Why Does My Cat Follow Me: 14 Interesting Reasons Why
Whether you are a first-time cat owner or not, chances are there will be a lot of times when your cat piques your curiosity. So, it’s not surprising if you’ve ever wondered, “Why does my cat follow me everywhere?”
While we definitely don’t mind our cats following us around the house, we also cannot deny the fact that at times it can be worrisome. Is it simply just normal feline behavior, or is our cat trying to tell us something that we need to address as soon as possible?
14 Reasons Why Your Cat Follows You Everywhere
1. Your Cat Loves Your Company
Today, most cats are more socialized. They’ve already outgrown the image of being distant and aloof from humans. In the past, they might be seen as independent creatures that love to spend time alone. They were also used in hunting and getting rid of stray vermin in villages and farms, and they often lived in sheds, on the streets, and half indoors.
However, over the years, their domestication has made them more sociable and affectionate. So, while our feline friends are naturally independent animals with hunting instincts, they also enjoy being surrounded, cuddled, and pampered by their human family members.
Today, we, humans don’t get cats to exterminate rats in our houses. Instead, we get cats to be part of our family and be our lifelong companions. And guess what? The feeling is mutual. Our cats love to be around us. Hence, even if it means following you around your house, they would do it without hesitation.
2. Your Cat is Hungry
When your cat follows you about and meows quite a bit, it's probably because they're hungry, which is a very common scenario.
And if you want to be sure, try to observe your cat while you are walking towards the kitchen or during dinner time. If your cat follows you and meows enthusiastically to get your attention, then, you may want to check your watch if it’s meal time already.
3. Out of Curiosity
It’s part of a cat’s behavior to be curious, especially about something new to their sight, or of a particular area in the house that they are usually not allowed to enter by themselves.
And just like us humans, as well as other pets, some cats can be more curious than others. Our routine and our life, in general, are different from theirs. So, they may be following us and watching us do our thing to keep themselves entertained or to satisfy their curiosity.
4. Separation Anxiety
If you just came back from a long trip and you notice that suddenly your cat behaves differently, following you more often than before and sleeping with you, chances are your cat has developed separation anxiety.
When we unexpectedly leave for an extended length of time, our cats may experience quite a shock because they have grown accustomed to seeing us around.
Compared with dogs, separation anxiety in cats is less common, but it does happen and it can either be mild or severe. Mild separation anxiety may have less serious symptoms that may go unnoticed, while severe separation anxiety can make cats react negatively, which can be misinterpreted as bad behavior.
If you notice that your cat behaves differently as you get ready to leave, your cat may have separation anxiety. When you pick up your keys or pocketbook, and then your cat hides, meows more, follows you more, or attempts to stop you from leaving, your cat may be experiencing separation anxiety.
Whether pure or mixed breed, cats with separation anxiety may exhibit the following symptoms when they are left alone:
- Litter box avoidance or urinating/defecating outside of the litter box
- Destructive behavior, such as scratching curtains, carpets, furniture, etc.
- Loud and frequent meowing
- Excessive eating or loss of appetite
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Excessive aggression towards other cats inside the house
- Excessive grooming, which results in bald patches
- Greets you when you come home, and starts following you
5. Attention-Seeking Behavior
Sometimes, out of our busy schedules, we tend to spend lesser time with our feline companions, and they can feel it. Hence, being the intelligent creatures that they are, our cats would follow us almost everywhere we go to get our attention.
And so, we can spend more time with them, play with them, share a snack with them, and cuddle them. When they pull out this attention-seeking behavior, make sure that you give in to ensure that your cat stays happy and healthy.
6. In Response to a Sudden Major Change in Your Household
Cats love routines, and they are also not fond of frequent changes in their environment, especially if the changes happen all of a sudden. However, sometimes, even, we, humans can't stop these changes from happening. So, if your cat suddenly starts following you around, it can be due to a recent major change in your household, such as the arrival of a new baby or of a new kitty.
Moving to a new house, as well as the sudden passing of someone or of a pet in the family, would also trigger this behavior. Because cats are sensitive, these changes could make them feel uneasy. By following you around everywhere in the house, they can feel more protected, less afraid, and more secure.
