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My cats expect me to respect their privacy when they’re using the litter box, but oftentimes this principle doesn’t apply to them.
Whenever I close my bathroom door, they try to claw their way in, or meow until I come out again. If you’re facing the same issue, perhaps you’d like to get an explanation for this strange and intrusive feline behavior.
So, why do cats follow you to the toilet? Your cat might seek your attention to get pets, or because they feel vulnerable when left alone. Some cats are curious to explore your bathroom’s smells or play with the toilet roll and for others following you is part of their routine.
Let’s take a closer look at all the reasons your kitty might have for following you into the bathroom or waiting for you behind the closed door!
Why Do Cats Follow You To The Toilet?
While the world is trying to tell us, that cats are aloof and uncaring cat owners know that the reality is quite different. Often times instead of a chill cat roommate we get a cat stalker watching our every move, following us everywhere even in the most private of places, the bathroom!
Well apparently, everything happens for a reason!
Reason 1: To Get Your Attention
Most of us lead busy lives, even when we get back home, we tend to be occupied, either trying to keep up with a new show, scrolling through our socials, or simply reading a book. But while we try to relax after a hard day’s work our cats expect us to play with them, cuddle and simply shower them with love.
The toilet is usually the one place where technology and distractions are absent. There, our cats can get all the petting they deserve.
This doesn’t mean it has to be a selfish interaction, cats also love to display their love. They might follow you to the bathroom and rub against your leg while you’re brushing your teeth, or simply lay down feeling the comfort of being in your presence while you take a long bath.
Other cat parents might even spend an awkward toilet visit with the cat sitting on their lap. Or the cat will sit there watching you while you take a shower either out of curiosity or because they’re waiting on us to finish and continue on cuddling on the couch.
After all Kristyn Vitale, an animal Behaviorist states that “the majority of cats prefer interacting with a person over, eating or playing with a toy.” So, your attention is what makes them happy, even if it occurs in the toilet!
Reason 2: They’re Overly Attached
Contrary to popular belief cats can be both social and solitary animals and this is heavily influenced by their environment, recourses, and interaction with humans. To most cat owners their feline companion clearly is a social animal that loves attention, and mutual displays of affection are part of it.
This means that cats can form attachments with their owners, and according to studies these attachment bonds mirror the attachment styles seen among human infants and other animals like dogs. Basically, cats that are more independent are more secure in their owners and while they show signs of acknowledgment, like greeting you at the door they don’t tend to be clingy and follow you around constantly.
Insecure cats, on the other hand, will be overdependent, so it’s possible that following you to the toilet, or whenever you’re out of sight is a sign of an anxious cat that needs constant reassurance. They might also want to make sure you’re safe or instead feel safe only when you’re around.
Reason 3: Your Bathroom Is Entertaining
While we’re here thinking that our cats follow us to the toilet because of us, they might be more interested in the bathroom itself.
Cats love entertainment, they love exploring new places and finding things they can play with. Obviously, most bathrooms are packed with a variety of incredible toys. at least according to your cat. So, the moment your kitty sees you go towards the bathroom and open that door they’ll follow you for some well-awaited mischief!
Shredding toilet paper that keeps rolling and rolling will definitely be at the top of the list or they might enjoy playing with your bathrobe tie. Pulling down, bath towels might be also on their mind, and let’s not forget the bathmat that can be an excellent scratching post or resting bed!
While most of these things are quite innocent, I would recommend being mindful of what you leave out in the open in your bathroom. Most, if not all shampoos and cleaning products are toxic to cats, and even if they don’t consume anything on purpose they might make a mess.
Reason 4: Bathrooms Are Cozy
Then again, your kitty might have enough toys and playtime with you to find the bathroom entertaining in any sort of way, but they might find it the perfect place to chill, especially if you’re there.
If you think about it, cats and sinks are a match made in heaven, they are small, round, deep enough that they fit in there easily. Either porcelain, ceramic, or marble a sink is literally the coolest place to be especially on a hot summer’s day!
