play with them, they usually start treating you in the same way they treated their cat parents. As a result, a kitten may be following you around the home just as they did in the early kittenhood, straight after birth.
When a small cat is far from their mother and siblings, it is natural for them to look for someone else to follow. The kitten is looking for protection, and being around humans is one of the easiest ways to feel it. This is why little cats are usually around their owners most of the day. They can, for instance, follow you to the bathroom or observe you when you are watching TV or using your laptop. Cats also tend to be with you in the bedroom, as sleeping next to their owner makes them feel much more secure. As your cat grows, the need for protection gradually gets weaker. This explains why it is more common for smaller cats to follow their people around the house.
Kitties follow us around due to boredom
Another reason why cats can follow you around everywhere is because they are bored. Cats are very demanding pets and need constant stimulation and challenges. As outdoor cats can hunt and explore the surrounding territory with no limits, this is not possible in the case of house cats who never go out. When they don’t have enough intellectual stimulation, a cat gets bored and looks for ways to keep their head busy. Following their human is frequently one of the most creative activities that may come up with.
It is said that having a cat is a perfect choice for people who want to have a companion but don’t spend too much time at home, e.g., work long hours. Of course, unlike dogs, cats don’t need to be walked, but they certainly need your company! It perfectly explains why cats, who spend much time in solitude, follow you once you get home. They simply miss you and no longer want to be alone. If you observe that your cat shadows you everywhere in the house after you have been gone for several hours, consider spending more time with your little buddy.
Your clingy cat may need help
When cats suffer from pain or discomfort, they usually hide and avoid interactions with humans and other animals. There are, however, some cats who act oppositely. They can, for instance, seek contact with their owner when feeling unwell. When you see that your small buddy follows you everywhere meowing, it can mean that they want to tell you something important. If their behavior is new to you and they have never done this in the past, this may be a sign that something is not right. You shouldn’t, therefore, ignore it. Instead, try to look for reasons why your cat is behaving unusually.
Another very common reason why your furry friend may follow you is that they are hungry, thirsty or their litter box needs to be cleaned. Maybe you skipped feeding time or forgot to give your cat fresh water in the morning? Your primary responsibility as a cat owner is to take care of your buddy’s basic needs. If you fail to do so, your pet will certainly jog your memory.
Your cat encourages you to play
What you should always remember is that every cat is, by nature, a social animal. Even if your kitty loves spending time in solitude, they still need to play and have a little fun at least from time to time. While outdoor cats tend to hunt for fun (mostly not because they are hungry but bored), house cats are in a much worse situation. They usually spend time in a confined space and are not able to satisfy their hunting instincts.
Of course, many cats often play with special cat toys. However, in many cases, these are interesting only when initiated by the human. This means that even if your cat is willing to play with toys, they still need your company. If you care about your pet’s attitude, remember to play with your cat at least a few times a week. This will allow you to keep them properly stimulated and not get bored too often. This way you can spend some quality time with your four-legged friend, bond with them, and decrease their need to follow you in search of fun.
Your cat has a routine
Although this may be a bit surprising, cats love to stick to a daily routine. They tend to feel secure when each day looks similar. If you ask yourself: “Why does my cat follow me in the morning?”, the answer is rather simple. They do it because it’s their routine. Such behavior is perfectly normal and shouldn’t be bothersome. Yet, it can sometimes be irritating, especially if your cat follows you to the bathroom or climbs on the countertop to see what you are doing in the kitchen.
Keep in mind that any irregularity in your daily routine may be stressful for your little friend. However, if you feel uncomfortable when your cat is always with you, remember that you can alter their daily routine. Do you want them to stay outside the bathroom? Try not to let them in and once you are out, reward your small friend with a delicious treat. This way you will encourage your cat to wait outside the room.
Your cat feels affection
We have already mentioned that it is completely normal for younger felines to follow their mothers and people who replace them. The bond between a cat and their human usually becomes even stronger when animals grow up. Even the most independent cats tend to express their affection towards humans at least occasionally and in several ways. Having your cat always around when you are at home is one of them. If your cat starts their day by observing you and continues doing so for long hours, there is a huge possibility they do so out of love.
Cats following their owners and cats with separation anxiety
If your cat spends a lot of time watching you and following you around the house, this is not always healthy for their mental health. Pets who are strongly attached to their owners can suffer from an anxiety disorder. This serious issue is usually thought to be frequent in dogs. However, it can also concern our feline friends, especially those who tend to spend a lot of time with humans. What are the most common symptoms of separation anxiety? First and foremost, all abnormal activities that your cat makes when you are not at home. If your buddy tends to destroy things or doesn’t use their litter box properly when home alone, better visit your vet or animal behaviorist.
Why does my pet follow me around and meow?
In addition to following you, your cat may also meow. Meowing is a useful communication tool used by cats to get your attention. If you notice that your cat looks at you, follows you all the time, and makes these cute sounds, try to figure out what the reason behind their behavior is. Unfortunately, it is not always easy as meowing can express both positive and negative feelings. Interestingly, the frequency of voices your cat gives may depend on the cat’s breed. Some tend to do it more often, while others are rather more silent.
However, meowing can also be a sign of upcoming problems. This is one of the most common symptoms of an overly strong bond with a human. If your cat likes to be close to you and cries all the time, they do it to get attention. In consequence, a cat is much prone to separation stress than cats who are loners.
Should I take my cat to the vet if they follow me around everywhere?
The bond between you and your cat is certainly special. However, depending on your cat’s character your everyday interactions may look different. Many cats adore bonding with their humans and being hugged. If you are wondering if your relationship is healthy ask yourself the following: Does your cat want your constant attention? Do they seem to be exceedingly bossy, anxious, or upset when you don’t give them enough attention? If they do, this can be a serious problem and you should certainly see a specialist. Proper behavioral treatment can make things right and allow you to better understand what your cat needs.
No matter if you own a male or female cat, having your pet always around you can be a bit of a burden. Although there are many situations in which your cat shadows you, remember that they shouldn’t do it all the time! If you have a sneaking suspicion that your cat does it because of boredom, look for ways to stimulate them. With a bit of effort and goodwill, you can make your cat feel more engaged. A new cat tree or toys can be a great challenge that will keep their head busy for at least some time.
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