Cats are often praised for being incredibly low maintenance pets. Besides feeding them their meals, cats practically do everything on their own, including bathing, going to the bathroom, and relaxing. Despite the normalcy of cats being independent, there are times when they can become overly needy. Cats certainly like their owners and become attached to humans. Nevertheless, cats are not particularly clingy in how dogs or other pets are. Whenever a cat becomes more clingy than usual, or their clinginess disrupts your everyday life, you may have an issue.
In most cases, an overly clingy cat is a sign that something is wrong, but the exact issue will differ from cat to cat. This article will look at potential reasons why your cat is so clingy and some things you can do to reduce your cat’s clinginess. Let us get started.
What is Clingy?
Studies have shown that dogs are typically clingier than cats; however, recent research has shown that clingy cats, or cats that suffer from separation anxiety, is a genuine concern. Cats that are overly clingy with their owners are ones that want to be petted very often, groom themselves excessively, want to be held seemingly all the time, cry out when they do not receive attention, have the desire to “groom” their owners by licking them, and do not like to be left alone. A cat that is overly clingy and suffers from separation anxiety can cause the owner to be at a loss on how to fulfil their cat’s needs. Suffering from separation anxiety can happen due to the following reasons:
- Orphaned or abandoned
- They were weaned too early
- They were removed from their littermates too early
Signs Your Cat is Too Clingy:
Follows you throughout the house, from room to room (if you find your cat a constant tripping hazard, this is a sign)
Meows incessantly when you leave the room or close the door
Claws walls and doors to get your attention when you leave or close the door
Constantly rubs themselves against you
Doesn’t let you leave the house
Demands to be pet at all hours of the day
Sits on whatever you are using, or you (all the time)
Will not eat or drink unless you are with them
Scratches and kneads you constantly
A demanding cat will do anything to get your attention (meowing aggressively, purposely causing trouble, jumping on you…etc.) so they can get what they want. In other words, a manipulative cat who wants what they want, when they want it.
Changes in the Home Environment
Changes in the home environment or confusing changes to the family may lead a cat to attach too much to one person.. Cats are super sensitive to change, so what may seem insignificant to you can be a big deal for your cat. Even a litter box that’s been moved from its usual spot can cause stress in cats. Other potential factors to consider include a schedule or relationship change, a new baby or pet in the home, or disruption affecting the person who typically responds to the cat’s solicitations and requests. If that response pattern changes—say, if you suddenly return to a job outside the home after spending lots of time with your pet during the pandemic—it may be confusing and unsettling to your cat.
Your cat might be clingy simply because they aren’t getting enough mental and physical stimulation, says Bitbucket. Taking breaks to play with your cat and providing interactive toys to help keep them active and entertained throughout the day can help in these cases.
Cats are routine-oriented, and any change in their routines or environment can make them feel insecure and send them looking to you for reassurance. Big changes like moving to a new home, the addition or loss of another pet or family member, or kids going back to school after a long vacation can be enough to make your kitty need the reassurance of constant contact. Newly rescued cats may also need a lot of reassurance that they’re wanted and welcome in their new home.
Your cat might have had a rough past:
If you’ve adopted a cat from a shelter or pound, it may have been rescued from a household where it was abused. Cats from these situations tend to be very clingy, especially towards people who show them affection and care.
Your cat may be feeling sick:
If your cat suddenly becomes super needy or clingy without any apparent reason, there may be an underlying medical issue to its abrupt change in behaviour.
My cat is suddenly clingy! What to do?
f your overly affectionate cat is already affecting your daily routines, you can do the following steps to deal with the problem:
Identify the cause. While it might be obvious, you may need to do some detective work. Keep in mind that cats are so sensitive to change that something as seemingly minor as getting a new sofa or rearranging the furniture can cause your kitty distress.
Stop making a big fuss when you leave the house. Keep departures and arrivals low-key.
Ignore behaviors you want to discourage, while rewarding behaviors you want to encourage. If his constant yowling appears to have no effect on you, chances are that your cat will stop doing it. (Be consistent; this may take a lot of patience!)
Always be patient and gentle with your cat, no matter how busy you are or how persistently he annoys you. Try not to yell at him.
Rather than trying to stop a particular behavior, be ready with an enticing distraction (for example, tossing a solo toy across the room).
You can also redesign your cat’s living space to provide him with the closeness to you that he craves. For example, set up a tall cat tree right next to your desk, or a “kitty inbox” (a cat bed) right on your desk. Your clingy cat will find this privileged spot reassuring. Set up a second cat bed on or right next to your bed.
Cats don’t have respect for human’s time. They will demand attention whenever they want. In this case, you have to teach your kitty that attention is given on a scheduled basis.
See to it that you play with your cat twice a day. Make it a dedicated time for your pet and schedule it at the same time every day. Over time, your cat will get used to this setup. Playtime in the morning will help tone down your cat and appease their energy levels.
Don’t reward the negative behavior
You don’t have to give in every time your cat tries to reign on your laptop’s keyboard or table. Gently remove the kitty and avoid rewarding the behavior by petting. Doing so will only make your cat more clingy and eager to get your attention.
If your cat stays away, you can reward it with a small treat.
Work on Building Confidence in Your Cat
The goal is to instill a sense of balance. “Their security and confidence should come from their relationship with family members but also from feeling comfortable in their home environment,” offers Bennett.
How do you accomplish this? “Something as simple as engaging in twice-daily interactive play sessions with your cat can go a long way toward building confidence.” During this type of play session, Bennett says, you’re nearby but the cat is also independently “hunting” her toy. (We have you covered if you need suggestions on the best types of chew toys and kicker fish toys.)
Cats can become clingy for many reasons. Separation anxiety, health problems, stress, a new family member, and boredom are some of the most common reasons for increased clinginess in a cat.
There are ways you can reduce your cat’s clinginess. The exact treatment will depend on the reason why your cat is clingy. No matter how you choose to reduce your cat’s clinginess, remember to be patient and understanding. Most of their world revolves around you. It makes sense that they can get a bit clingy from time to time.
Just be patient with your cat and show them, love. Giving your fuzzy kitten a bit more attention than usual may go a long way.
Why does your cat lick your hair? Your cat is most likely expressing love for you! Cats with a particular connection groom each other often, especially if the cats are related. When your cat licks your hair, it’s the same gesture they’re making to you. It’s an indication that they’re at ease, content, and think of you as a part of the family. If you want to read more click here