Bathtubs and sinks can be quite cozy, and bathrooms are usually the quietest room in the house so your favorite feline friend might follow you to the bathroom as an opportunity to escape the busy household and get some sleep knowing that the only person in there is you.
Laundry baskets might be full of dirty clothes, but they all smell like you and they’re most likely warm and soft for your buddy to occupy while you’re taking a steaming shower. And that’s another thing, a bathroom can be the warmest of places especially if there are no windows and you’ve just had a hot bath.
So, don’t be surprised if your fluffy overlord won’t follow you out of the toilet and stay there for the rest of the day!
Reason 5: They Like Running Water
Have you ever considered that your cat might be following you into the bathroom because they’re unpredictable? I mean we’ve all been believing that cats hate water and in reality, that’s not true, at least not for all cats, and maybe not for your cat too!
If your kitty enjoys bath time, then every time you go to the toilet they anticipate a bath spa experience. This is a trait quite common among sphynx, at least according to the numerous cat videos like this one.
On the other hand, a cat might hate taking a bath but they enjoy moving water because it’s fun to play with or drink. My cat waits for me to go to the kitchen so they can drink the running tap water, but yours might prefer the bathroom sink instead, or as yucky as it may sound, they might go for the toilet water instead.
If you’re having a bath or taking a shower your cat might paw around in the water, or pat the water trickling down the shower curtain and even lick it.
While it’s not a behavior you should be too worried about, if your cat drinks too much water then thirst could be a sign of a medical condition like diabetes, or kidney disease. If on the other hand, they only wait for the tap water to drink and avoid their water bowl then this can lead to dehydration.
A great solution for a cat that loves running water is getting a water fountain! You can check the Catit Flower Fountain on Amazon , not only does it look cute, but it should keep your kitty away from sinks or toilet water!
Reason 6: They Want To Use Their Litter Box
Why your cat follows you to the toilet might seem like a mystery to you, but if you keep their litter box in the bathroom then the explanation couldn’t be more obvious. It most likely is a coincidence and that most of the time your kitty actually follows you to the toilet because they want to use it too.
If you have a closed litter box then they might not waste any time and use it while you’re doing your own thing. A shy cat on the other hand will either sit there staring at the litter box or you, waiting until you leave.
Living in a busy household with more than yourself using the same bathroom means that your cat might have fewer opportunities to use the litter box in private. So, they might see you as a safe person to follow whenever they need to use it.
On the other hand, if you keep forgetting the door closed your cat will have to wait for you to go to the bathroom so they can finally use it themselves.
Reason 7: Your Cat Is Curious
Cats are curious creatures which means that they don’t like closed doors, in fact, most cats hate them. So, if you keep the door of the bathroom closed whenever you’re inside your kitty will demand you open it either with cries or by clawing at the door itself. Some cats may even figure out how to open the door on their own.
Usually, this behavior can be more intense if you keep the bathroom door closed at all times. If your cat sees you disappear into this uncharted territory it will intrigue their curiosity and the need to explore a space where they’re never allowed to enter.
Cats are also territorial creatures that spend their day casually marking their surroundings. If your cat is unneutered/unspayed then their territorial instincts will be more intense, and they’ll use urine markings to claim their territory. But even spayed cats care about their territory, which they’ll claim by scratching certain areas, to release their scent through the glands located on their paws. They also do the same by rubbing their face against various objects, between other cats and their owners.
So, whenever you’re closing a door in a claimed room your cat will feel like they’re losing that territory. This reaction could be more common in a multi-cat household since all the felines will try to keep track of territories that usually dictate the state of their relationship and status. Once you open the door your cat or cats will most likely enter the bathroom, marking certain areas, until they feel that their smell is once again dominant.
At the end of the day, if you’re in a room your cat can’t reach, it’s only logical that they’ll think that they’re losing on all the fun you might be having in there!
Reason 8: It’s Part Of Their Routine
Just like most people, cats love to feel safe and secure in their environment, and that safety is usually achieved by forming habits. If your feline companion has been following you around the house since kittenhood and they’ve learned that going together to the bathroom is ok and even fun then they won’t see any reason why they should stop.
