Facts about the animal kingdom

Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere?

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: November 12, 2020
Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere?

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If you're a proud feline guardian, 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. Especially if we are trying 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. Here at AnimalWised, we aim to debunk this myth. Keep reading to find out more about why your cat follows you everywhere you go.

  1. My cat follows me everywhere
  2. Cats follow us for safety
  3. Cats follow us out of boredom
  4. Cats follow us to guard their territory
  5. Cats follow us for help
  6. Cats follow us to play
  7. Cats follow us because they are begging
  8. Cats follow us because they love us
  9. My does my cat follow me everywhere and meow?
  10. Is it healthy for a cat to follow us around everywhere?
See more >>

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.

While we may think our cat following us everywhere is a unique part of their personality, they are not the first to do it. There is evidence to suggest that cats have domesticated themselves. This means the first cats likely followed humans around to make their lives better and safer.

The main reasons cats follow us around everywhere include:

  • Safety
  • Boredom
  • Territoriality
  • Help
  • Play
  • Begging
  • Love

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 us 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.

Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere? - Cats follow us for safety

Cats follow us out of boredom

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 follow us to guard their territory

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 us 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.

Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere? - Cats follow us for help

Cats follow us 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 us because they are begging

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 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 us because they love us

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[1].

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.

Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere? - My does my cat follow me everywhere and meow?

Is it healthy for a cat to follow us around everywhere?

As we can see from the reasons above, a cat following us around is something a healthy cat will do. A healthy cat will want to show us love, they will know they can be safe with us and they are enacting the instincts of their species.

However, it is possible a cat follows us everywhere because there is something wrong. If a cat is following us everywhere for safety, it may be because they feel unsafe in the home. This could be for any number of reasons such as loud noises or the presence of a new family member.

Cats may follow us everywhere to beg for food because we don't provide them enough. They may be more territorial than usual because there is another cat bullying them in the area. If we ask ‘why does my cat follow me everywhere?’, we should determine whether it is healthy behavior once we find out.

We may need to feed them more, play with them more, give them more security. We also may find the cat is too clingy and we should find ways to ensure they feel secure when we are not around. This means removing stressors in their environment, enriching said environment and generally tending to their well-being.

For more about feline behavior, read our article on why my cat starts acting weird. You can also 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.

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Janet Williams
Enjoyed this article. It also helped to reassure me that it is okay for my cat to follow me everywhere. She is a vital source of companionship for me and I'm perfectly happy for her to continue to follow me around.
Administrador AnimalWised
We are very happy to provide some reassurance, it's one of the reasons we do what we do!
Shirley Chaffin
Im 72 my car Chloe was bottled fed .And she think im her mom .And she has always slept with me .The last week she follows me everwhere and cries. i do sleep on my sofa and she has. Started sleeping up beside me .She is healthy and i know she thinks im her mon .She is so loving .And it does concern shes started do this . When she follows me and cries and i come and lay down thats what she wants She is okay and gets up next to me .I do have bad health and heart problems and i know our babies can sense things.
Sabrina Taraszka
Thank you for this article we recently adopted a 9 year old cat and we were worried about how clingy he seems to be. I have grown up with cats my whole life but they have never been as loving as me and my fiances first cat together. Do you have any advice on how to get him to let us eat in peace though without having to lock him up? He doesn't want our food but he has to be near us at all times which means as soon as we get up off the couch from being next to him he is also up and following us. In the kitchen he will usually just sit on the carpet and watch us. But as soon as we take the food onto the table to sit down he is all over the table trying to get us to give him attention instead of eating. We have tried clearing off a chair or a corner away from us so he can sit and watch, but he is insistent he needs to be right up against us getting hair on our plates.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Sabrina,

Is there another room your cat can stay in? While we may think we are helping our cat by giving them attention whenever they crave it, cats need to know that there are boundaries. If you can't leave him in a different room while you eat without him becoming distressed, it sounds like he may have dependency issues. Maybe he is not stimulated enough? Or maybe there is some source of stress affecting him?
Rudolph Zerlinger
Hi Josie, thank you for the article! I often read on this website and I really enjoyed this. The reason why I came here to read about this is a bit sad though (at least for me). One of my cats (her name is Regi) seems to do quite the oposite of what the article is about and I just wanted to read and dream a bit.... To clarify: My cat always avoids and runs away from me. Reading the last point, that cats follow you because they love you really hurt me. I want my Regi to follow me as well but all she does is run away from me.
What I am doing now is searching the internet and asking experts of the field a very hurtfull but necessary question: Do you think my cat hates me?
I have been reading for weeks about this topic and I came across this article https://realcattalks.jimdofree.com/2018/09/07/how-to-stop-your-cat-from-running-away/ which says it's perfectly normal for some cats to just dislike a certain human being. Is that true?? Do you think my cat simply dislikes me?? Please say no.... But I would love to hear back an honest opinion. It would really help my situation. Thank you and best regards from a small village in Germany, Rudolph.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Rudolph
All cats are different and all hold varied preferences and personalities. Cats are crafty and intelligent, therefore, they will always favor the person who offers them what they need and/or want. Additionally, some cats are more standoffish and independent than others, which is simply a part of their character. Cats also like their alone time and it doesn’t necessarily mean it hates you. If you would like to try win over some of your cat’s attention, you can take a look at our article on how to make your cat happy:

We hope it helps! AnimalWised
Ok this Cat Monty is not my cat he is my roommates. Ever since I moved in here. He had grown attached to me each and every day. I get up he looks at me like really like he don't want to follows me at all but he gets up anyways and follows me. I feed him each and play with him and just cuddle. I don't know if that plays in the factor on him following me but I think it's cute He doesn't meow unless I done something to upset him or he really wants something Like me put his food bowl down so he can chow down on it. but he purrs a lot though so It makes up for non meowing.

