Conventional wisdom holds that a happy, contented cat is largely indifferent to humans. Most cats greet their owner when they see him, and then go back to their occupation. A cat following you from room to room should be an exception, not the rule.
If your cat follows you, it wants something from you. Make sure you haven’t missed a scheduled meal or playtime. The cat may want more attention, especially if it is bored. Some cats follow you because they are afraid of something they have seen or heard. The cat may also be curious about what you are doing, or it may be looking for a new territory.
Your cat suddenly following you everywhere is a behavior that can be stopped if you understand the cause.
Don’t ignore your cat or shoo him away. Instead, find out why your cat is following you and make some adjustments.
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Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere?
In most cases, a cat will follow you around the house because it wants something from you. This can be something as simple as food.
Look at when your cat follows you around. You may have simply missed their usual feeding time.
But if your cat has already eaten, there may be a number of other explanations for this behavior.
Check your cat’s daily routine to make sure he is happy and content.
A cat that follows its owner around may be bored. This is most likely with indoor cats.
Keeping a cat indoors all day is safer than letting it run outside unsupervised. However, it can also be boring for them.
The cat may follow you around because she hopes you will provide entertainment.
Boredom is not only a frustrating experience for a cat, but it can also be dangerous.
Bored cats often become depressed and withdrawn. This leads to stress and anxiety, which puts a strain on the cat’s heart.
Aside from following you around, the following are warning signs that your cat is bored:
- Excessive grooming
- Destructive behavior
- Excessive eating
- Aggression toward people or other animals
Boredom should be treated by prevention, not cure. Make sure your cat is stimulated before he has the opportunity to become restless.
This is especially important if you cannot be with your cat all day.
If your cat spends all day indoors, he can’t hunt. Of all a cat’s instincts, the desire to sneak up and make prey is the strongest.
Satisfy your cat’s wild instincts by giving him time to play.
Daily play sessions of at least five minutes are recommended; longer is even better. Many experts say that two twenty-minute play sessions per day are ideal.
However, consider shortening the play time and increasing the frequency of play in return for older cats. Older cats tire easily.
The obvious benefit of play is that it keeps your cat busy and tired, and also strengthens her bond with you.
It also satisfies the cat’s hunting instinct. Cats stalk their favorite toys just as they would chase wild mice or birds.
Consequently, play provides similar mental satisfaction.
This is because hunting floods the cat’s brain with dopamine. The anticipation of the hunt is only surpassed by the joy of the captured prey.
Playing leaves a cat with a deep sense of satisfaction. Your cat will relax and snooze without being bored.
Cats need to be mentally stimulated, especially as they get older. Older cats can’t physically move as much as they might like.
Therefore, make sure your cat gets plenty of mental stimulation. Mental stimulation means stimulating your cat’s senses.
Sight is the easiest sense to grasp. For example, leave curtains and drapes open.
Your cat will spend countless happy hours watching birds through the window. Limit this, however, if the cat is too excited.
Taste and touch can be stimulated by puzzles and games. Any reputable pet store will offer a number of such games.
Often these require the cat to learn a series of actions in order to receive a treat. You can also develop treasure hunts with treats for your cat.
Sounds can also be helpful in keeping a cat entertained. Do not leave a cat in silence all day.
At best, the cat will become restless. At worst, it becomes frightened by loud noises from outside.
Animal behavior research confirms that cats like music designed specifically for cats.
Also, never forget the power of smell. Cats have well-functioning noses, so pleasant smells catch their attention.
Essential oils can provide this stimulation, provided you use the right scents. Scents that cats love include:
- Sweet fruit
Occupying your cat’s mind will keep your pet happy when you can’t actively provide entertainment.
If you have time, however, you still need to play with your cat. Sufficient entertainment at other times, however, will keep your cat calm and minimize the desire to follow you.
An enriching environment means satisfying all of your cat’s natural instincts.
It is well known that suppressing these instincts can lead to behavior problems.
However, you should make sure that your cat is exercising these behaviors in a reasonable manner. If your cat likes to scratch windows, you should offer him a scratching post.
The following list explains the main behaviors of a cat and how you can support them:
- Climbing: cat trees, unrestricted access to stairs, jumping on cabinets and other furniture.
- Scratching: Scratching trees, old carpeting, wood.
- Hiding: cardboard boxes, open drawers, closets and dressers, own room.
- Tunnels: plastic tunnels from the pet store, homemade tunnels made of cardboard.
- Chews: Sturdy plastic toys, safe, non-electrified wires, and plastic plant leaves.
It is comparatively easy to prevent a cat from getting bored. You just have to put in a little effort and understand the needs of cats.
If a cat is sufficiently entertained, it is unlikely to follow you from room to room.
Cats often follow humans when they are looking for attention. However, this does not necessarily mean that the cat is bored.
There can be a number of reasons why a cat seeks human interaction. Usually, the following behaviors accompany it:
- Loud and verbalizing
- Circling around the feet
- Nuzzling at the ankles
- Scratching and giving paws
Eating or playing are the most common reasons a cat seeks attention from its owner.
If you forget an activity of a set routine, you should correct it immediately. Cats seek safety and security in a consistent, reliable structure.
Even if your cat’s basic needs are met, you should not ignore its request for attention. There will be a reason for this request.
Take care of your cat. You may discover something important in the process.
Not all cats like physical interaction with their owners. However, many do.
Animal research has found that petting can improve the well-being and health of cats.
In addition, petting often strengthens the bond between the cat and the owner.
