Why Does My Cat Always Follow Me to the Bathroom?
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Has it ever happened to you that you go in to bathroom to have a moment of privacy, but just as you close the door your feline friend slips in to join you? Perhaps they are already in there anticipating your moves. You may even see the evidence of a raid as there are knocked over pots or talcum powder paw prints. Hopefully you already know that your kitty loves you, but you might think their desire to join you in your ablutions is a little needy. Do they simply want attention or is there something else making them encroach on your privacy? If you want to know why does your cat follow you to the bathroom, AnimalWised sheds some light on the matter so you know why your cat is so curious.
My cat follows me to the bathroom: common causes
There are many reasons why your cat may accompany you to the bathroom. It could be to meet some basic needs. They may be feeling hot and want to share in the cool of the bathroom tile. They may hear the sound of the taps and want to drink some water. They may also simply be bored. The bathroom might not be somewhere they often go, so seeing you go in gives them the idea to follow. Of course, they may also just want to keep you company, despite engaging in an activity which is generally regarded as a solo activity.
If you spend a lot of time away from home, at work or having a busy schedule, your cat may be missing you. They might know your company is fleeting, so they want to make the most of it while you're at home. If this is the case, it won't be only the bathroom where they look out for you. They may nuzzle your ankles while your making your ramen or want to sleep in the bed when it's time to sleep. These are all signs that they desire and appreciate your company.
If it is very hot, often the bathroom will be a place where they can cool off. This is because we often use tiles which don't retain heat as well as other materials. Also, there is usually less light and it will be located in a part of the house which isn't as well heated thanks to its minimal use. Cats need to be vigilant against heat in the summer as their fur can mean they are prone to heat stroke if they don't get enough shade.
Your cat may also follow you into the bathroom to get some fresh water. Even though you have a water bowl for them to drink, this water can become tepid quickly, especially in hot weather. As cats will search out fresh water sources in the wild, your faucets and taps are like a veritable mountain stream for domestic cats. If you think your cat is particularly fond of fresh water, you can purchase special water fountains for cats which allow them to have plenty without following you into the water closet.
Bathrooms: feline adventure playgrounds
If you pay attention to your cat across the span of a day, you will observe their need for entertainment is insatiable. They may partake in activities with which you would tire with quickly, but can keep them going all day. Their imagination turns everyday objects into serious prey which must be treated accordingly. Much of our home is like an amusement park for cats and the bathroom is no exception. It all might seem quite ordinary to us, but the fittings, utensils, toiletries and general bathroom objects can awaken our cat's senses like no other. As cats are notoriously curious, bathrooms can be an audio, visual and tactile playground which stimulate their need to interact with their environment.
Toilet paper in particular can be very enticing to your cat. When they bat it around, they can rip and shred which is endlessly entertaining. The towels are also tempting to scratch or pounce upon, meaning they often get thrown around the bathroom with glee. They can even be used as a comfortable resting place when the shenanigans wear them out. The cabinets can be excellent hiding places and, as cats like to be in high places, the shelves are also alluring. The sink, bidet, bath, shower and whatever fixtures which are in your bathroom can also be great places for them to either hangout or investigate. This means cats can accompany you to the bathroom because they want to have fun with all these ‘toys’ as much as they want to chill with you.
Are you paying due attention to your cat's stimulation?
When they are bored, our cats can follow us anywhere just to get some attention. They may think we will play with them or pet them as part of a bonding process. They may also follow us to play with the objects in the bathroom ‘toys’, as discussed above. The reason for this is because cats need adequate stimulation of both body and mind. It may be a sign they are not getting enough of this stimulation elsewhere in the house if they are following you around a lot. It can happen particularly with indoor cats as they need to make more use of their limited environment.
For this reason, we can find ways to enrich their environment. Providing toys, distractions and accessories allow cats to entertain themselves even when we're not at home. Pet stores are full to the brim of these types of distractions, but you can also go the extra mile and make your own. These homemade toys and furniture are easy to make, economical and, of course, fun.
It is important to remember that an inadequate amount of stimulation and environmental enrichment can lead to aggressive behavior in cats. A feline who has fun, expends energy and is actively engaged throughout the day will be a much happier cat. They are less likely to develop behaviors associated with stress or boredom. If you see some of these behaviors in your cat, but has adequate stimulation, it is important to seek a vet's advice in case there is some other cause behind it.
Beware of cleaning products and cosmetics in the bathroom
Don't be surprised if you leave your bathroom door open and come back to find it essentially ransacked. Your cat can be attracted by the many aromas, textures and shapes found in the bathroom. However, while your cat may not be in danger in the same way as they might be in the kitchen (with hot stoves, etc.), we need to be careful. Most cleaning products and many toiletries we will store in the bathroom contain substances which are irritating or toxic to our pets. Shampoos, soap and creams may also have enticing aromas which can pique our cat's curiosity, but are not suitable for consumption.
It is not only these cleaning products which can cause a hazard to our pets. While it is unlikely to be fatal, if your cat starts to play around the toilet bowl, it can be unhygienic, especially if it has been a few days since you have disinfected. Keeping the bathroom or toilet door closed at all times is best if you have a cat. Not only might it protect your cat from harming itself, it can stop you coming back to a mess.
Do you feel uncomfortable with your cat in the bathroom?
Although we deeply love our cats and kittens, some people may find it uncomfortable to use the toilet while their pet is also in there. Even though cats won't judge us for our appearance or habits, this is an intimate space which can seem interrupted when any living creature is in there with us. Some cats also have a habit of jumping up on you when you are sitting on the toilet. This can make logistics difficult. You may also simply want to discourage them from the habit of going into your bathroom.
If you want to train your cat to stay out of the bathroom, you need to do so with patience, dedication and positive reinforcement. Also, fundamentally, it is important to ensure the other rooms in your home have an enriched enough environment that they will have little interest entering the bathroom with you. We also have more information on AnimalWised if you want to know reasons why your cat follows you everywhere.
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