7. Your Cat Is Bored
Cats kept indoors in particular are prone to boredom. Cats spent their time hunting and exploring the outdoors. An indoor cat has fewer options for hunting and, naturally, a smaller area to explore.
So, to keep your cat entertained, you should provide him with an environment where he can be physically and mentally stimulated.
Cats require alternative activities to replace the ones they would have performed in the wild. One of these activities might be to begin stalking you. If you have been gone from home for a long time, your cat may be especially prone to doing this.
If you believe that your cat is following you because he is bored, you might want to think about including more intellectually stimulating play and activities in his daily routine.
8. Mother-Kitten Connection
A kitten following you around everywhere might simply be enacting a learned behavior that stems from her days as a kitten with her cat mom. Although cats have a reputation for being fiercely independent animals, young kittens learn about life by imitating their moms. The mother-kitten relationship is another name for this bond.
Additionally, their mom is also the source of their food. Hence, they feel safe and secure when around their mother. And now that they’ve grown up and they are no longer with their cat mom, it’s possible that they still have that learned behavior within them to follow someone whom they trust, love, and rely so much upon. So now, instead of following his mom, your cat is following you, instead.
Despite the fact that you are a human, it doesn't change the fact that now, you are the one feeding, petting, and caring for your cat. We, cat owners, carry on these parenting responsibilities the moment we decide to bring home our feline companion.
Therefore, since you are acting like a parent, it is not unusual for your cat to want to follow you about as they did with their mother. The closest you are to him, the safer your cat probably feels. He is aware that when he is with you, you will look out for him and take care of his needs.
After adolescence (6 months to 3 years), some cats outgrow the behavior of constantly following their owners, while others don't.
9. Your Cats Wants to Play
Due to the fact that domesticated cats are unable to hunt and explore as they would in the wild, it is crucial that they can find alternative activities to satisfy these inclinations. And that's why play is an essential aspect of a cat's everyday life. Play doesn’t just keep them healthy and sane, but it also keeps them happy and satisfied.
In the wild, cats frequently go hunting for enjoyment. Cats usually like playing or using toys that involve chasing after, catching, or otherwise interacting with prey.
Your cat may be playing by following you. It can prefer to sneak up on you or to hide before attacking. This sort of “pretend play” is one of the favorite activities of some cats.
From your cat's perspective, this is a really logical moment to play since when you're moving around, you're acting more like prey. Keep in mind that your cat has you as one of, if not the only, playmates.
So, if you spend a lot of time outside of your house for work, you should ensure that your cat has toys and sources of entertainment that can keep him busy. For instance, you can put a cat tree in his room, as well as scratch pads, and interactive toys.
10. Part of Their Routine
Cats are routine-oriented animals. Chances are, once they begin to follow you everywhere, they won't stop. Wild cats follow patterns for things like hunting and establishing their territory. Domestic cats look for similar routines, therefore your cat may follow you around the house as part of that routine.
11. Needs Your Love and Affection
It can be quite a compliment when a cat chooses you and starts following you around more often compared with the other people in the house. So, when your cat is following you wherever you go, most of the time, it’s not something to be concerned about. Instead, you should be flattered. So, make sure to reciprocate the love and affection your cat is giving you to let him know that you feel the same way.
And the best way to reciprocate depends on your cat’s personality. Some cat loves to play, eat treats, and cuddle, while some simply love to spend time with their owners. Additionally, some cats love belly rubs, and scratches, while some love to be brushed or petted under the chin, cheeks, and top of the head.
As a cat owner, you should know how to read your cat’s body language, so, you will better understand the communications signals that are sent by your feline buddy.
12. Your Cat Is Guiding His Territory
Cats are territorial creatures. So, it makes sense if they follow you around because they want to know what is going on inside their territory. And in the wild, cats are known to wander around and guard their territory.
They would spread their scent all over their place so that intruders would know that this area is theirs and that it is off limits from other animals. This may very well be what your cat is doing if it keeps scratching itself against furniture.
It is more challenging for a cat to mark its territory inside a home. It might, however, opt to join you if it notices you moving about the house because it may believe you are marking your area.
