Let’s admit one thing: life without cats would be much less interesting. They have such odd habits and can exhibit the most baffling of behaviors, a lot of which we are trying to decipher here.
For example, your cat may follow you everywhere, or they may simply wait for you outside the bathroom. They may not even try to come in, just patiently sit there, awaiting your return.
If you suffer from a bit of stage fright and can’t possibly go when you are well aware of the fact that there is a pair of feline eyes staring at you (albeit through a closed door), perhaps understanding why a cat will wait for its owner outside the bathroom will help.
Why Do Cats Wait For You Outside the Bathroom?
Cats will wait for you outside the bathroom because they don’t want to be separated from you or out of a need to guard you. They may also just be curious or hungry, or simply want to be a part of whatever fun you get up to in there.
Cat psychology may remain a mystery to us forever, and what we believe is a legitimate reason cats will do something could turn out to be utter nonsense to them.
However, those among us who have lived with cats for a while have come to understand that cats are usually driven by hunger, fear, curiosity or affection, which also plays into their reasons for waiting outside the bathroom for their owners.
They Are Curious
Cats are curious about everything that goes on around them, and that of course includes the bathroom and what you get up to in there. This is especially true if you also happen to close the door. It sends a clear signal to your cat: something mysterious is afoot, investigate!
Even timid cats will prick their ears up and want to get their whiskers into most goings on. Our Sasha, for example, although scared of a lot of things, will inevitably climb onto the coffee table whenever a mug or glass is placed on it.
They Are Frightened
Fear is also known to drive a cat’s behavior. If they are uncomfortable staying in a room alone, chances are they will get up and walk you to the bathroom, just to be near you and feel the comfort of your presence.
They Are Protecting You
What is also highly likely is that cats wait for you outside the bathroom because they want to protect you.
In the wild, cats are at their most vulnerable when eating, sleeping and peeing. This is why your cat watches you pee: they are letting you know they are on the lookout for any potential dangers, and want to reassure you.
Since cats are obviously smart enough to put two and two together, and they know what it is you are doing on that white seat of yours in the bathroom. Since their instincts will tell them there is no one in the room beside you, and that the door is the only way in, they will stand faithful guard, just as they expect you to do for them.
They Love to Be Near You
Contrary to popular belief, cats are neither heartles nor aloof, and they love spending time with their people. If you are away from home a lot, your cat may follow you to the bathroom just to be near you as much as possible.
This may also lead them to absolutely refuse to wait for you outside.
They Suffer from Separation Anxiety
If your cat suffers from separation anxiety, they will most likely follow you everywhere, the bathroom included. You will however be able to discern some other signs too, like destructive behavior when you are not at home, urinating outside the litterbox, a change in appetite, and a generally clingy behavior.
They Want to Keep an Eye On You
Some cats are masters of micromanagement, and act as if they own you. They will want things done in a very specific way, they will frown upon things done in different ways, and they will certainly want to keep an eye on you at all times.
In other words: they will wait outside the bathroom for you to return and resume what they have planned out as the rest of your day. Probably something to do with either playing, food or sleeping. Plus, they can’t let you get any ideas of autonomy in your head.
It’s Part of Your Routine
Cats are creatures of habit. They will most likely be waking up at around the same time every day, demanding to be fed. They will get used to a certain type of food, or to a certain time to play.
Since you have your own routine, they will match it to theirs. So, if you make trips to the bathroom at roughly the same time, or before and after a specific other activity: they will follow your lead.
They Would Like a Sip of Water (or a Bite to Eat)
Some cats prefer to drink running water, and will take the opportunity to refresh themselves while you are in the bathroom. They may be waiting outside because that is how far they got to before you closed the door, and will barge in as soon as you open it again.
Similarly, if their food bowl is in the bathroom, they will take the opportunity to have a nibble. Cats want you to watch them eat for a variety of reasons, one of which is that they seek your protection. Since you are already on hand, why not make the most of the situation.
They Are Territorial
If your cat’s litter box or water and food bowls happen to be in the bathroom, they will likely view it as their room. And since cats do get quite territorial, you can’t expect them to just let you waltz in there without their approval.
If you are quick enough and close the door before they follow you in, they will certainly stand watch and try to discern what you are doing, and how it affects their food and toilet.
They Are Drawn By the Smell
A cat’s sense of smell is truly extraordinary and happens to be 14 times better than ours. They also like to get to know most of the smells in the house, be it your gym socks or your freshly laundered towels.
Since the bathroom just happens to be the one space in the house that is guaranteed to offer a new smell every day, they may take the opportunity to sniff around while you are in there.
They (Don’t) Like the Temperature
Cats will also seek you out in the bathroom if they like the temperature in there. For example, in the winter, they may want to warm up while you are taking a shower. In the summer, they may want to cool off on the tiles.
If you don’t let them in with you, they will sit in front of the bathroom in protest.
They Want to Play
Cats can also see the bathroom as the ultimate playground. There’s the toilet paper roll (great for biting and scratching), there are the towels (super for cuddling up in) and there is the access to water as well as all the products you have lined up in there.
They Are Looking for Attention
Cats that love to be the center of attention will follow you to the bathroom to make sure you refocus on them as soon as you leave it. This is especially true if you’ve just been doing something together.
Don’t be surprised if your cat climbs into your lap while you’re on the toilet, or even if they try to get in the shower with you.
They Just Like the Bathroom
Finally, we just have to allow for the possibility that some cats just love bathrooms. Some may prefer the bed, others may like the window sill. Your cat may just love the bathtub or the sink, and view the bathroom as their own territory. And they will certainly want to know what you are up to in there.
Why Do Cats Guard You in the Bathroom?
In the wild, cats are at their most vulnerable when peeing or pooping, and they believe you are just as threatened when on the toilet. They will guard you to protect you from any danger.
When you think about it, this behavior is actually pretty amazing. Your cat just wants to ensure you are not eaten by something while you are doing your business.
How Can I Stop My Cat From Meowing While It Sits Outside The Bathroom Door?
If your cat meows a lot while waiting for you outside the bathroom, there are several things you can do:
1 – Ignore Them
The best way to get a cat to shut up is to ignore it. Like children, they are just trying to get your attention. In fact, cats don’t meow at other cats nearly as much as they meow at humans, so it’s just their way of talking to you.
If you don’t respond to their efforts, over time, they will learn to shut up.
2 – Distract Them
You can also try giving your cat a toy to play with while you are in the bathroom. This may or may not work though, as they may be more interested in what you are doing than their favorite plaything.
3 – Leave Them Behind
You can also try to sneak away from your cat so that they don’t notice you are going to the bathroom. You can take a detour if possible, or pretend you are doing something else.
4 – Let Them In
Finally, you can also just give in and let them into the bathroom. This may result in a whole host of other distractions, but at least it should stop the noise.
Wrapping It Up
Don’t mind your cat waiting for you outside the bathroom. They are just being their curious, friendly and slightly inexplicable self we love so much.