Many cats take an active interest in their human parent’s activities. From time to time, your cat may follow you around to learn what you’re doing and understand your habits. Most of the time, this following behavior doesn’t indicate that anything is amiss.
Although your cat’s clinginess may be a little disruptive when they’re dancing around your feet while you’re bringing in the groceries, it’s nothing that closing your cat in the bedroom for a moment won’t fix.
Understanding your cat’s behavior and meeting your cat’s needs can help you manage following behavior when their love or desire for attention gets to be a bit too much.
Your Kitten Still Needs You
If you’ve recently adopted a kitten and your kitten is clingy, this is completely normal. Your kitten will grow out of this behavior as they age, and there’s no reason to dissuade them from keeping close to you. Use this time as an opportunity to bond with your kitten and establish a great relationship that will only strengthen over the coming years.
Kittens should be at least 12 weeks old prior to adoption. If you adopted a kitten that’s less than 12 weeks old, your kitten needs you even more. You should never adopt kittens from a breeder or a home shelter that doesn’t provide proof of the animal’s history and a correct birthdate for the animal.
If you see a breeder placing kittens up for adoption that are too young, it may be worth speaking to your local animal authority regarding these practices.
There may be instances where rescued kittens are fostered and adopted with special care instructions. This is different. If you’re adopting a motherless kitten, you need to be prepared to meet its special needs.
Your kitten will follow you and cling to you often, as they’re completely dependent on you. Before you make this type of commitment, you need to consider all of the work and care it entails. If you’re not up to the task, allow your kitten to be cared for by an expert with relevant experience.
Your Cat Is Your Friend
Your cat wants to be your buddy. They love you, and they’re looking for an opportunity to hang out with you. Your cat following you everywhere might just be their attempt to hang out with you and see what you have going on for the day. If your cat follows you to where you’re going, sits down with you, and stays there, they’re simply being a loyal companion.
Your Cat Is Trying to Tell You Something
If your cat is following you, stop moving. Your cat may be hoping for a role reversal. Wait a few seconds to see if your cat attempts to lead you somewhere. Then, follow your cat.
You might notice that the litter box got dirty a lot faster than it normally does. You might see the bottom of the food or water dish. Your cat can take you to the pantry where you keep the yummy wet food. You might be led to your cat’s favorite toy.
Your cat is simply trying to tell you something important, and they’re following you to command your attention.
You Smell Interesting to Your Cat
If you went somewhere new or pet an unfamiliar animal, your cat may be following you in an attempt to investigate. Your cat might want to sniff you to understand where you’ve been and what you’ve been up to. It’s your cat’s way of asking “how was your day?”
Smells are also the reason why your cat might follow you to the bathroom. Although it’s somewhat gross to think about, bathroom smells can relay a lot of data and information.
Your Cat is Trying To Get Into an Off-Limits Area
Your cat may be following you around in hopes that they can sneak into a room they aren’t ordinarily allowed to visit. Your indoor cat may be curious about the outside (but the safest place for your kitty is always inside the house!). Your cat might want to investigate where the noise of the washer and dryer are coming from. They may be attempting to unravel the mysteries of the garage or what’s behind the door of your baby’s room.
If you can allow your cat to explore areas of your home they aren’t ordinarily allowed to visit, this may satiate their curiosity. As long as the area is safe for the cat, there’s usually no harm in allowing them to explore. Over time, the room may become less interesting and your cat will stop caring.
Your Cat Is Unwell and Asking for Help
It’s only easy to tell when your cat is sick or injured if you notice symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, open wounds, or visible limping. If your cat’s illness or injury isn’t visible, they’ll have a hard time communicating to you when they need help. Your cat may follow you around out of desperation.
If your cat is following you around and behaving abnormally, you should book an appointment with the vet as soon as possible. You should treat the situation as urgent, especially if you have reason to suspect your cat may be injured or ill.
Your Cat Is Experiencing Environmental Distress
If your cat follows you everywhere soon after you bring a new pet into your home, when you have visitors over, or when it’s storming outside, your cat could be asking for your protection. Cats really love their routine, and they like to understand their surroundings. When their day is disrupted, they may feel a little stressed out.
Things like pet-safe CBD tinctures can help provide mood support to pets experiencing temporary environmental distress. CBD works to keep your cat calm until the storm is over, until the guests go home, or until they realize your new pet just wants to be their friend.
How Do I Get My Cat To Stop Following Me?
If you can’t find an amicable solution to get your cat to stop following you and you know that your cat is happy, healthy, and receiving enough attention, you need to be able to tell your cat that you don’t want to be followed.
Yelling at your cat or reassuring your cat are both contrary to your goal. Yelling at a cat won’t help them understand anything, and reassuring your cat will tell them to keep following you. The best thing you can do is to completely ignore your cat. If you act like you don’t see or hear your cat, your cat will eventually realize that there’s no point in following you.
Approach your cat while they’re relaxing or behaving in a desirable way. Stop to give them a little bit of love and affection. You’re telling your cat that you’d love to spend time with them on your own terms. They’ll know that you love them and enjoy the bond you share, and they’ll understand the boundaries you’ve set.
If your cat only needs to be pacified from time to time, VETCBD provides a great solution in the form of CBD tincture. Your cat will give you space during a storm or while you have visitors over. Things will get back to normal, and your cat will be perfectly happy to resume their own agenda.
Kitten Adoption Handbook | San Francisco SPCA
Cat Language and Signals Explained | The Spruce Pets
Preventing And Punishing Undesirable Behavior In Cats | VCA Animal Hospitals