It’s normal for cats to approach their owners to communicate needs, explore a curiosity, or request attention. If you feel like someone must have hidden catnip in your shoes, it may be a little concerning. If your cat is suddenly clingy and commanding more attention than you’re able to give, there could be a few reasons for this drastic behavioral change.
Go through this basic routine checklist to make sure your cat has everything they need. If you can’t figure out the reason for the behavior, you might need to take a closer look at the situation to determine the cause.
Here are a few of the most common causes to consider.
You Aren’t Listening to Your Cat
Cats domesticated themselves. They decided that it was more advantageous for their survival to team up with humans. They integrated into our lives quickly, and meow almost exclusively to communicate with people. They may not speak the same language, but they’re usually good about making their desires clear.
If your cat is following you and meowing, your cat could be trying to communicate with you. Is your cat telling you that the food bowl or water dish is empty? Is the litter box messy? Is there a mouse in the garage again? Check for the obvious culprits to help meet your cat’s needs and get them off your tail, at least for a little while.
Your Cat Wants To Hang Out
Cats have different personalities. Many cats are notoriously aloof. They want their space and they prefer to interact on their own terms. This isn’t the case with all cats, though.
If your cat follows you around a lot, it could be because they’re hoping to hang out for a little while.
If you’re busy, your cat may be trying to tell you to sit down and watch TV. Cats are very visual, and many of them enjoy watching TV with their owners. It’s a captivating alternative to staring out the window and looking for birds.
Your cat may want a cuddle session.
Maybe it’s time to take out that feather on a stick and wiggle it around for a little while.
If you have a single pet household or your cat doesn’t have a meaningful friendship with any of your other animals, your pet is relying on you for social interaction. You need to carve out enough time to play with your cat.
If your one-pet household cat is very social and heavily reliant on you, it might help to take your cat to an adoption event to meet potential friends. If your cat has an interest in company and can find a suitable friend who enjoys companionship, it may be worth considering.
Your Cat is Trying To Get Somewhere
Is there a room in your house where your cat is denied access? Do you have a pantry, office, or screened-in porch where your cat isn’t allowed free passage?
Your cat may be following you in hopes that they’ll be able to sneak into an off-limits area or to sneak out of the house. It’s up to you how you decide to handle this. Allowing your cat to enter a mystery room (if it's safe to do so) may satisfy a curiosity.
If your cat has a favorite bed or a favorite toy that’s behind a closed door, your cat may tail you until you realize and open the door. If you keep doors closed in your house, installing cat doors between areas can allow your cat free passage without the need for your intervention.
Your Cat Has Separation Anxiety
Cats that excessively vocalize, follow people around, and engage in nervous behaviors may be experiencing separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is more common in cats who are alone most of the time or may unpredictably be left alone for long periods.
Separation anxiety requires intervention by a veterinarian. Your cat may need behavioral intervention to resolve the discomfort and emotional turmoil they feel. In the interim, tools like puzzle toys can help to keep your cat occupied while you’re at work. Many people find that leaving the TV on can help, especially if your cat associates the sound of the TV with you being home.
If You Can’t Figure It Out, Take Your Cat to the Vet
If your cat following you is a strange new behavior and appears in conjunction with other strange behaviors, you should call your vet for the soonest appointment possible. If you’re unable to determine what your cat needs and you know they aren’t just looking for companionship, your cat may be attempting to communicate a message that only a vet can receive.
There’s always a chance that your cat may just like you a lot and want to be your buddy, but you won’t know for sure until your vet rules out any major concerns that could be impacting your cat’s behavior.
What To Do When You Can’t Be Followed
If you enjoy your cat’s company and don’t mind having a furry shadow, you don’t need to prevent your cat from following you. You only need to encourage alternative behavior if your cat’s tendency to follow you becomes problematic.
If you don’t want to allow your cat to follow you, ignore the cat. Don’t pick it up, pet it, or speak to it affectionately when it follows you.
If you react in a way that your cat might perceive as praise, you’re sending the message that you enjoy being followed and it’s the best way to get your attention.
Instead, wait until your cat is sitting still or engaging in another appropriate behavior to approach with praise and pets. This is the most important part of the process. Your cat needs to know that you enjoy their company and want to interact with them, but not when they’re following you. Your cat will eventually associate appropriate behavior with pleasant attention and change their approach.
Keeping Your Cat Calm, Happy, and Healthy
Don’t forget to listen to your pets when they’re asking for a little love and attention. Make sure everyone gets fed at the same time every day and your cat has a realistic idea of what to expect in their daily life.
Many cats will follow their owners around and behave strangely due to environmental stress. If your cat is nervous about construction sounds, a storm, or loud relatives that are visiting for the weekend, helping your pet stay calm can mitigate some of the manifestations of that stress.
VETCBD Hemp’s CBD tincture is formulated specifically for pets. In addition to supporting GI health, brain health, and joint mobility, VETCBD hemp also works to promote calm, especially when there are external stressors making your pet feel anything but.
Just use the plastic syringe to provide a weight-appropriate dose of CBD to your cat, about 2-4 milligrams per ten pounds of body weight. If your cat isn’t keen on the idea of swallowing CBD, try using it to top wet food or on special treats your cat enjoys.
You can use CBD as a daily wellness supplement for your cat or as-needed for occasional environmental stress. We can’t promise they’ll stop following you around, but hopefully it’ll be the type of following you actually enjoy.