10 Signs You Might Have a Clingy Cat

After spending an entire day out of the house with the company of other human beings,
there is nothing more pleasant than coming home to a loving cat. After all, social
interaction with other people has its benefits, but the unconditional love of your cat is just unbeatable.
Your cat probably feels the same way you do when you come home. But how do you know if your kitten is getting just a tad too clingy? At what point does cat love get a little bit too much for you to handle?
Take a seat, wait for your furry roommate to jump on your lap, and as you scratch that spot on their neck that they love so much, check out these 10 signs of clingy cat
behavior.

Your Shadow Looks Like a Cat (The Follower)

clingy cat

Watch your step!- If you’ve tripped over your beloved feline at least once this week,
or if you’ve trained yourself to always look down at your feet as you walk around your
house, chances are that you have the type of cat known as the “follower”.

Your Clingy Cat Has a Hard Time Letting Go (The Scratcher)

cat too clingy

Please don’t go! – Their eyes focused on you, scratches on your cheeks, nose,
and forehead. Do you wonder why your cat gets so affectionate all of a sudden? Well, Cats love to get attention (especially) when you’re asleep or busy watching TV. A
kittie that scratches and kneads its owner repeatedly to get attention might be a bit too
clingy.

If You Don’t Eat, I Won’t Eat (The Dieter)

my cat is clingy
Cat caregivers especially worry about this type – another symptom of clingy behavior
is not eating or eating very little when the owner isn’t at home. This usually happens with
cats that suffer from separation anxiety. While alone they do not feel safe to eat.

Pillow, Mattress and Leg Belong to Me (The Bed Hogger)

older cat very clingy
Cat snuggling – whether it’s winter, spring, summer, or fall, having your cat next to you in bed can be like having a free electric blanket. However, when your precious furry bundle of joy begins to take over your pillow, or significant portions of your mattress, demoting you to the small corner where the coil spring pokes your back – you have a clingy cat issue.

Meow Me a River (aka: Neighbor’s Nightmare)

cat suddenly very clingy
Clingy cat behavior involving meowing– cats calling out to get their owner’s attention is quite common. It can be bothersome enough when you are at home, but the meowing can become constant throughout the owner’s absence. Again, separation anxiety usually fosters this behavior.

Please Don’t Move!

clingy needy cat
Clingy cat behavior decides where you are – whether you sit, stand, or sleep is a matter that requires their approval. Your cat is so attached to you that you will notice that this type of cat will get agitated if you sit on a different chair or lie down in a different part of the bed. 

The Scaredy Cat

old cat clingy
Some cats react to strangers– either by being indifferent or by feeling insecure and
hiding. If every time you’ve got company your cat glues itself to your feet or legs, you
might have an extra clingy cat.

I Want More! (Demanding Kitty)

cute cat (1)
Cat wants to be petted constantlyhearing them purr as you see them enter that state of relaxation can be just as relaxing for the cat owner as for the cat. However, when every time you sit
down, your kitty comes over demanding to be petted, then you may have a clingy cat.

Amuse Me Human! (Manipulative Cat)

cat lethargic and clingy

Demanding clingy cat trait– Is behaviour seen in cats demanding something from their owner when they feel like it. Usually, this is the result of over-pampering. Cats pick up on how
we humans can be easily manipulated. Some cats have no problem exploiting our weakness.

The Clingy Cat Long Goodbye

cat more clingy lately

Honey, I’m home– that moment you grab your keys, your bag, or simply the sound of
the front door knob turning causes your cat to come running towards you. Brushing up
against your leg, seemingly trying to hold you in place. That probably means you have a clingy cat. Over time they begin to associate the “tell-tale” sounds of you leaving with affection time.
Other cats associate it with your actual departure and realize that they will be alone,
triggering separation anxiety. 

