Cats are famously titled as independent and aloof creatures who don’t need anyone, and they can take care of themselves. But many cat owners and cat lovers know that although cats are generally independent, they are very affectionate creatures who want our love and affection.
However, not all affectionate cats are always clingy. But your cat can be clingy for many reasons, she might even have a serious underlying illness. And you might have no idea; you are left wondering — why is my cat clingy?
Likewise, being able to recognize a clingy cat from an affectionate one is the first step of understanding how to interact with her in the best way possible.
Let’s look at the possible reasons your cat is acting clingy.
Why Is My Cat So Clingy and Needy?
All cats are not the same, and it is true. Cats can be clingy for many reasons, and if you are a new cat parent, it can be hard to tell if your cat is clingy or cats are just like this?
We’ll discuss the reasons later, let’s first look at the signs that your cat is acting clingy.
Signs That Your Cat Is Too Clingy
- Your cat is constantly rubbing against you
- She demands to be petted all day
- Scratches and kneads you continuously
- She keeps following you throughout the house
- Meows and yowls when you leave the room or house
- Claws wall or scratches other things to catch/demanding attention
- She won’t let you leave the house
- Not eating or drinking unless you are present with her
- She will sit on whatever you are sitting on
If your cat is showing these signs of clinginess, chances are that she has an obsession with being with you, as it makes her feel secure and safe. However, the reasons behind a cat’s clingy behavior could be many.
And a clingy cat should not be confused with a demanding cat, since a clingy cat is usually an emotionally needy cat and most probably lack the confidence of being alone without your company. On the other hand, a demanding cat will do anything to get what she wants, and she will get it in the end.
However, a clingy cat might be exhibiting such behaviors due to other reasons.
Now, let’s discuss the common reasons for the clingy behavior in cats.
Common Reasons Why Cats Are Clingy
It is said that dogs are clingier than felines. However, in recent times, it has been reported that clingy cats can be something cat parents should be concerned about.
And if you have got a cat that sticks to you like glue, then you have a clingy cat on your hands. While you may think it is a good thing, but it entirely depends on the factor that is causing the clinginess in your cat. Likewise, some cats can be clingy to a surprising degree.
Here, we take a look at the common reasons why cats can be clingy.
1. Separation Anxiety
Cats are not entirely independent. When a cat is strongly bonded with her owners, she might find it difficult to live during their absence. And this can be something called separation anxiety, an emotional response triggered by cats by separation from their owners during certain periods.
However, the important cause of separation anxiety in cats is unknown, but there are a few factors that are considered, such as genetics and environmental. Some cats have developed this condition from an early age, when they were kittens, orphaned, bottle-fed, or weaned too early. Moreover, separation anxiety in cats has behavioral signs that are protective and reactive as well.
For severe cases of clinginess and separation anxiety in cats, there are medications that you can provide your cat with to help her condition.
Anxiety or stress is one of the common reasons why your cat is clinging to you always. However, there can be several reasons why your cat is anxious. It could be anything, your cat may be stressed because of the thunder strike in the rain, or she might be scared because a dog is howling outside, or another pet in the house has frightened your kitty cat.
If anything like happens, your cat might start looking for your due to safety. However, to know why your cat is acting clingy, you need to first understand why your cat is anxious. You can make note of when your cat exhibits clingy behavior to find out the underlying cause of anxiety or stress in your cat.
3. Changes in Home Environment
Cats feel safe when their days go by with familiar surroundings and familiar faces in the house. But when something new is introduced in the house or when a new member or pet joins the family, this can bring a significant change in your cat’s behavior.
In that case, your cat may become more clingy than usual, as they might feel stressed or less appreciated because of the new family member. Likewise, some cats may even get anxious at first and may require some time to settle down with the home environment, as they are sensitive to change.
Similarly, if you recently had another furry addition to the family, then make sure that your clingy cat has access to her own litter box and food plate, and that there are still plenty of places for each to hide.
4. Pregnant Cat Owner
Well, cats might not know what pregnancy is, but they can tell if you are pregnant and there is something different about you. It is said that cats can smell the pregnancy hormones in your body with their sensitive sense of smell and also the ability to detect sudden changes in the body temperature of a human.
If your cat is generally alone and independent, she might become more affectionate and suddenly start rubbing against your legs more than usual after they sense that you are pregnant. So, if you are expecting a baby, don’t be surprised to see your cat wanting to always snuggle up to your baby bump.
5. Early Trauma in Life
If a young cat goes through a traumatic experience in her early life, it can have a huge impact on her behavior after she gets older. If a kitten was taken away from her mothers at a very early age or removed from her littermates too early, it can cause behavioral changes when the kitten ages, making it more difficult to adjust.
Moreover, a cat who’s had a terrible, abusive owner may display similar behavior. If you recently adopt such a cat, it is best to seek professional help for your pet.
6. She Is Just Bored
Cats get bored easily and quickly. They need mental stimulation and physical activity to keep themselves entertained and healthy. If they don’t get the necessary mental stimulation, they will do anything to keep themselves busy.
Moreover, a bored cat may also resort to destructive behaviors or clinginess as a sign to indicate that she is bored. This type of behavior may include your cat constantly trying to touch you or trying to get you to play with her. Try to get cat toys that might ease your cat’s boredom. There are many interactive toys that can help keep your cat entertained when you are away.
7. You Have Many Pets in the House
Cats can get very jealous, especially of other pet cats in the house. When you don’t pay attention to her and give her the affection that she deserves, they will surely let you know by being clingy and rubbing against your legs.
Similarly, in a multi-cat environment where a cat does not feel safe and secure around other felines, she may try to find her owner, as this might be the only thing that can make her feel comfortable. If you have more than one cat in your house, you should provide ample hiding spaces and separate cat litter boxes and food dishes for each cat.
8. She Might Have a Health Problem
If the above reasons do not seem to be the cause for the clingy behavior in your cat, then it is likely that she might be having an underlying health condition. While it is great to have an affectionate cat who wants to be with you all the time, some cat owners report it to be disruptive that their cats are overly clingy and demanding all the time.
There are good chances that your cat might be having health problems if your cat is being more clingy than usual.
Despite your kind intentions, it could be likely that you are the one contributing to the clingy behavior in your cat by constantly rewarding her. And then you might be wondering — why is my cat clingy? If that is the case, then you should restrain from rewarding such cat behavior.
On the other, if the clingy behavior seems to be caused by other signs that are listed in this post, try to instill a sense of balance in your cat’s life. Make note of the behavioral changes, and try to understand if she has developed any underlying medical conditions.
At last, if the behavior seems to persist, consult your veterinarian for the best advice.