Why Is My Cat So Clingy?
As cat owners know, most felines enjoy having some independence. They can be aloof and are often quite content to do their own thing around the house without needing the constant attention of their human companions. That independence is one of the wonderful things about cats. They can use their litterbox, clean themselves and entertain themselves without needing your constant help. This means that when you have a clingy cat, it can sometimes become a little worrisome.
Of course, we all know that sometimes a cat’s personality just makes them a little clingier than others. If that has always been your cat’s standard behavior, you probably don’t have to worry.
On the other hand, cats that usually do their own thing and who are suddenly acting clingy can be alarming. It might just be a temporary, one-time occurrence. However, whenever there are any drastic behavior changes with your cat, you don’t want to dismiss them. It’s often a good idea to take a trip to the vet when your cat is acting strange, and you can’t determine why.
Signs of a Clingy Cat
You know your cat better than anyone, so you are the best person to determine whether there are any unusual changes. Naturally, the first and biggest sign of a clingy cat is that they will follow you everywhere you go, hardly ever leaving your side. However, other behaviors can indicate clinginess, as well.
For example, the cat might sit on objects like your computer keyboard, books, etc. when you are trying to use them. Sure, some cats do this just to get attention occasionally and they will promptly leave when you give them attention. This, on the other hand, is behavior that continues. They don’t want to let you go and will always try to put themselves near or in front of you.
Does your cat always try to rub against you? Does the cat have separation anxiety and start to meow loudly when they aren’t allowed to follow you somewhere? Do they scratch and destroy things? Some might even notice that their cat will not eat or drink unless you are present.
What Causes the Clinginess?
Here’s where things can get tricky. There isn’t just one issue that will cause a cat to become clingy. It can be different for different cats.
This is the most worrisome of the issues that cause cats to become clingy. Some cats, but not all, may want to cling to you when they are having health problems and are not feeling well. When you notice this behavior, it’s important that you start to look for some other potential problems.
Many times, there will be other symptoms of illness that manifest. This might include weight loss, seizures, lethargy, or a lack of appetite, for example. If you notice any of these issues or other types of health problems, you may notice that your cat doesn’t want to leave your site.
When a cat becomes older, just like with people, some of its functionalities might start to suffer. They could experience cognitive dysfunction, for example. When a cat begins to lose coordination, sight, hearing, etc., it may become more dependent on you.
Something to keep in mind is that not all cat clinginess means that they are having negative health issues. Sometimes, female cats will act this way when they first become pregnant.
Whether you think the new behavior is from a serious health problem or not, it’s always a good idea to get in touch with a veterinarian. The vet can help get to the bottom of the issue.
Sometimes, cats might have separation anxiety, which causes them to follow you around whenever you are at home. You will find that cats tend not to have this problem quite as much as pets like dogs, it can and does still happen with some of them.
It can take time for them to get accustomed to changes in your schedule if they’ve always been the type of cat that is in the same room as you. This can create greater anxiety when you leave. For example, if have a new job and schedule, the cat might seem clingy when you get home. Most of the time, they can grow out of this.
You will find that a good way to prevent this type of problem from developing in the first place is to give the cats a lot of attention when they are young. This makes them feel more secure. Cats that don’t get that kind of attention when young may feel less secure later, which can lead to clingy behavior.
Stress from New People/Pets in the Family and More
When a new person or pet is introduced to the family, it means changes in the cat’s routine and life. Things are different now, and this is likely to make the cat feel odd about the new elements in their lives.
Cats aren’t fans of changes to their routines, whether it is because of someone new in the house, moving to a new home, etc. It can take some time for them to adjust. During this time, they may very well have some issues with clinginess. Pay attention to when the cat is being clingy and see if you can narrow down the potential factors that are causing the problem
They Could Be Bored
Cats can get bored just like you can. Cats need mental and physical stimulation. If they don’t get it from you, they will find a way to get it…often involving you. This might mean touching you, knocking things over, or playing on your keyboard when you are trying to write.
Find ways that you can exercise the cat and engage with them each day to keep them occupied and happy. This will help to reduce boredom levels.
How to Help Your Cat with Clinginess
The way you will help your cat is to first figure out what is causing the clinginess. If you feel it’s because of a health issue, take them to the vet. If it’s from boredom, find ways to enrich your cat’s life and to play with them more often. By giving them more attention and playing with them, it can reduce their clingy behavior.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t react to every demand they have the moment they want something. Otherwise, you end up becoming their pet. If they are trying to get through the doors just to reach you, ignore them. Just don’t ignore clinginess if it’s a sign of other problems.
Cats can sometimes be clingy. If you feel that they are health-related, make sure you take your feline friend to the vet sooner rather than later. Otherwise, you can use some of the above tips to help teach the cats that they don’t have to be around you all of the time.