Still, having a clingy cat can have its advantages. Even though your cat may be clingy, melancholic or just silly, the fact that you mutually understand each other can feel very rewarding. So whether you spoil your cat silly or your cat demands attention, you’ll still have a loyal friend, eager to spend time with you!

Related

Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat–Not a Sour Puss

29 thoughts on “10 Signs You Might Have a Clingy Cat

  1. AvatarNatalie

    So my cat has all these signs. I just adopted her about 4 days ago and she is 6 months old. How do I try to make her feel more secure?

    Reply
    1. All About CatsAll About Cats Post author

      Hi Natalie,
      It’s all about giving your kitten the time and space she needs to adjust to her new home.
      It usually takes a few weeks for a cat to get fully adjusted to his/her’s new home.
      Here are few tips that might help:
      1) Schedule out daily playtime.
      2) Make plenty of vertical space for your cat to explore.
      3) Enrich your cat’s environment by getting a Cat tree. IT is a great way to let your cat feel more independent and comfortable in his/her’s new surrounding.

      Hopes this helps!
      Please keep us updated

      Reply
      1. AvatarGary Hunter

        I have a Russian blue ( Howard ) whom is my first cat and going on two years old and he has many of the ten signs you have listed and I have thought about getting us a three month old Russian blue boy kitty name “ lurch “ in hopes that this will give Howard something more to bond with. I’m al ways very affectionate with my pets and I I if do adopt Lurch my question is, what are the chances that Howard becoming jealous ?

        Reply
  2. AvatarBridgett Taylor

    Since my 6 month old kitten got sick and almost died he has become obsessively clingy since surviving. His white blood cell count was a 1. Thank goodness I work for a vet that allowed me to take him to work with me everyday for fluids and to force feed him. Constantly on me and touching me. It is really bad and can be difficult to deal with at times. Any advice?

    Reply
    1. All About CatsAll About Cats Post author

      Wow! Bridget what a touching and beautiful story. In all honesty, we aren’t cat behavior specialists. But I do think that you should set clear boundaries and once you feel that your kitten’s behavior is disrupting your daily routine slowly guide him off you with a treat or a toy. For more information, I suggest you get in touch with Pamela from http://www.wayofcats.com she has a life long experience dealing with cat behavior issues.

      Reply
  3. AvatarLiv

    I’ve been so concerned with my cat eating little, as soon as I put food down for her and i leave the room she has to follow me I can’t even shower without her scraching the door and crying. She’s been this way since my older cat died three months ago it’s heartbreaking but she’s very much loved I just need to find a way to get her to eat more.

    Reply
    1. All About CatsAll About Cats Post author

      Hi Liv,
      It turns out that many cat caregivers are experiencing this sort of behavior. Especially when it’s time to take a shower. Cats always want to know what’s going on in their territory.
      The other thing to understand about cats is that they mourn just like us. Try changing her food and set a regular feeding schedule. If she still does not eat, I suggest taking her to your local vet for a check up.
      The good news is that she is so very loved by you and that will give her the strength she needs. Please keep us updated 🙂

      Reply
  4. AvatarRheaniece

    My cat has all of these signs. I adopted her a few months ago, and she’s 9 years old. I’m also very concerned about the separation anxiety since I live in an apartment and visit my family on the weekends. When I come back, I can hear her all the way from the elevator down the hall 🙁 I love her very much and want her to be more comfortable alone. She also really dislikes other cats, so I don’t think I can try that or afford it. Do you have any tips for me? Thank you! 🙂

    Reply
    1. All About CatsAll About Cats Post author

      Hi Rheaniece,
      What you’re describing is actually a quite common issue for many cat owners. Here are a few tips that might help:
      Eliminate anxiety-inducing food and/or drink from your cat’s diet (Fewer low-quality carbs).
      Incorporate mood-enhancing foods into your cat’s diet.
      Try exercises
      Do something they love…
      Don’t overwhelm your cat with many guests

