Cats are usually seen as arrogant animals who don’t pamper their owners much. Unlike dogs, cats usually won’t jump at their owners at their first sight from the office and most cats aren’t interested even waving at their owners unless they call them. So, it’s many cat owner’s dreams for their cat to become more clingy and needy. This gives them a feeling of affection.
Now since you are here, your cat might have become clingy and is spending a lot of time with you. It’s mostly a wonderful feeling to have your cat jump at you after a long day’s work. It gives us satisfaction to have our cat’s attention throughout the day. But everything feels good to a certain limit. It can get frustrating too if your cat just doesn’t leave you alone at any time.
It’s difficult to deal with your cat when she’s not leaving you alone during dinner, in the bedroom, watching TV or even in the bathroom. She wants to accompany you everywhere. She would start meowing sadly if you leave her alone for a short while. Your cat just doesn’t understand that you need to pay attention to other important things in life. Cuddling and petting your furry feline isn’t your only job.
But it could also be that you are overthinking. Your cat may not have become clingy but rather you may have become irritable. This can be because of stress-related issues. So how would you confirm that the problem lies with your cat?
Signs that your cat is too clingy
- Cat follows you like a shadow
If you’ve fallen over your cat once or more this week, she might be following you too much. You may have developed a habit of seeing downwards while walking because of your clingy feline pet.
- Scratches you a lot
Are you enduring too many scratches on your arms, forehead, and cheeks these days? While you may think it’s part of her affectionate behavior towards you. Cats do this to get affection while you’RE watching TV or working. But if your cat is scratching and kneading you too often, it means she has become too clingy for comfort.
- Doesn’t eat without you
Another sign of clinginess is if your cat eats too little or skips meal when you’re out of the home. It happens if your cat is suffering from separation anxiety and doesn’t feel like eating alone.
- Clings to the pillow, mattress, and legs
A snug cat is an owner’s delight. You love to sleep with your warm and furry pet in bed. It’s like having a live blanket. But it becomes problematic if your cat starts taking over your pillow and mattress, your cat has become clingy.
- Constant meowing
Meowing is a common cat behavior and the sound looks cute once in a while. But if your cat constantly keeps meowing in your absence, she might be suffering from separation anxiety and becoming too clingy.
- Cat decides where you sit
A clingy cat keeps observing her owner intently. She may get agitated if you sit, stand or sleep on a different chair or bed. She will try to pull you down and show her disappointment until you go back to your seat.
- Scary cat
Your cat’s reaction to strangers can show you whether she’s clingy or not. If your cat sticks to your feet or hides behind you, she has become clingy.
- Demanding cat
Petting the cat is both relaxing for the owner as well as the animal. If your cat wants you to pet her every time she sees you sitting, she may become clingier than usual.
- Sad goodbyes
If your cat gets stronghold of your legs as soon as you try to leave home, she may have become clingy. She would start feeling that she would be alone after you go out and try not to keep yours from leaving.
While you would know that your cat has become clingy by observing these habits, it’s important to understand why she’s doing that. Knowing the reason why she is being clingy would also take us to how we can cure this behavior.
Why is my cat so clingy at night?
If your cat has suddenly become clingy at night time, it may point out a behavioral or medical issue. If she jumps out on your bed, disturbs the furniture and your pillow and does things to wake you up at night, there can be the following reasons to it:
- Cat is a nocturnal animal
Cats are nocturnal animals and they tend to feel lonely at night. This is the major reason why your cat pounces on your stomach, scratches you and disturbs your sleep every night. This is a major issue for many cat owners who have even started taking sleep pills to keep their cats from disturbing their sleep. Cats also like to mate at nights as that is their most active time of the day.
- Medical reason
Such a change in behavior may point out a medical issue with your cat. She might be suffering from some kind of pain due to a disease unknown to you. Such diseases include thyroid, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, arthritis, cognitive dysfunction, and blood pressure. The pain can cause your cat to become more vocal and restless at night Consult your vet before checking for other reasons for her clingy behavior.
- Irregular feeding time
Cats are very moody animals and may skip meals without their owners. Then there are other cats who can’t get enough food despite chugging on food all day. A hungry cat might disturb your sleep and become vocal at night. Of course, you can get rid of this behavior by feeding her regularly on proper time intervals until she makes it a habit to eat at those times only.