Following you to the toilet often means that your cat has based their routine around yours, since we usually have set times when we go to the bathroom. It can be early in the morning before leaving for work, when we return, and before going to bed.
And this is not my theory, James Brunt, DVM also agrees that cats “watch and learn from us, (noting) the patterns of our actions, as evidenced by knowing where their food is kept and what time to expect to be fed, how to open the cupboard door that’s been improperly closed and where their feeding and toileting areas are.”
A routine might seem boring to you, but that kind of lifestyle is essential to your cat. If you’ve ever moved houses or even changed their favorite food you might’ve noticed the effect this can have on their mental wellbeing. Some turn to excessive behaviors like scratching the litter box, even using the bathroom rug as a litter box, or overgrooming.
It’s important to note that even though we might not realize it, but oftentimes we’re the ones reinforcing certain behaviors in our cats both bad and good. If your pet and talk to your kitty every time they follow you into the bathroom, or you give in and open the bathroom door you train them that this is good and it’s part of your daily interaction.
Cats are excellent at learning things and strengthening old habits through positive reinforcement, so this whole time you could’ve been motivating your kitty to continue this mutual visit to the toilet.
Reason 9: They Enjoy The Bathroom Smells
I know what you’re thinking, how can my gracious kitty love bathroom smells, especially when their sense of smell is 14 times better than ours, so they should know better.
More so, research has actually shown that while they have fewer scent receptors than dogs do, they can better discern between different smells. In fact, they have a special organ called the Jacobson’s organ that not only enhances their sense of smell, but it helps them detect “undetectable” odors.
That being said, your cat might be following you to the bathroom to explore these different smells that might be coming from cleaning products, or shampoos and conditioners. These all are made of chemicals and since cats can smell more than we certain scents might be more triggering or compelling. Bathrooms are also filled with our bathrobes, towels, and laundry baskets which in turn are all covered in the one familiar smell that makes your kitty feel safe and that’s yours.
All these different smells might also trigger your kitty needs to add their own scent in there by marking each little corner. They do it to make the place more familiar, safer, and more of their own.
Why Does My Cat Wait For Me Outside The Bathroom?
All of the above reasons can of course apply to your kitty, but it’s possible that your kitty is waiting for you to come outside because they miss you and they want to spend some time with you. I’ve noticed that my cats will pay me the least attention when it’s the weekend and they know I’m not going anywhere for too long, while during the week their stalking becomes more intense.
If your cat is waiting outside of the toilet every morning then the reason your kitty wants your attention is because they’re waiting for their breakfast.
Then again if your cat never leaves you out of their sight and they have an obsessive bond with you then they might be struggling with separation anxiety. This anxiety can manifest itself in various degrees, and while you can manage it through positive reinforcement it’s always best to get the advice of your cat’s veterinarian or a cat behaviorist.
Why Does My Cat Likes To Sit On My Lap When I’m On The Toilet?
The same reason your kitty is sitting on your lap when you’re laying on the couch or sitting at your desk in front of your computer. Your cat simply wants to be around you, to give you some love, and receive your attention in return.
It’s also possible that they know that you won’t be moving any time soon, so it’s the perfect time to enjoy your lap, even if you don’t see anything perfect about it.
Is It Normal For Your Cat To Follow You To The Toilet?
Having your kitty following you around might seem strange especially when the destination tends to be the toilet, but it is normal. As we’ve already explored cats might do it for attention or because they’re curious to see what’s so interesting in the bathroom or they might be using to be fed petted, or played with and no amount of privacy won’t stop them until they get what they want.
Of course, while usually, the behavior itself is harmless, bathrooms can be dangerous for cats. Many of us store cleaning products in there that are toxic. Your kitty might jump in the bathtub to lick the wet surfaces, and ingest diluted shampoo or bath salts. That’s why it’s best to keep the bathroom off-limits unless you can keep all the dangerous things off-limits.