      Reply
  5. AvatarRachael

    Hi, was wondering if you can give me some advice on my cat. She is 10 years old and has always been a very nervy cat around strangers. She appears to be very scared of other cats and does not go out much, generally just to go to the toilet and then comes straight back in. Over the past few weeks she has become very clingy, always wanting to be beside myself or my daughter. The past week she has to actually have her head laying on us all the time. I am out at work during school ours and my cat has always been used to being left alone. Nothing has changed around the house, it’s always been just my daughter and I. There has been a few times when she appears to be crying, but I’m not sure if it is crying or just strange meowing . We give her lots of attention when we are home and never turn her away. At night she has always lay at the bottom of the bed, but recently she wants to be right up beside you, like she can’t get close enough. I am very worried about her and would appreciate any advice you could give.

    Reply
    1. All About CatsAll About Cats Post author

      Hi Racheal,
      It’s wonderful that you’re giving her lots of love and attention and it’s not uncommon behavior for older cats. Some cats do get more and more clingy as they get older. In regards to your cat meowing at night,
      my cats are always meowing at night as most cats do :)… But, if you do see a rapid change in behavior I would have a vet look at her just in case.

      Reply
  6. AvatarKey

    Hi! I have a year old kitten that follows me everywhere and meows constantly (except when I’m not home, she just sleeps). She would probably take over my bed if she could but I don’t allow her in my bedroom :-). I’ve tried giving get an hour of playtime a day after work and leaving toys out for her. She has a car tree next to the windowsill so she can move in between freely.

    What else can I do to break her clingy-ness?

    Reply
    1. All About CatsAll About Cats Post author

      What you’re describing is actually a quite common issue for many cat owners. Here are a few tips that might help:
      -Eliminate anxiety-inducing food and/or drink from your cat’s diet (Fewer low-quality carbs).
      -Incorporate mood-enhancing foods into your cat’s diet.
      -Try exercises that require distance
      -Don’t overwhelm your cat with many guests

      Reply
  7. AvatarKelley

    So my cat is now over 10 years old . Her whole life she didn’t like being held or really bothered with . She playeed fetch and play with toys but that’s really all she didn’t wanna be picked up . Sbut she always slept on top of me at night time. Last year to now she is demanding treats and food and in I sit on the couch she is on top of me if I go sit on a chair she jumps and lays down on me like I cat get rid of her . But I can honestly say I love it me and her always had a special bond but I just don’t know why she changed after 10 years ? Should I be worried? I was told when they get like this there’s something wrong with the human or them . But she seems healthy nothing changed

    Reply
  8. AvatarGary

    My cat is around 18 years old but is as perky and healthy as ever. But is a shadow cat. Everywhere I go she follows me and if I’m inside the house, she sits at the front door and just stares through the glass looking for signs of (my) movement. I’m regularly away for 3-4 days each week and leave food out for her. But when I’m back its OTT attack on me with constant reverse surveillance and attention. Why does she just not just go exploring or to sleep and give me some peace and quiet??? I luv her to bits but she overdoes it.

    Reply
  9. AvatarMaria

    I have a 6 month old cat and he is very playful and energetic. When I adopted him he was only 5 weeks old and was in a very bad condition so I took 2 weeks off from work and was constantly taking care of him. Now he is one healthy boy. I am a bit worried though as I will be going on a holiday in October for 7 days and I am thinking of leaving him with my parents at their house. I sometimes take him their for few hours and normally I stay with him as he is very attached to me and if he does not see me he starts meowing. He is very friendly to everyone. My only concern is that he might feel abandoned when I take him to my parent’s home and leave him there without seeing me for 7 days :(. I

    Reply
    1. All About CatsAll About Cats Post author

      Hi Maria,

      It’s great to hear that you guys have formed such a unique bond. You’re truly lucky to have found one another 🙂
      I’m sure he’ll be fine for those 7 days, you’ll be surprised how cats can adapt quickly. The only thing is I would let you’re parents know a rough estimation of his daily calorie intake. Some cats tend to over eat when introduce to a new environment.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  10. AvatarNancy Cleveland