13. Has Become More Sociable
Many cat breeds, including the Egyptian cat, Turkish Angora, the Abyssinian, Devon Rex, Sphynx, Burmese, and Maine Coon, behave like dogs.
Cats appear to have a predisposition to be friendlier and more connected to their owners' lives. This may be a natural adaptation for cats because they live indoors, which is very different from the life of their ancestors in the wild.
The aforementioned breeds adore being near their owners and enjoy cuddling and being touched. Of course, they enjoy following their owners wherever they go so they can feel their company and presence.
With the breeding techniques, as well as the inherent adaptability of domestic cats, it’s not surprising why a lot of them have become more affectionate and sociable, and are acting more like dogs.
14. Is Seeking Help
Aside from being independent and curious creatures, cats are also known to be masters of disguise. They are good at hiding their pain or hiding what they truly feel. And this is simply part of their feline instincts.
In the wild, cats would retreat when they want to preserve their energy and they would hide away from the world to protect themselves from potential harm from the elements, predators, and even from other cats.
Today, most domesticated cats would still hide their pain, even from their owners. However, not all our cats are the same. It can also be that your cat is anxious or in discomfort if it meows loudly while following you around.
Why Does My Cat Follow Just Me?
Cats establish close social bonds with both people and environments. It's possible that you and your cat are inseparable; and unfortunately, no one else in your home has reached the same level of intimacy or bond with him.
Other causes include your cat's curiosity about what you are doing, insecurity or separation anxiety, or the possibility that your cat associates resources like food, play, rewards, and toys with you alone and not with other people.
Should You Be Concerned About Your Cat Following You?
Generally, you should not be worried if your cat is following you; it is considered normal cat behavior. What you should be concerned about is when your once aloof cat suddenly starts to be clingy.
This is typically brought on by a problem that the cat is experiencing, such as separation anxiety, a frightening event, or an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed.
Clingy, aberrant behavior can be brought on by hyperthyroidism, diabetes, all types of chronic pain, neurological problems, or any combination of these. In order to rule out any medical concerns, have your cat examined by a local veterinarian if it suddenly becomes extremely clingy.
Why Does My Cat Follow Me to the Bathroom?
As mentioned earlier, cats are territorial animals. And your bathroom (just like the rest of your house) is considered part of your cat’s territory. So, it makes sense for them to follow you to the bathroom because he wants to monitor what is happening around in his area.
Aside from that, cats love to go to the bathroom with you because they can see a lot of interesting things here. Things like dripping sinks, toilet paper rolls, towels on the floor, curtains, and water in the toilet may be perceived as toys by our feline companions.
Another reason why cats love to follow us in the bathroom is that this place is filled with things that are marked with our scent. And since our cats are bonded with us, and they consider us their primary caregivers, they find our scent comforting.
Why Does a Stray Cat Follow Me?
In most cases, if you notice a stray cat following you, that feline might be an indoor-outdoor cat that is simply enjoying its outdoor privileges. If the cat appears receptive, feel free to pet her, but remember to do so gently and without frightening her. Additionally, be careful how you introduce yourself. Also, when you go home, wash and sterilize your hands, as well as your feet, before touching your cats.
If a cat keeps following you outside, she might be an indoor cat that got out and is now lost. Look for a collar or tags on the animal. Check to see if anyone is looking for a cat that fits the description by looking through local listings or social media posts.
If you can sense that the cat following you is not friendly, try to check for signs that he is scared, frightened, or in trouble. Most feral cats leave humans alone, so, there is a very slim chance that a feral will follow you, more so attack you (unless you go near it, and the poor kitty feels threatened).
Generally, you should not be worried if your cat is following you around your house. Most of the time, this behavior is a healthy and positive activity for your feline buddy.
However, as a cat parent, it’s also normal to be curious just like our feline friends. So, it’s perfectly fine to ask and go to the bottom of your cat’s behavior. Before calling your vet or taking your cat to the nearest clinic, you may want to address your cat’s following behavior first.
Can it be that your cat is hungry or that he misses you after not seeing you for a couple of days? Can it be that your cat only wants to catch your attention, play, or cuddle with you? If so, then, stop whatever it is you are doing and spend more time with your cat.