Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere?
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If you're a proud feline owner, you've probably wondered why your cat follows you everywhere you go. It is common for those who have a good bond with their cat to notice their best friend following them all around the home. Do you find your cat follows you everywhere in the house, especially to the toilet or kitchen? While attention from our cat can be amazing, there are times when it can be problematic. One example is when we have are trying to get to sleep.
In principle this behavior might seem a little strange. It is partly due to the widespread belief that cats are independent beings who do not enjoy company. However, here at AnimalWised we aim to debunk this myth. Keep reading to find out more about why your cat is following you everywhere.
My cat follows me everywhere
For some people, cats have a bad reputation. They are seen by many as being aloof, selfish and even mean. While they have an independent nature, the truth is that cats are very fond of humans. They can be independent and they may not be as attention seeking as dogs, but the bond they form with a human is one of family. There is even evidence to suggest that cats have domesticated themselves.
Cats will follow you for various reasons, including:
- For safety
- They are bored
- Need help
- Want to play
- Want something
- They love you
The ways in which cats interact with humans are varied and expressions of their feelings are equally diverse. While there are barriers to understanding these feelings, we have come a long way in understanding feline communication. We may not speak the same language, but body language, postures, facial expressions and behaviors can reveal a lot about what a cat wants us to know. Following us everywhere is just one such behavior.
Since we love them so much, having a cat which never leaves our side is something we might hope for. It means they love us and they understand our love for them. However, if your cat follows you everywhere, it may signal dependency. This is not healthy since it can mean they have problems when we are not around. Let's look at the reasons your cat follows you everywhere to see what we can do about it.
The reasons a cat follows you everywhere don't necessarily relate to where they follow you. For example, although they may be aware there is food in the kitchen, they may not understand the difference between a bathroom, bedroom, living room, etc. They usually choose their places to go by who is there and what level of comfort or environmental enrichment is there.
Cats follow for safety
Kittens tend to follow their mothers everywhere. It starts when they are sucking milk from their breasts. They learn everything from her and at the same time, feel much safer. Many owners, even when their cat is an adult, maintain a maternal-child relationship. They embrace the role of mother cat-carer by: feeding them, cleaning their box, taking care of them, motivating them to play and giving them lots of affection.
It is precisely for this reason that it is not uncommon for your cat to follow you into every room. Being away from their mother and siblings, a cat needs a secure base on which to lean on, i.e. you. They know that if they are with their carers they will be protected and their needs will be met.
Often the cat will stop following you everywhere as they grow out of their adolescence. However, since the time a cat spends with their mother is so important, cats which are removed from their mother's company too soon can face problems. They haven't been allowed the natural weaning process where the mother begins to shun them so they can strike out on their own. Socialization is all important in kittens, so cats which were removed too young from their mother and siblings might become overdependent on their human substitute.
Cats following you to your bedroom or where you sleep is also partly due to a safety concern. Cats in the wild are vulnerable when they sleep, so sleeping next to you shows they feel secure.
Cats follow because they are bored
It is very common for "indoor cats" to get bored easily. This is often due to the fact that indoors they cannot carry out their typical hunting and exploration activities. That is why when a cat feels very bored you may find yourself responsible, given the task of generating stimulation.
Cats need an enriched environment which can keep them intellectually stimulated. This stimulation is a replacement for the necessary tasks they would otherwise be carrying out in the wild. Since we provide them with security, they do not need to carry out these activities. This is why cats will follow you around. You are the replacement exercise.
Also, if you spend many hours a day away from home it is very likely that when you return, your cat will follow you like a dog: having missed you. If you think your cat is showing several symptoms of a bored cat, do not hesitate to act accordingly and start spending more time with it.
Cats are territorial
In nature, one of a cat’s daily activities is to pace around the area they consider their territory. This both releases their scent and spreads it around to ward off possible intruders. If you notice that your cat is constantly rubbing against the furniture and you, it means that your cat is patrolling and marking its territory.
