Cats are often considered aloof creatures who love to live their lives on their own terms. They will only cuddle when they feel like it, and they will actively seek out the loneliest spot in the house.
However, there is certainly another side to (some) cats, who will follow their owners everywhere they go, at all hours of day and night.
Why does your cat follow you everywhere, and what are they trying to communicate?
Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere?
Your cat is likely tagging along everywhere you go because they want something: attention, food, playtime, or to simply satisfy their curiosity. Plus, they also just like your company.
While we can never be sure exactly how our cats see us, one thing is for sure: they do like spending time with us. The bond we share is deep and special, so it should come as no surprise that they want to hang out whenever there is an opportunity.
Cats are also curious and want to be a part of everything that goes on in the house. They are well aware of the fact that you are the source of most events, so they will come join you in whatever you are up to.
A cat may also follow you when they are feeling insecure or stressed, and are just looking for some protection and reassurance. This can happen when you move, when you adopt a new pet or have a baby.
Not all cats will follow you around everywhere. Velcro cat breeds, like the Bengal, Ragdoll, Maine Coone or Persian are more likely to be extra cuddly and clingy, but there are exceptions to every rule, and it will often come down to a specific cat’s temperament.
They Like Your Company
Your cat likes to spend time with you, there is no denying it. Even if they want to be alone sometimes (after all, we all need our space), they do still enjoy your company, and will want to be around you.
This may result in them following you around everywhere. If you also happen to be doing things they find interesting (like cooking, going to the bathroom or doing the laundry), they are likely to see what all the fuss is about anyway.
They Rarely Get to See You
If you are away at work a large portion of the day, your cat will use every opportunity it gets to spend time with you. To maximize on said time, they will follow you around the home.
Make sure you give them plenty of attention, to reassure them your absences won’t prevent you from showering them with all the cuddles and love they desire (and deserve!). Play with them to help them spend all that pent-up energy they have been conserving while they were napping during your absence.
They Are Hungry
A hungry cat will tag along to see if they can get a bite to eat. The same goes for a cat who just loves to eat, even though they may not actually be hungry.
If your cat wants you to watch them eat and always seems to be taking you to the food bowl, examine their diet and determine if they are getting enough nourishment. Your vet will be a good person to solicit some advice from.
Don’t overfeed your cat just to satisfy their cravings or get them to stop following you. Overweight cats have all kinds of health issues.
They Want Some Attention
If you tend to live a busy life and have a lot on your plate, you may not get enough time to spend with your cat. If they are feeling a bit neglected or just like they don’t get the amount and kind of attention they want, they will follow you around to secure those hugs and cuddles.
Do your best to find time to spend with your cat. If this means letting them sleep at the foot of the bed, then so be it.
They Are Curious
Cats are curious by nature, and will want to explore anything and everything that goes on in their home. They will follow you to make sure they don’t miss out on anything. After all, there is always something new to discover. For example, your socks will smell differently every day, and they can’t let a single smell pass them by without giving it its due attention.
Cat curiosity also causes them, in part, to wait for you outside the bathroom. While they also want to protect you, they are also interested in what you get up there. They won’t shy away from watching you pee either.
Their Routine Has Been Upset
Cats are also creatures of habit. If for any reason their usual routine is upset, they will adapt in ways that we may not completely understand. Following you everywhere for comfort and reassurance might be one such behavior.
You may have done something small, like change their food or the time you leave for work. There may be major changes afoot: you may have a new pet or a new family member, or you may have moved or renovated.
When this is the case, give your cat plenty of time to readjust, and reassure them with extra cuddles.
They Are Bored
If a cat is bored, it will find a way to entertain itself, don’t you worry. Following you might seem like the simplest and most efficient way to stimulate their mind and body.
Make sure your cat has plenty of toys they can play with even when you are not there. You can also leave the TV on for them, if you’re sure they won’t jump on it and knock it over. Our Sasha loves watching cartoons for example, but we’d never leave her alone with the TV. You never know when she might suddenly decide it’s prey.