    Good luck to all! Sixteen years ago a neighbour brought us a kitten she had found in the woods behind her home. Mother had a litter, moved each, one by one, but never came back for Jack. Neighbour knew we rescued and rehomed dogs, cats, birds. This little guy was about four weeks old and, because he was so young, so little, we set up a little area just for him (so he wasn’t trod on by the bigger members of our fur family). All are well-loved, get play times with us but also left to play by themselves or with each other. We’ve had three cat trees, individual scratching posts, toys, treats and all treated equally. But Jack…..for the first year or more, he nursed or attempted to, my neck. I’d put him on the floor and ignore him, give him affection on my terms to break his habit. He eventually stopped this habit but…..ever since, the minute I sit down he is in my lap kneading, pawing my face, arm, head bumping my chest, chin, head, nose. I put him down or move him elsewhere he immediately comes back….until I head for bed (none of our companions sleep with us) Jack does this when I’m on the couch, a chair, at the dining table or at my desk. Distractions, play, nothing has worked. Much as I love the boy this is a problem and has been for sixteen years and nothing has worked. And I am the only one with who he does any of those thing…not the other human in the home, not the dogs, cats……nothing. I’m not complaining much as I don’t like it for after sixteen years there is absolutely no point!! I would just love to understand or figure out why Jack is so obsessive and consistent and, so far, no luck. As much and as often (hourly!) as Jack will do these things I’ve worked as dissuading him using every suggestion I’ve ever seen and it makes no difference. As I said…good luck to all. (BTW…he is also perfectly healthy…..and he is never alone!)

    Reply
  11. AvatarAlexandria Wraith

    @Nancy Cleveland my boy cat Oliver does the exact same thing. He even used to try and nurse on my neck. He constantly wants to be in my lap and when I go to bed, he is right there next to me. But he meows at me if he can’t see my face. And he /HAS\ to be under the blankets, cuddled up to my side. Every night. But he suddenly had become even more affectionate to the point of waking me up to get cuddles or lettings. Is this normal?

    Reply
  12. AvatarKayci

    My cat is approximately 13-15 years old (none of us can agree on how old she really is), but apparently still thinks she’s a kitten with how playful and energetic she is. Recently, within the past three or so years, she has become extremely clingy with me and me alone. I live in a house with four other people and three other cats but she is only like this with me. She follows me from room to room, immediately climbs into my lap whenever I sit down anywhere, and if I’m sleeping or just relaxing in my bed, she has to be right there either under the blanket with me or at the foot of the bed. The thing is, she also gets annoyed very easily, so if I move too much or a certain way, or if I just do something she doesn’t like, she’s up and at the door ready to be let out. But then 10 minutes later she’s at the door scratching and crying to be let back in. This happens all hours of the night and it even disturbs my sleep. She’s also somehow figured out how to kick the door with her hind leg in a way that sounds exactly like a very angry person is pounding in your door. Imagine hearing that at 3:00 in the morning? It’s gotten to the point now where we’ve gone to the front door to find no one there, or left visitors standing outside thinking their knock was hers. Thankfully I’ve taught her not to do it on my door, so it’s really everyone else that suffers from that. She’s only like this when I’m at home – she’s completely fine when I leave for work/school or even when I go on vacation for an extended time. What can I do about this?

    Reply
  13. AvatarSam

    I have a 7 year-old orange tabby, and I absolutely love my cat. He’s my favorite pet that I’ve ever owned, and I see him as more of a familiar than a cat. Anyway, he used to be super sociable and come up to people, etc. This was when I was living with my GF at the time in an apartment(he wasn’t allowed outside), so I think the fact he had no escape prompted him to get used to people coming over and dealing with noise, etc.

