Ever wondered why your cat follows you everywhere, even to the bathroom? Discover the reasons why your cat is clingy and how you can stop them following you around
Cats often have a reputation of being aloof and independent, happy to do their own thing without much thought for us humans. While this may be true of some cats, others can be more clingy with their owners, following us around the house and winding around our legs as we go about our day.
It’s more common for older cats to follow their owners around than younger cats, who are often too busy exploring or playing to be interested in what we’re doing. If you notice your cat become a lot more clingy than usual, speak to your vet to make sure there isn’t a medical cause for their change in behaviour.
Why does my cat follow me everywhere?
- They want your attention
If your cat is following you around, particularly if you’ve just got home from being away for a while, they may just want a bit of fuss and attention from you. Try giving them a stroke, a head rub or a chin tickle, or spend some time playing with them with their favourite toys.
- They want food
Another reason your cat may be following you is because they are hungry and want you to feed them. This is particularly likely just before their normal mealtimes, or at dawn or dusk when cats are typically most active. You may have also accidentally reinforced their tendency to follow you. For example, if every time you go into the kitchen, you give your cat some food, your cat is likely to associate you going to the kitchen with being fed and follow you every time.
- They want company
Cats are often quite independent creatures but if they have a strong bond with you, they may simply follow you around because they want to be near to you and see what you’re up to. Or perhaps they’re waiting for you to sit down so they can jump on your lap for a snooze.
- They’re bored
If your cat isn’t getting enough stimulation in their day, for example not getting the opportunity to hunt or play, then following you around may be a sign that they’re bored. Find out how to help a bored cat.
Why does my cat follow me to the bathroom?
It’s a common scenario for many cat owners. You go to the bathroom to do your business in private, only to notice that your feline friend has snuck in with you and is awkwardly staring at you while you go to the toilet. It might seem an odd behaviour but rather than being a fascination with your bodily functions, it’s more likely that your cat is just curious about what’s inside the ‘mystery’ room that they are often locked out of, so they have taken the opportunity to have a look around. They might be interested in water and want to drink from the tap, they might fancy having a snooze in the sink, they might just want to climb up on shelves and bathtubs to explore, there’s plenty to provide interest in the bathroom! They could also be wanting a bit of attention from you, but maybe wait until you’ve washed your hands before you give them a fuss!
How can I stop my cat following me around?
Providing other things for your cat to focus on may mean they don’t follow you around as much. Here are few things you can try...
- Give them a puzzle feeder. Make mealtimes more exciting by encouraging your cat to hunt for their food with a puzzle feeder. There are lots of different types you can buy, or find out how to make your own puzzle feeder
- Let them outside. If your cat is ok to go outdoors, let them out for an explore – there will be plenty to keep them occupied as they roam around their territory. Find more advice on keeping your cat safe outside
- Feed them little and often. If your cat is following you because they want food, make sure you are feeding them the correct amount for their weight (check the cat food packaging for details) and try spreading their meals throughout the day to keep the hunger at bay. Find more advice on feeding your cat
- Have regular play sessions. For cats who like attention, try distracting them with short bursts of play to use up some of that clingy energy. You could also give them some toys they can play with on their own, such as ping pong balls. Find more advice on how to play with your cat
- Have regular fuss/grooming sessions. Give in to your cat’s need for attention but try spreading it out throughout the day and creating a bit of a routine for consistency. You could also combine the head rubs with a grooming session to help keep their fur in good condition. Find more advice on grooming your cat