They Are Acting on Instinct
Kittens follow their mothers to learn more about the world and the appropriate ways to do everything. They are also clinging to her for security and food. When they are separated from their mother, they will often replace her with their owner.
If a cat has been weaned by its mother and entered a stage of semi-independence before they move in with you, they will probably stop following you as they grow up. However, if they have been separated from their mother too early, they may cling to you well into their senior years.
They Have Separation Anxiety
Some cats suffer from separation anxiety, and are more prone to following their owners around. If you notice they are extremely stressed every time you leave and don’t want to leave your side for a second when you come home, talk to your vet about the best way to retrain their brain and make them feel more confident when they are on their own.
It may take a while, depending on the severity of their anxiety, but you can get our cat to feel more comfortable over time.
They Are Territorial
A territorial cat will follow you around to make sure you are not invading their space. This may particularly apply to the area of the home where their food and water bowls and litter box are located.
They Are Micromanaging You
Some cats also want to micromanage you and keep an eye on everything you do. They may just sit near you and observe while you are cooking or ironing, without actually wanting to engage in the activity. These cats just want to be kept in the loop and ensure everyone is doing what they should be.
They Need Your Help
Since cats can’t talk to us, they will also follow us when they want to get our attention. They may be hungry or thirsty, or their litter may need changing. When this is the case, they will follow you and try to get you to follow them.
If a cat is feeling ill or stressed, they will cling to you more. If you notice they are less energetic than usual, if they appear lethargic or are eating less and sleeping much more, take them to the vet just to make sure they are not following you to let you know they are ill and need help.
Why Does My Cat Follow Me to the Bathroom?
Cats follow you to the bathroom either because they want to protect you, or if they want to play and are curious about what you are up to in there. They may also just like to drink running water.
Since cats are most vulnerable in the wild when they are doing their kitty business, they may believe the same applies to you. They will thus follow you to the bathroom to guard you.
Since the bathroom is also full of fun smells and toys (like toilet paper) they will go in there with you to play or have a sniff around. They may also want to make sure their litter box is not disturbed if that’s where you keep it.
If your cat prefers to drink running water, they will also follow you to the bathroom to take a sip, since they realize they can’t operate the tap without your help.
Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere But Won’t Cuddle?
If your cat follows you everywhere but won’t cuddle, they may be feeling stressed or anxious. They may also not be completely comfortable with human touch.
Cats that have had a tough kittenhood may have a tougher time bonding with humans. They will want to be near and will follow you around, but they may at the same time refuse to be cuddled.
Talk to your vet about the best way to help your cat socialize and feel more comfortable in your presence.
Why Does My Cat Follow Me and No One Else?
Some cats may form a strong bond with just one person in the household and choose to follow just them. They may also associate food and play with you and no one else.
Not all cats have one favorite person, but those that do tend to cling to this human more than anyone else. For whatever reason, they will have formed a special connection with you.
Should You Be Concerned About Your Cat Following You?
You shouldn’t be concerned if your cat follows you about, unless this behavior appears suddenly and seems extreme. Otherwise, your cat just likes to be around you.
If your cat starts exhibiting clingy behavior that has not been there before, there is something bothering them. If there has been a change in their usual routine, it’s probably down to that. Your cat will just need some time to settle in.
If you’ve not made any changes, they may be feeling ill and will need to be seen by a vet, especially if they are also showing other behavioral changes, like a drop in appetite.
When Sasha was neutered, she refused to leave my side for longer than five minutes. I could just about make it to the bathroom on my own, but she expected me back on the couch or in the bed as soon as possible. Since she is certainly not a clingy cat otherwise, we understood that her cone was bothering her and that she just wanted to feel safe and secure near me. She has since then developed some other snuggling habits of course.
Wrapping It Up
While having your cat follow you everywhere might be a bit disruptive, it’s likely just their way of living their best life. Prevent them from getting in the way when you are cooking or cleaning, but otherwise, enjoy their furry company.