Being in a closed house or apartment, a feline cannot perform its instinctual territorial habits like it would in the wild, but your movement around the house may suggest to your cat that you are marking the territory. Because of this, your cat may decide to accompany you in this role. Cats are routine animals, therefore, if they've gotten used to this activity, your cat will most likely continue following you from room to room.
Cats follow for help
Usually, when cats feel discomfort or pain, they prefer to hide, adopting a silent and hostile attitude if you try to approach them. However, some felines act on the opposite. If you are wondering why your cat is following you around meowing, it is likely because it is scared or in pain.
Likewise, street cats occasionally follow unknown people, especially if they already have cats at home. Often, there is something in your scent which indicates that you have cats; indicating that you might take it in and help it. There is also a possibility that they just want some food, water or a simple pet. Homeless cats suffer a lot on the streets, therefore, if a street cat follows you around meowing, they are probably looking for help and security.
For help in dealing with stray cats, take a look at our article on what to do if you find an abandoned cat.
Cats follow to play
Play time is very important for cats, especially if it involves chasing and catching prey. An outdoor cat is able to hunt several prey a day, not necessarily just for food, but also for fun. This is purely dictated by their hunter instinct.
Of course, this situation changes when you have a cat that does not have access to the outside. Inside cats inevitably still requires the stimulation that includes persecution - this instinct does not end, even if all of their other needs are covered.
Therefore, it is common for a cat to find other stimuli to help it release energy: like cats that hunt birds that approach windows. Your cat may even follow you around the house and even stalk you from a corner waiting to "attack" your legs, for example. Through this behavior, they are not only fulfilling their instinct, but also having fun with you.
If you are one of the people who prefer that your cat doesn't follow you outside or to the bathroom, we recommend buying different toys for your cat to play with. For some ideas, take a look at our article on DIY Cat Toys for more.
Cats follow because they want something
It is perfectly possible for your cat to follow you everywhere because they want something. Determining what this is can be the hard part. For example, a cat may follow you into the kitchen because they want something to eat. When the cat bonds to you well, they may also follow you and sleeps with you. This is because they want to feel secure when they rest and sleeping next to you show they are comfortable in your presence.
When your cat follows you to the bathroom, it might not be obvious what it is they want from you. However, the cat doesn't know this is a personal or private space. As loving as they can be, cats are not always the best at respecting human boundaries. However, following you into the bathroom is likely simply because they want to be near you. To know more reasons, see the video at the end of this article or visit the original article on why cats follow us into the bathroom.
Cats follow because they love you
Contrary to what many people think, cats really enjoy spending time with their human family. This is because humans offer their cats the love, affection and pampering which they need. Over the years, cats have become increasingly sociable. They have learnt and accustomed themselves to loving their carers company, including: following you the house, following you to the toilet and/or following you outside.
My does my cat follow me everywhere and meow?
Meowing is an interesting vocalization. Previously, it was believed that wild cats do not meow to each other, but only to their human companions in domestic situations. The reason for this is because kittens meow to their mother when they want attention or milk. Since human guardians essentially take on the mantle of a parent, it was thought that cats meow at us because they see us as mother.
However, it has since been proven that cats do meow at each other in non-domestic situations. They just do it much less than they do with us. This is partly because domestic cats know that we are more likely to give a response if they meow at us. It is a useful communication tool for them. The amount a cat meows depends on the individual, but there are some breeds which are naturally more inclined to do it than others.
A cat follows you everywhere and meows because they want something from you. Whether this is food, attention, reassurance or something else depends on the given situation. If you are unsure why your cat is following you everywhere, then you will need to analyse why and see if it is healthy. As long as the cat is not stressed and you have a positive relationship, then the best thing you can do is accept their love and enjoy the time you spend together.
We also provide some tips on how to stop your cat meowing all the time if it is becoming problematic. For more about feline behavior, take a look at our YouTube video where we discuss why your cat follows you to the bathroom.
If you want to read similar articles to Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.
1. Litchfield, C. A, et al. (2017). The ‘Feline Five’: An Exploration of Personality in Pet Cats (Felis catus). PLoS ONE, 12(8), e0183455.