- Reinforced behavior
If you pamper your cat too much and her behavior is getting desired results, she won’t stop it at all. If your cat wakes you and you start playing with her and petting her at night, she may do it again and again. Felines are smart and won’t stop until you don’t fetch them the results. It’s important not to play with your cat at night. You should rather play enough time in the day with her and clicker training to fulfill attention demands.
If you leave your cat for hours every day, come back home, meet her for five minutes and retire to your bed, it’s imperative that your cat wants more from you. She has been bored throughout the day and may even have slept for long hours. She can’t resist waking you up to play since she’s so bored.
What do you do if your cat is clingy?
- Make her comfortable
Your cat might be feeling insecure and nervous. Try to calm her nerves and let her feel at home even without you at home. You can make her bed more cozy and comfortable, and provide her with catnip and pheromone to inject some liveliness in her routine.
Bring her attention to things other than yourself. Buy her cat toys or install scratch poles at your home. You can even try getting a new cat or dog if you want. If you leave your cat alone at home, scatter bits of food in the house. You can get a pet camera and such distractions that teach her to have fun without you.
- Schedule training sessions
Appoint a trainer or use DIY videos to train your cat to become self-independent. Do this at the exact time every day as it is a great way to bond with your cat too. If you don’t spend quality time with your cat, she might start thinking that you’re going away from her. So, take out some time for her every day.
- Contact the vet
If she has started doing all this out of nowhere, it may be because of an underlying issue. Consult the vet and discuss with him about the change in her behavior Discuss her meal times and sleeping time for the vet to get to a viable solution. Your vet may also prescribe mild sedatives or catnip to help your cat relieve stress and anxiety.
Why is my cat so needy?
A very common problem in cats, insecurity can arise due to shifting homes, change in furniture, unusual odors or even noisy surroundings. When the cat starts feeling something unusual about the surroundings and insecurity, she would want to be with her owner to feel safe and protected. As this habit grows, she regularly starts feeling insecure without you.
- Separation anxiety
The major reason behind clingy behavior in cats, separation anxiety is caused by various reasons. This may include losing their loved toys, mother, sibling, home, etc. She gets stressed and anxious when she’s missing them and feeling broken. She wants to stay with you in this seemingly hard time.
- Lack of socialization
If you don’t take your cat outside and make her friendly with surroundings, she might become a little too attached to you. It’s thus essential to take your cat to play with other animals and people.
- Need for attention
Some feline species like Oriental Shorthair want to be the center of attention and can do anything for it. This is the reason why they scratch you, meow at you and jump in your lap. If you have recently adopted a cat who felt a lack of love in her previous home, she might act needy. Similarly, a cat suffering from a health issue would also want you to take care of her and would look needy.
Medication for cat Separation Anxiety:
Make an appointment with the vet if you observe your cat showing signs of excessive clinginess and separation anxiety. If you think the anxiety is mild, you can try some calming products to keep anxiety at bay. These include:
- Cat Calming collars
Cat calming collars come infused with pheromones that imitate the pheromone that mother cats produce to calm the kittens. Wearing this collar will work for some cats as they would get a feel of familiarity. Let your cat sniff the collar first before making her wear it to relieve her of anxiety.
- Pheromone diffusers
Wearing collars may stress your cat out in the condition of anxiety. So you may use a spray to diffuse the pheromone around your cat’s room. If she feels better by it, she would stay or you can open the door for her to feel free to leave. Diffusers like Feliway are quite effective in this means.
Your vet may assign other mood-elevating medicines for temporary relief in severe cases of anxiety. Otherwise, change in habits and atmosphere is enough to eliminate anxiety and instill a sense of self-reliance in your cat.
How to get your cat to stop liking you so much?
- Stop reacting to your cat’s demands
Discourage your cat from disturbing you too much by removing them from your lap or pillow. Remind them to be in limits if they are scratching too much. If your cat keeps pouncing on you, resign them to the ground every time until they stop it.
- Ignore the cat
If your cat is scratching at the door when you’re working with the door closed, don’t open it. She may have made it a habit from past results but dissuade her from doing it anymore.
- Don’t pet them when they’re scratching
If your cat meows and scratches you to seek your attention, don’t reward her by petting her as you don’t want to encourage this behavior. Move away from that place and refrain from giving her undue attention.
While doing all that will teach her to leave you alone, it’s important for you to give her sufficient time throughout the day. Take her out for a walk at least once a week to make her socialize. Buy her toys and feed her on time so that she doesn’t become needy all the time.