Why Is My Cat So Clingy? 10 Possible Reasons For Such Behavior


Cats are known for being independent and aloof beings who can care for themselves. However, all of us cat owners know that many cats are quite affectionate and need care, affection, and love. I love affectionate cats; however, their clingy behavior can sometimes be a bit too much.

While some cat breeds are known for their clingy nature, like the Abyssinian and Siamese, some cats are more likely to develop obsessive behavior. To be clear, not all affectionate cats are clingy.

You must distinguish clingy cats from affectionate ones; only then you’ll know how to deal with your feline friend in the best way possible.

This article will get you through the reasons for this cat’s behavior and how to appropriately interact with such a cat.

Now let’s see some answers: Why is my cat so clingy?

Why Is My Cat So Clingy?

cute cat playing with owner

This potential behavioral issue can happen to a kitten or an adult cat. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a behavior problem. Why?

Some cats adore being close to the owner and show affection in ways such as cuddling, licking, rubbing against, curling up in a lap, or bunting, while others show love and respect by being in the same room as their favorite human or being near them. To them, it is enough; it shows that they enjoy the company and connection.

It isn’t a problem if your cat wants your attention; however, if your cat is constantly seeking attention, it may be because the cat has become overly dependent on you. And that alone can be an issue.

We listed ten common reasons cats are clingy, and we offered a few solutions to help you deal with your clingy feline.

1. Your Cat Is Bored

This is the most apparent reason for cat clinginess. Cats need mental and physical stimulation to thrive. If they don’t get what they need, it can lead to clinginess or destructive behavior.

Boredom clinginess will manifest in your cat being near you, trying to play with you, provoke you, or touch you somehow. This could be the reason, especially if you’ve left your cat home alone for an extended period.

If they don’t have access to windows or enough toys to keep them stimulated, they are waiting for you to come home and entertain them.

Young cats are easily bored as they need more stimulation than adult cats.

2. Your Cat Is Orphaned Or Abandoned

If your cat has lost its mother, or if the kitten is separated from the mother too early, the adaptation period can last a long time, and the kitten will have difficulties adjusting. These cats often develop clinginess because they haven’t been nurtured young.

That’s why the cat depends on the owner, seeing him as a mother they never had. This behavior may be sweet initially; however, if your cat gets used to that, it can become annoying. Cat’s mother is the first to teach a kitten social skills, and when the cat is without the mother, the part is all yours, and you need to prepare all that while setting the boundaries.

RELATED: Does My Cat Think I’m Their Mother?

3. Changes In Your Home

cute kitten playing

Cats are sensitive to change, and if you have moved to a new home for your cat, that is a drastic change; however, even if you changed their bed or replaced the litter box and moved it to another place, the cat will still be affected by the change in the environment. That can cause them a considerable amount of stress.

Other factors such as sudden schedule changes or relationships can cause your cat to be clingy due to the stress they have been put under. For example, you have gotten a new job where you need to work much more than in the previous one where you could spend lots of time with your cat, and now, all of a sudden, you’re gone for the most part.

Even a new sofa or kitchen table can make a cat needier. If you start using different cat food brands or litter, your cat will be uncomfortable with it.

4. Not Enough Toys

If you’re wondering why is my cat so clingy, maybe you’re the one that made them behave that way. Leaving your cat without enough toys to stimulate their mental needs leaves them no choice, and they need toys to express their hunting nature, which is an essential role in their life if you don’t know.

However, toys alone probably can’t fix an insecure cat. If the cat spends so much time alone, a cat will be much more attached to an owner because she finds comfort when the person is around.

5. Your Cat Isn’t Confident Enough

If your cat lacks confidence, this clingy behavior will be widespread. If the cat is not happy to be alone and keep herself entertained, the cat will seek you to spend more time than being alone for hours. If you help your cat build confidence, a cat will probably become more independent.

6. Too Many Cats In Your Home

Portrait of cute cat sitting

This reason can be linked with our previous sense. If more pets are in your home, the cat is not feeling secure and safe, and she will seek comfort from a pet parent or family member.

For this reason, the pet parents must provide adequate hiding spaces, food dishes, and separate litter boxes. If you meet their basic needs, the cat will feel more secure.