That's him trying to steal my green tea ice cream
We rescued a very small kitty who was starving. She had been spayed. For months she would not leave our bedroom, but now she is out and about, but still sleeps for long periods and likes to have different places to sleep. Is this normal?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Nancy,

Cats do indeed like to spend a lot of time sleeping and will sleep anywhere they feel comfortable. Many cats will have preferred places to sleep, most of them up high, but not always. It will often depend on the breed and personality of the individual cat. While it is likely she will have needed some time to adjust to her new environment, now she is out and about, sleeping is normal feline behavior. If she wasn't sleeping and showing signs of stress, this may be different. You can check out this article for more info:

Yes my male cat is neutered has been for 3 years. He is a inside cat he dose not have any fleas it might because he is to warm or something I can not afford to take him to the vet I am on a fixed income.
I have another question my male cat is always scratching himself. He dose not have flees. He is a long haired male cat 3 years old. He seems to be breathing heavy at times. We got him as a stray 3 years ago he has all his shots. He seems to be wanting to be by me more than my room mate it is his cat.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Sherri,

It could be many things, but it is understandable it may be an infestation if they are scratching. If it continues, it is best to take them to the vet as it is a possible sign of an underlying pathology. However, we should also ask if they have been neutered. The hormonal issues raised by not being neutered can seriously affect their behavior.
I was wandering if someone can tell me why my male cat dose not want to be botherd when we are down stairs. As soon as I go in my bedroom he wants to be petted and loved but dose not want to be picked up
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Sherri,

There are many possible reasons, but it is likely he sees the bedroom as the place to rest and many cats will join their owners when it comes to sleepy time. The reason for this association is personal to them. Also, some cats just don't like to be picked up. It's a preference which may have something to do with their socialization process, but is equally difficult to know for sure.

Rudolph Zerlinger
Glad to now know a bit more about my girlfriend's cat meowing and following us around all the time. Joey is such an affectionate cat, we thought there was something wrong with him. It's getting to a point where we think it's a bit annoying to be honest. Don't get me wrong, we love to cuddle up and play with him...but in the night? No thank you, I need my sleep haha. I know this article doesn't quite deal with that, but can you (or somebody else) explain, what one can do in such a case? Like,...quieting Joey down a bit. I read that the reason for a cat wanting attention all the time is also because it may be bored all the time. But honestly, what can we do to make him more active throughout the day... We both work, so we cant play with him during day time and well...he can go out but I think he never does. So, how can we make him play more without us being there? Would love to hear some feedback on this. Thank you!
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Rudolph,

It can be difficult to keep a cat mentally and physically stimulated throughout the day while you're not around, so here is some more info:


However, if you fear they are lethargic, not wanting to play or generally disengaged (it sounds a little worrying that your cat has access to the outside, but has no interest in going out), then you should also take measures to ensure their health is OK.
Adopt another cat (better younger and of the different sex).
Then your old cat will have a companion. The new cat will keep them busy. 😸
Administrador AnimalWised
Good idea Grace! AnimalWised
Dan Morris
I've always loved cats and having lost my lovely 'Maine Coon' breed male called Spyder in 2017 I have recently adopted two siblings. The male follows me around in the house and watches what I do, sleeps with me in the night and licks and cleans me. The female is more independent and goes off for hours outside. In my experience the most affectionate cats are males, they also tend to be the most loyal. Of course this is only my experience. As someone who loves lap cats I am really glad to have another buddy who follows me around etc. I'm a 30 year old guy but real men love cats! This article was good so I have rated it five stars.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Dan,

Thanks for the comment. Sorry to hear of the loss of Spyder, but we're glad you have his memory to help you look after your new companions!
One of my rescue cats (FEMALE) keeps following me everywhere and she is the most lovable cat in the group. Years back a had another FEMALE cat like that.
IMO (and experience) strong bonds with humans can be developed by either MALE or FEMALE cats. It's just a personal trait and has nothing to do with sex.
Baris Gencel
As an new cat owner I agree with the article. I have only 2-3 months relationship with Nana ( My black baby cat ) and She follows me everywhere and very interestingly we do things together, watching BBC Big cats, cooking, dancing, playing hide and seek and she always on my shoulders to look around. I gave full freedom and love to her so thats why maybe we had strong bond, it is very special animal
Administrador AnimalWised
Glad you guys are getting on so well, Baris!
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Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere?