Do you own a cat named Velcro? You most likely have a clinging cat on your hands if they cling to you like Velcro. Depending on your viewpoint and the causes of your cat’s clinginess, this may or may not be a good thing. When opposed to cats who are more independent and aloof, any cat that displays more dog-like tendencies, such as following you around the house, running to greet you when you get home, or being too friendly, is deemed clingy by some cat owners. However, some cats might exhibit unhealthy levels of clinginess. How do you distinguish between the two? Find out by reading on.
Signs of clinginess in cats
- You have your cat following you everywhere, even to the restroom.
- wanting to be on you all the time while you’re lying or sitting.
- constant meowing to get your attention.
- demanding attention while you’re trying to concentrate on something else.
- refusing to eat while you are away.
- putting on a timid act and staying close to you when guests arrive.
- When you’re about to leave, pouting, hiding, or rubbing against your legs to keep you there.
- getting too ecstatic when you get home.
- eliminating destructive behavior and using the litter box outside.
Why Are Some Cats Clingy?
Some cat breeds, including the Siamese and the Abyssinian, are purebred and are recognized for having clinging dispositions. Clinginess, though, can occasionally be an indication that something is wrong with your cat, so it’s critical to consider what can be the source of this behavior. Your cat’s clinginess might be brought on by one or more of the following factors.
According to Petbucket, your cat may be overly attached since they aren’t receiving enough mental and physical stimulation. In these situations, taking breaks to play with your cat and giving them interactive toys to keep them busy and entertained all day can be helpful.
Premature weaning and separation
According to Catspro.com, premature weaning or removing kittens from their mothers and littermates before they are ready might cause them to experience separation anxiety. Around eight weeks old, kittens usually switch from mother’s milk to solid food. However, adopting them as soon as they are weaned deprives them of the opportunity to learn critical social skills from their mother and siblings, which can help them become more secure and independent as adults.
Cats are routine-oriented creatures, so any alteration to their environment or routines may cause them to become uneasy and turn to you for comfort. Your cat may require constant contact for comfort if there have been significant changes in your life, such as a move to a new house, the addition or loss of another pet or family member, or the return to school of children after a long break. Assuring newly adopted cats that they are wanted and welcome in their new home may be very important.
Wanting to provide comfort
Cats are extremely perceptive to the feelings and moods of humans. It’s possible that your cat senses that you’re having a hard time and wants to be there to support you and make sure everything is okay.
Pregnant Pet Parent
According to Catspro.com, some cats have the uncanny capacity to detect pregnancy and grow incredibly affectionate during the course of the pregnancy. It’s unclear how cats can sense when a baby is on the way, but if you’re expecting, don’t be shocked if your cat wants to cuddle up to your growing baby.
Lack of Enforced Boundaries
Some overly attached cats are merely spoiled. According to All About Cats, if you spoil your cat by caving to all of their demands, you’ll only teach them how to easily manipulate you to get what they want, which will reinforce their clingy, demanding behavior.
Underlying health issues
Dementia in senior cats can be a sign of other health issues. Cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), a neurological disorder, makes cats particularly cuddly and attention-seeking, and it’s typically accompanied by balance problems and lack of coordination.
While having a pet that is very affectionate can be nice, some cat parents find that their cats’ excessively clingy and demanding behavior is upsetting. If so, you’ll need to take action to encourage your cat to become less dependant and more independent. And if your formerly independent cat has suddenly started acting clingy, look out for other symptoms that might point to a medical condition. In general, it’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian whenever your cat exhibits a sudden change in behavior.
How to Help an Overly Clingy Cat
Follow these instructions to help your cat become more independent if their dependence on you becomes a source of worry.
- Identify the cause. Even though it might be obvious, you might need to conduct some investigation. Remember that because cats are so sensitive to change, even seemingly insignificant changes like getting a new sofa or rearrangement of the furniture can upset your cat.
- Consult your vet. Make an appointment with your veterinarian for a checkup if you believe there may be a health issue. Additionally, they can advise you on how to handle separation anxiety and assist in determining whether it is brought on by early weaning.
- Set firm boundaries and enforce them. Don’t give in to every request for attention, lock the bathroom door after you, and make your lap available on your terms, not your cat’s.
- Schedule playtime. When you’re busy or away from home, give your kids toys to keep them entertained. A perch should be placed next to a busy window for people and bird watching. If this isn’t possible, look online for cat videos to keep your cat occupied while you take care of other things.
- Think about getting another cat. Clingy cats can benefit from having another cat nearby to keep them company, even though some cats prefer to be kept as solely pets. This is especially true for cats who exhibit increased clinginess following the death of a family pet.
Adopting a Potentially Clingy Cat
Consider your options carefully if you’re considering adopting a cat. Do thorough research on any breeds you are thinking about so you will be prepared. Do you have the time and energy to care for a very affectionate, possibly clingy cat? If you’re considering adopting a cat from a shelter, go visit it several times to observe how it interacts with you as it gets to know you better. The more you can learn about a cat before bringing them home, the better. Cats can be slow to reveal their genuine personality. To give the kittens time to be fully weaned and socialized by their original cat family, request that the shelter staff keep the litter with their mother until they are three months old if you are adopting a kitten.
When your cat is loving and eager to be with you, it’s nice, but too much of a good thing can be detrimental. Making your cat less clingy can make you both happier, and it might even make your cat healthier in the long run.