Cats can be overly clingy when new pets come in, as they spread their pheromones; this way, they signal other cats and animals that you belong to them. You may even find your cat sleeping on your neck.

7. New Family Members

Cats are independent when they know they’re the only ones you pay attention to. However, if you’re richer for a new family member, such an experience can cause a cat a lot of stress. Cats can even get jealous of babies and need time to adapt to contemporary family composition.

8. Stress And Trauma

Kittens who were separated from littermates, weaned, or abandoned at a very young age are more likely to develop clinginess.

Another reason for cat stress is fear due to former trauma of abuse or lack of proper socializing while they were kittens, especially during the first 2 to 4 months.

Some recent trauma could be the reason for such behavior. If cats are afraid of the things outside, construction, and bad weather, that’s why you are their safety and comfort zone.

Along with those abandoned, separated, or weaned cats, the strays can also suffer from stress and trauma, so they are likely to seek comfort and attention.

9. Separation Anxiety

sad tricolor kitten lying on the floor

Stress, trauma, being weaned too early, or being orphaned and abandoned, are all factors that can lead to a cat’s separation anxiety. That can result in cats being clingy and having behavioral signs that are reactive and protective.

They hate being alone and may cry. When the owner shows up, they want to be as close to him as possible leading to constant curling in the lap or your arms.

When left alone, they may display unusual behaviors such as defecating or urinating outside the litterbox or hiding in places they would never see. They can also overly scratch or chew the furniture or other household things or over-groom themselves.

10. Health Issues

Clingy behavior may have to do something with cat health. Health issues cannot be excluded from this list of reasons why is my cat so clingy, as cats can be more clingy when there is some health problem that is making them ill.

Even though your feline may enjoy your company and love to be around you, such behavior might also be due to dullness, which can include that your cat is suffering from an illness, such as anemia, plant poisoning, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

These medical problems can cause increased clinginess and anxiety, and if you notice any sudden change in your cat’s behavior, you may need to contact the vet.

It’s important to note that you can notice behavior changes in older cats due to dementia, hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, and cognitive dysfunctions. That’s why the owners of old cats can see that their cats have become more clingy.

Nonetheless, if you see that your cat, whether an old cat or adult cat or even a kitten, has sudden and unexplained behavioral changes, you should take your cat for a check-up so you can exclude health issues. We don’t need to say that it is better to address the problem as soon as possible to treat it more easily.

Why Is My Cat Being So Clingy All Of A Sudden?

Beautiful young woman with cute cat near window at home

If your cat is laying on you all of a sudden, being around your legs, following you everywhere, but you excluded severe problems, you may want to find out why that is so. Let us tell you:

Hormonal changes – you may notice that your cat is clingy if she’s pregnant or in heat, which can impact their affection towards you.

Getting older – many cat owners have said their cats are more affectionate as they age. We understand that they are less playful but more relaxed as they settle down.

Lack of attention – you stopped to give the cat attention you used to provide, and now they require affection and are looking for more attention

What Can I Do To Make My Cat Less Clingy?

If you want to know how to deal with such cat behavior, read on seven possible solutions:

1. Improve Their Environment

If you have a stressed or bored cat, the environment they’re spending most of the time in plays a significant role in their feelings. To tackle the boredom, prepare a considerable amount of different toys so they can keep them occupied while you’re out of the house.

Interactive toys are great if you want to leave your cat to play alone, while the treat dispensers and remote toys are great for scheduling playtime with each other.

Your cat’s environment is a possible source of stress, so make sure that your cat has high-up places to explore, many hiding places, and warm beds close to help relieve stress. There is an option that you pay someone to watch over your cat, play with her or keep her company.

Cat toys with catnip will be great as they are more likely to play with such toys or spray the toys with a catnip spray.

You can also consider buying a cat tree. This is an excellent tool because it has a hideaway area, carpeted areas, and scratching posts.

RELATED: Best Priced Cat Tree With Free Shipping

2. Watch Out For Changes In Your Home

If something is unusual in your home, a break of patterns like new pets and family members, the cat can start behaving differently and develop separation anxiety.

Because of that, you need to separate litter boxes and food dishes, as your new cat and the clingy cat may not get along at first.