    I now live in the country, and he is definitely happier going outside all the time and coming and going as he pleases. However, he is both a scaredy-cat by running away from everyone (even people he’s known forever), and he is spoiled and I think even has separation anxiety. He meow’s all of the time and doesn’t seem to know what he wants. This is a constancy, and no matter what I seem to do (feed him, pet him, play with him, put him in/out), he is never satisfied. I feel bad, because he genuinely seems in turmoil sometimes. What can I do to reduce his anxiety?

    Reply
    1. AvatarAli

      My stray un neutered 7 ish year old cat is the same. Initially he just slept and ate as he was in such bad condition. Now he is back to health and getting neutered on tuesday he is often out in all weathers but he willcome home and eat then he seems to get irritated pawing at me gently pulling my trousers with his teeth as if he wants me to go somewhere he taps my legs with his paws and head butts my legs but seem totally annoyed and frustrated. I put him in another room for a few minutes and often when let back out he settles down and goes to sleep but other times he doesn’t. I’m hoping he will calm down after his neutering. I have read intact males feel a lot of stress emotionally and physically. Any one had the same?

      Reply
  14. AvatarLiz Kroeker

    My 15 y/o cat Mia has always been a people cat but since my other cat Kobe (her littermate) passed away 2 years ago she has become a velcro cat, glued to me. She is never alone as my son works from home and we have another cat who she gets along with. She gets to kneading which can hurt after a while and recently she has started expressing her displeasure with light nipping if I’m online and click on anything that involves sound, so I have to keep my volume down. It’s odd.
    We are trying to help her with spirit essences for confidence building. We have plenty of vertical space but she’s always been a bush dweller. She still loves to play, so we do that. But nothing seems to help the clingy behavior. Do I chalk it up to her age?

    Reply
  15. AvatarChristine

    Hi, I have two cat’s but one of them ( Mocha) seems to be very clingy since my fiance left to take care of sick grandmother in another state almost a month ago. Is she suffering separation anxiety because he is not here? She is right up my alley sort of speak. She follows me everywhere and is next to me or on me any chance she gets.

    Reply
  16. AvatarWinter

    Hey, my kitten has all these signs and more. I had to bottle feed her for a week or two and now she has to be by my side constantly. I mean she has even gotten to the point where she hides in my bag so she can come with me in the car and places, if I use the toilet she sits on my little sisters training potty till I’m done. She has to sleep at all times touching me. What can I do?

    Reply
  17. AvatarMax's Mom

    We are all well trained humans it seems. Maximilion too is always touching me whether his paw is on my cheek or he is in my arms, stretched out napping. I chalk his behavior to being a wild barn kitten, who lost his momma when she was killed by a herd of cattle, when she was stepped on. He is attached to me like no cat ever! But at the same time he is a social butterfly and loves visiting my friends and family. Another thing, he has no real voice so he makes so little noise I put a bell on his collar. He would be in 7th heaven if I would carry him around like an infant. Thankfully, he is slender and not a chunky monkey.

    Reply
  18. AvatarMelody G Shinn

    My cat is obsessed with me. She has to be touching me at all times. If I do not let her in my lap she sits in front of me and stares. If I am up busy she is right under my feet. She trips me all the time. She does not lay in favorite spots and sleep like most. She just sits in front of me and stares for hours. I am retired and she is really gets on my nerves. If I do not let her in my lap. she dive bombs me over and over evan if I squirt her with a water bottle. I dont know what to do. She also tries to run out the door every time it is open. She is a house cat.

    Reply
    1. AvatarJoann Tourville

      You squirt your cat with a water bottle because he/she loves you so much they want your attention constantly? Wow. My cat is attached to my hip and is always in my face, etc. but I would never even consider squirting her for loving me too much. That’s sick. Get a turtle.

      Reply
  19. AvatarAlina

    Wow. Sounds identical to my cat Niko. He’s a Russian White cat, and is deaf. It’s like a shadow, everywhere I go. And when I leave the house – forget it. Meowing and crying. I love him but it’s over the top.

    Reply

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