Cats have a reputation for being stand-offish and often disinterested. But this reputation can often be very wrong. I have a Siberian cat Alexei and he loves following me around the house. Alexei isn’t unique – many cats like to follow their owners around – and even to the bathroom.
So why do they do this? Cats have domesticated themselves so the reasons for them following their owners around tend to be postive.
Here are 13 Reasons why your cat follows you.
Why does my Cat Follow Me Everywhere – 13 Reasons
Cats today are becoming more and more socialised, some breeds in particular. We don’t tend to keep cats today because we want them to take care of any stray vermin around the house.
Most cat owners see their cats as companions and part of the family. Your cat may well feel the same way and just enjoy being with you.
A very common reason for your cat following you around is because they are hungry – particularly when that following is accompanied by quite a few loud meows.
You can be quite sure that your cat is following you because they’re hungry if that following is taking place in the kitchen as well as if they are following you around their dinner time.
Some cats are more curious than others and like to know what their owners get up to. Our lives are very different from theirs so they may be seeking to entertain themselves by watching what you do during the day.
This could particularly be the case if you are heading into rooms in which they aren’t normally allowed like say an office. Your cat may well be curious to explore this new room.
Your cat may simply want some attention. Either they want you to show that you see them and say their name or give them a pat. My cat loves to give me a short “hey I’m here” meow if I walk into a room and don’t see and acknowledge it.
If you have been doing other activities and not engaging with your cat for a while they may well start following you around to remind you that they exist and would like you to acknowledge it, please.
5. Separation Anxiety
If you have been on a holiday or a trip and your cat suddenly starts following you around and/or sleeping with you it may be that your cat is experiencing separation anxiety.
Our cats get used to us being around and it can be quite a shock to them if we are suddenly gone for a substantial period of time.
6. Sudden Major Change
If your cat suddenly starts following you around everywhere it may be due to a recent major change. This could be something like the arrival of a new baby, the death of someone in the family, moving house etc.
Cats are sensitive and these changes could leave them feeling insecure. Thus they want to follow you everywhere as when they are with you they feel secure and protected.
7. They’re Bored
Indoor cats in particular can become bored easily. In the wild, cats spent their time hunting and exploring. An indoor cat doesn’t get many hunting opportunities and of course has a limited world to explore.
To keep your cat satisfied it is important to provide an environment where your cat is stimulated intellectually.
Cats need activities to substitute for the activities they would have done in the wild. One of those could be to start following you around. Your cat may be particularly prone to do this if you have been away from home for quite a few hours.
If you think that your cat is following you around everywhere because they are bored perhaps consider looking at adding more intellectually simulating play and activities into its life.
8. You’re their parent
For many cat owners, this relationship becomes mimicked. You may be a human but you now provide food for your cat, groom them, play with them etc. Owners tend to take on all of the parenting tasks.
Therefore, it isn’t surprising that as you are behaving like a parent your cat will want to follow you around as they did with their mother. Your cat probably feels safest when it is near you. It knows that when it is with you it will be protected and its needs will be met.
Some cats will outgrow following their owner around after adolescence whilst others will continue.
As domesticated cats are not able to hunt and explore as they would in the wild it is essential that they are able to find alternative activities to work out these instincts. This is why play is very important for cats.
Cats in the wild often hunt just for fun. So toys or play that involves prey and chasing and/or catching that prey are generally very well-liked by cats.
Your cat may be following you as a form of play. It might like to suddenly jump on you or to hide and then pounce on you. My cat loves to do this type of pretend play.
When you’re on the move you are behaving more like prey so from your cat’s point of view this is a very sensible time to engage in play. Remember, you are one of if not the only play partner for your cat.
Cats are creatures of routine. Once they start following you everywhere the odds are they will continue to do so. Wild cats have routines around hunting, marking their territory etc.
Domesticated cats seek similar routines so following you around the house may be part of your cat’s routine.
It is quite a compliment to be chosen as a favourite companion. Your cat may be following you around simply because it enjoys being with you. Do reciprocate this affection to your cat to let it know that you feel the same way.
Depending on your cat’s personality this could be through petting or play or any other activities that you know are positive for your cat. Watch your cat’s body language to get a sense of what they find most pleasing.
12. Guarding their Territory
If your cat was in the wild it would spend quite a bit of time wandering around its territory releasing its scent and spreading it around.
This is its way of telling potential intruders that someone owns this area and they should not enter. If your cat is constantly rubbing itself against furniture this may well be what your cat is doing.
In a house, it is more difficult for a cat to mark its territory. However, when it sees you moving around the house it may think that you are marking your territory and decide to join you.
It can sometimes be difficult to tell if your cat is in pain or unhappy. Cats often like to hide their pain. However, some cats are different. If your cat is meowing a large amount when it follows you around it may be because it is anxious or in pain.
Why is My Cat Following me Everywhere – FAQs
Why does my Cat Follow Just Me?
Because you’re its favourite person! You are also most likely the person who provides its food, changes its litter, grooms it etc. A cat may also follow around the person in the house who plays with them the most.
As we’ve discussed, play is essential for a happy and well-adjusted cat so it may choose to follow its favourite play partner around hoping to engage them in more activity.
Why does my cat follow me into the bathroom?
Cats don’t know the difference between the rooms in your house and what is a private vs public space. Also, cats are normally not terribly interested in boundaries with their humans.
A cat following you into the bathroom wants to be near you. Also, this may be a room that they don’t visit as frequently so it is of interest to them.
The fact that most of us close the door in the bathroom means that your cat has you all to itself in an enclosed space so is guaranteed your attention.
Why is my cat following me all of a sudden?
If your cat is fully grown and suddenly starts following you there could be several reasons. Has there been a recent major change in your lives or have you been on a trip? This may have caused your cat to feel insecure.
The other potential reason is that your cat may not be well. Cats aren’t great at communicating to their owners when they aren’t well so this may be your cat’s way of trying to let you know that something isn’t right.
If you think this is the case do give your cat a quick home check-up to see if there is anything obvious which you may be able to fix. And of course, absolutely check in with your vet.
Why is a stray cat following me?
A stray cat may follow you if it can smell your cat or cats. If you have cats then you might be interested in helping it out. They may want food or water or some affection. Being a street cat isn’t an easy life so they may be looking to you for help and comfort.
If a stray cat is being friendly towards you it is most likely that it is a socialized cat rather than a feral so don’t be too concerned that you may be attacked. Most feral cats leave humans alone.
If the stray cat continues to follow you but seems like it’s not a stray cat it may well be lost. Do check its tags and local social media.
Why is my cat following me to bed?
If your cat is following you to where you sleep this can sometimes be a safety concern. Cats in the wild are most vulnerable when they are asleep so if your cat likes to sleep with you it shows you that they feel secure in your presence.
Why Does my Cat Follow me Everywhere – Conclusion
Generally, if your cat is following you everywhere it isn’t a sign for concern. Most of the time cats following their owners around the house is quite a healthy and often even positive activity.
However, as a responsible cat owner do seek to understand what is driving your cat to follow you around and check if you should be providing more attention, affection, play or even food before assuming that all is fine.
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