3. Prevent Access To Your Legs

Beautiful young woman with cute cat resting at home

We want to say that you shouldn’t allow your pet to be in touch with you so much. We know that you don’t want to cause your cat stress, but they need some discipline, and they need to learn some independence.

Do this every time they come back. If they spend some alone time, they deserve a treat. With positive reinforcement, you’ll develop good and healthy boundaries.

4. Ease Your Cat through Life Changes

If you know that your cat is likely to become anxious with new situations and changes, take some time to help your cat adapt to a new home, people, pets, and other novelties.

Bear in mind that this can’t happen immediately. Still, with consistent and positive reinforcement, you need to stay patient. This will help a clingy cat feel comfortable and develop a healthy relationship with herself, which will help her build independence and confidence.

5. Help Build Your Cat’s Confidence

It would be best if you found balance. Their confidence and security come from their relationship with family members, but the secure feeling also comes from their environment.

You can try to schedule playtime twice a day. The play should be interactive. To better describe it, you’re close to the cat, but the cat is chasing her toy independently.

The cats respond great to environmental enrichment, and the correct behavior approach is to make everything better for your feline friend.

6. Ignore Your Cat When They’re Needy

If you hear them yowl, scratch on doors, or get into your personal space, ignore them. I know this can be hard at first because you love your cat and want to give them cuddles, but any attention will provide them with reinforcement to keep on going with such behavior.

Try to ignore it as possible, and over time, your cat will give up as the outcome will not be in their favor.

7. Reward Your Cat With Cuddles And Treats

The best way to clarify to your cat what is bad behavior and good behavior is to reward your cat with cuddles and treats when they’re behaving well. Give treats on your terms when they’re sitting calmly.

Hopefully, the cat will learn the difference and behave well to get their favorite cuddles.

Signs That You Have A Needy Cat

lonely and needy cat

There is a difference between a needy cat and an occasionally demanding cat. There is no problem if your cat is running to you when you enter the home, but cats who repeat that pattern may be needy to an unhealthy degree.

Check out the signs below to better distinguish one from another:

Eats only if the owner is home – if your cat doesn’t eat until you come home, your cat is probably suffering from separation anxiety. This is a symptom of clingy behavior, and the cat doesn’t feel safe eating.

Follows you everywhere – if your cat follows you from room to room, even to the toilet, and you see yourself checking your feet not to trip over as you’re used to your feline being a tripping hazard, this might be the sign.

You hear meows every time you close the door or leave the room – the cat doesn’t feel safe without the human

You can’t leave the house because of the cat – whenever you need to leave it, it becomes a challenge.

Cats want to be petted all the time – while petting, you hear them purr, and for both of you, it can be relaxing. However, if your cat lays on you and wants to be petted every time you sit down, you may have a needy cat.

Check out here to see is purring involuntary or…?

Your bed belongs to the cat – your cat takes over your whole bed, pillows, and mattress, and when you want to rest, this can be annoying; however, this may be a clingy issue.

RELATED: How To Keep Your Cat Off The Bed

Your cat is rubbing herself against you all the time – Every time you grab your bag, keys, or you touch the door knob, your cat is near you in a matter of seconds, brushing up against your leg, trying to lure you back into the house. Some cats think the owner will never return, which triggers separation anxiety.

Sits on you or anything that has a connection with you – if you see your cat being in the places that you have been around the house or the cat tries to sit on you whenever she can, you have a cling cat issue.

Kneads and scratches you non-stop – they enjoy rubbing and kneading you on the forehead, nose, and cheeks. They want to get your attention, especially watching TV or sleeping.

Final Thoughts

Why is my cat so clingy is the question that you ask yourself every time your cat’s clingy behavior annoys you. However, if you rule out medical issues, feel free to experiment and change your routine to stop reinforcing that behavior.

Give your cat some time to get used to a new pattern; over time, you and your cat will be on the same page with the proper amount of independence and affection for each other.

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Iram Sharma

Fur-tunare enough to have had cats her entire life, Iram has spent years learning about these fluffy little hunters. Today, Iram is a professional veterinarian and a passionate cat mom who uses her skills to help felines in need. Surrounded by her own feline friends, Iram shares her knowledge and experience with all cat lovers.

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