Finding your kitty following you to the toilet or anywhere else could also be an unhealthy habit, rooted in stress. Having a kitty that seeks your attention is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not a good sign if this happens nonstop to the point where you can’t get things done around the house, or enter the bathroom without your cat yowling in another room, or leaving scratch marks on your door.
Being possessive isn’t the same as being caring, and you’ll have to work on your mutual bond to mend this disbalance in your relationship!
How To Stop Your Cat From Following You To The Toilet?
Whether you want to help your cat be more independent or you simply don’t like them following you to the toilet there are simple ways you can stop this behavior. First, you’ll have to find the reason why your cat enjoys following you to the toilet and then pick up the best strategy!
Give Them Attention
Before you decide that your kitty is simply overly clingy you need to look at your cat’s lifestyle. If your cat is constantly trying to find ways for you to notice them and they’re only successful when they follow you to the toilet, then you need to start investing more time in your cat-human relationship.
Instead of rushing to the toilet every morning, take a moment to pet your cat. If they’re waiting on food, you can feed them first, so they don’t have to follow you around until you do. Or instead of having your kitty rely on you for their feeding time let an automatic cat feeder take the charge!
Cats usually seek our attention when they feel neglected, and if the toilet is the only place, they find you unoccupied with another task, then they’ll seize the opportunity. Perhaps you should take this as a sign to set aside more time to cuddle with your kitty.
Your Cat Needs Entertainment
Your cat might be following you to the bathroom or all around the house because they’re bored. They might want you to entertain them or they seek this entertainment in the bathroom itself. A great way to deal with such demands is to actually play with your cat on a regular basis.
If your kitty is nosy and they want to shred some toilet paper, then you can invest in a more complex treehouse with hammocks and baskets. These multiple small spaces can offer cozy hiding spots that could replace your laundry basket. More scratching posts will keep your kitty away from the bathmat or other surfaces they like to scratch in the bathroom and if you put it against the window, they’ll also have visual stimulation from the outside.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that if you buy a fancy cat tree or multiple toys you can stop playing with your kitty. You still will have to spend more time with them tossing those toys around if you want to alleviate their need to follow you to the bathroom.
Deal With Separation Anxiety
If you feel that you’re meeting all your cat’s needs as much as possible and they still follow you to the bathroom or from room to room then it could be a sign of insecure attachment.
Along with your cat’s constant need for contact, you might also notice other behaviors that are symptoms of separation anxiety such as:
- Excessive vocalization, meowing, and yowling in another room
- Unwanted litterbox behaviors, defecating and urinating outside
- Destructive behaviors
- Excessive grooming
The best way you can deal with your kitty being overly clingy is through managing their environment by providing them with rich activities when you’re not at home like puzzle feeders, perhaps training them to go out on a leash, or a catio if you prefer a safer option. Even putting a cat-friendly channel on your tv can help your kitty feel less alone.
Create new stress-free routines and avoid certain cues that make your kitty feel anxious. For example, if picking up your keys or putting on your shoes stresses your kitty out then give them a treat. Slowly your kitty will stop seeing those things as negative.
Use positive reinforcement to reward your cat whenever they don’t follow you to the toilet and ignore their attention-seeking behaviors. For example, if your kitty stayed in the other room without meowing, while you went to the bathroom, give them a treat, otherwise ignore their meows to show them that this is a behavior you won’t tolerate. Remember to spend quality time with your cat so they have a fulfilled life instead of pushing them away because they’re clingy.
If you find it difficult to manage your cat’s attachment, make sure to visit your vet. Perhaps the cause of this behavior is medical, but even if it’s behavioral these professionals will still be able to guide you through it or redirect you to a cat behaviorist.
Most cats love being the center of attention and if you fail to meet their standards, you best believe that they’ll follow you to the toilet to get what they want.
Feeling curious, vulnerable, or affectionate can all be legit explanations as to why they follow you to the bathroom, but if you’ve lived with a kitty long enough then you know that they also want what they can’t have. So if your cat can’t have you while you’re in the bathroom you can be sure that they’ll cry their heart out!
Now tell us does your cat follow you to the toilet or do they follow you around the house regardless of your destination?