If you’re not sure how your cat feels about petting, let her make the decision. Sit down and observe if your cat follows you.
When the cat jumps onto your lap, start with gentle petting. Pet the cat’s head and gradually move down the cat’s back.
Observe your cat during these petting sessions. You can tell by body language if the cat is actively enjoying this activity.
A happy cat will purr softly and half-close its eyes. If the cat starts purring loudly and fidgeting, let it go. This indicates that the cat is overstimulated.
If the cat continues to follow you in response, it was not looking for petting. Instead, the cat was asking for help or alerting you to something.
Asking for Help
Sometimes cats follow humans because they are asking for help. Cats are proud, but they also like to ask for help when it’s needed.
Your cat may need help with a practical matter. For example, a favorite toy might be out of reach under the sofa.
Your cat will return to the location of the problem and verbalize it. Help the cat, and it will stop following you.
Also, make sure your cat is not being bullied by another animal. If you live in a multi-cat household, one cat may dominate the others.
Cats see people as bigger, non-hostile cats. It could be that your cat is requesting your presence as a backup in case he is being bullied.
Your cat may be alerting you to something it finds unpleasant. Watch to see if the cat follows you and then begins to herd you in a certain direction.
Often a cat will lead you toward a wall, door, or window. This indicates that the cat can hear something that you can’t.
However, this doesn’t have to be anything suspicious. It could simply be your neighbors. Be careful, though. Your cat could also be hearing rodents or insects inside your walls.
Your cat could also be leading you to its litter box. You may have forgotten to clean the litter box.
Cats are not comfortable with a dirty litter box. Clean the litter box and your cat will do what it needs to do. The following will then stop.
Some older cats have difficulty reaching the litter box in time. In this case, the cat may come to you to notify you that it has had a mishap.
Then simply clean up the droppings and reassure the cat that it is not in trouble.
Cats are very curious creatures. Your cat may follow you around because it wants to know what you are doing.
The behavior of humans is as incomprehensible to cats as the behavior of cats is to their owners.
It could also be that your cat is making sure that you are not enjoying yourself without her. For this reason, cats do not like closed doors.
If you close the door to the bathroom, your cat will want to know why. Why do you want privacy? Are you hiding an exciting toy in there?
Once curiosity is satisfied, your cat will stop following you. To speed up this process, you should allow your cat to follow you without restriction.
Your cat will quickly become bored when he realizes that you are not withholding anything interesting from him.
Your cat may feel insecure. This causes it to follow you for safety.
This often happens when the cat hears loud, sudden noises. Expect your cat to follow you around the house on New Year’s Eve, for example.
It is unlikely that your cat will seek help for injury or pain.
Unlike dogs, cats do not seek sympathy from their human owners. A cat in pain is more likely to hide and avoid contact with you.
However, some illnesses can upset a cat. If your cat is behaving in an uncharacteristically affectionate manner, it may be worthwhile to arrange for a veterinary examination.
This behavior is especially seen in older cats. Excessive neediness can be a warning sign of cognitive decline.
It is also possible that the cat was separated from its mother too young. If the cat never learned to be confident and independent, it will think of you as its mother.
The cat will follow you for safety reasons. Most older cats break this habit, but it remains a possibility.
Cats are confident and independent, often to the point of being considered aloof. However, this is not necessarily the case.
Cats can develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long.
Elimination outside the litter box is a common sign of separation anxiety. This can often occur on a human bed as well.
However, the cat may also behave destructively and preen excessively.
A cat with separation anxiety follows you around because of an insecure and unconsolidated bond.
The cat is afraid that if it lets you out of its sight, you will not come back. So it is important that you build your cat’s trust.
Routines can help with this. Your cat will calm down if he knows when to expect you home.
If this doesn’t calm your cat, provide companionship. Hire a pet sitter or ask a neighbor to visit your cat. However, these visits should occur at the same time each day.
A cat that does not have its own territory will follow you everywhere. The explanation for this is quite simple.
The cat has no private area to retreat to. It will follow you, hoping to find a previously undiscovered territory.
Put an end to this by providing your cat with a territory to call her own.
Ideally, this should be an entire room that is rarely used. A guest room or laundry room is ideal for this. If your space is limited, assign your cat its own corner to retreat to.
The most important thing is that the cat is never disturbed in this area. This promotes a sense of calm and security.
The cat will retreat to its territory by itself when it needs a time-out. This makes the cat happier and is less frustrating for you.
Don’t ignore the fact that your cat may simply want to show affection.
Cats can form strong emotional bonds with their owners. If you have an affectionate cat, it may want to be with you all the time.
This is a compliment, but still be mindful. It’s not normal for a cat to want company all the time.
Cats need occasional downtime and privacy. If your cat is overly affectionate all the time, something is wrong.
If you are sure your cat is not unwell, consider other explanations.
If your cat is female, she could be pregnant or in heat. Excessive friendliness is a common sign of these conditions.
If your cat is yowling and trying to get outside, she is probably in heat.
Give your cat some affection in return. Use something your cat likes a lot to do this. This could be treats, petting, or a game.
A cat that feels its affection is acknowledged and reciprocated will be content.
Summary: Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere?
If your cat follows you everywhere around the house, don’t worry. This is rarely a reason to fear for your cat’s health.
However, there will usually be a reasonable explanation. You can use the tips in this article to find out why your cat is behaving this way.
Make sure your cat is properly entertained and experiences emotional security. This will give her the confidence she needs to stop following you around.