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Why Is My Cat So Clingy?

Why Is My Cat So Clingy?

Cats are usually less clingy than dogs. Their independence is one of their trademarks that we all love. But if you notice your cat following you around all the time, it might be something else.

You might think of it as a sign of too much love coming from them. It might look cute, but it could also be something else. If your cat is not like this before, the sudden change in behavior makes you wonder "Why is my cat so clingy?"

In this article, we'll take a look at the possible reasons. We'll try to narrow it down as best as we can.

Let's start.

Abandoned or Orphaned

Cats need to bond with their mother especially when they’re young. If they weren’t able to do that, they’ll have a hard time adjusting. Lack of early nurturing from their mothers will affect them until they’re fully grown. This can be seen with their clinginess or when they have separation anxiety.

Another reason why they become so clingy is because of abandonment issues. If you’re adopting a cat, ask about their history too. And while it’s more difficult to care for cats with separation anxiety and abandonment issues, a little love and training will do the trick. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Removed from the mother too early

As mentioned earlier, it’s important for cats to be nurtured by their mother during the early stages of their life. They need their mother’s milk to survive, to give them nourishment, and to comfort them.

If they weren’t able to get this before, it can also lead to clingy behavior. The same goes if they were removed from their littermates a little too early. If they were removed from their littermates, before they reach 8 weeks old, they are at risk of having emotional issues as they grow old.

They have a strong bond with their siblings and mother at this stage. Removing them too early will cause them to suffer emotional issues like social anxiety and clinginess. They should be more mature, and it should be done with gradual weaning or proper transition.

New environment

What if they weren’t like this before? You’re probably wondering “Why is my cat being so needy?”

Well, cats who are placed in a new environment will also display clinginess due to having trouble with the adjustments. They may behave needily because they are unfamiliar with the place.

While addressing this issue may take some time, keep trying and keep encouraging them. A stress-free home is what they need to live healthily and happily.

If your cat is having trouble adjusting, call for help and check if they need medical assistance too. It’s better to be safe. 

New family members

The same goes for cats when new members of the family are introduced. Whether it’s a baby, another relative, or another pet at home -- your cat will have trouble with the sudden changes. They can become clingy overnight. They’re usually going to have some suspicions with the new members in your home.

Transitioning is a good way for them to cope with the new changes around your home. You can help them adjust by putting a limit to the changes that can happen in their routine.

To give them a sense of security, keep up with their feeding routine and other activities. Give them the attention and care they need, so they won’t have to be worried or be afraid of all the new changes.

Cognitive dysfunction

Cats will show clinginess as they grow older. This could be because they are experiencing cognitive dysfunction.

They’re having trouble because they’re beginning to lose their sight, hearing, coordination, or even their balance. They’re not as sharp as they used to be, so they’ll be relying more on their owners for guidance and protection.

Younger cats can also have cognitive dysfunction too. They can have vision impairments and hearing loss which make them feel unsafe in your home.

A good way to gauge if they’re having cognitive dysfunction is if they’re constantly bumping into furniture or if they continue to walk hesitantly at your home plus being clingy all of a sudden. If you see these signs, have your cat checked.

Health issues

Since cats are usually independent by their nature, they won’t show you if they’re in pain. They tend to hide from us whenever they’re injured or feeling unwell. But cats aren’t all the same too; some do the opposite. Their clinginess might be their way of showing that they’re asking for help. Here are some common health problem of cat.

If your cats keep following you around the house and you notice that they either gained or lost weight, lost their appetite, and some signs of anxiety, it might be time to have checked with a vet.

Separation Anxiety

Some cats who have been left alone at home for a long period of time tend to get bored. If your cat was used to being alone at home or used to seeing you leave the house but suddenly changed, it might be due to having a new routine. If your shift changed abruptly, your cat is still getting used to seeing you leave home earlier or much later.

Separation anxiety in cats can also have a lot of causes. It could be due to the new environment, new family members at home, or just an overall change in your routine.

If there are no underlying medical conditions, you can condition your cat to be less clingy. You’ll have to stop rewarding their bad behavior and reinforce it with the good ones.

Final Thoughts

Clingy cats tend to weave their paws on your legs whenever you walk and are always trying to get in between whatever it is that you're doing. While it can look cute and endearing, there might be underlying issues here that need to be addressed.

You’ll need to know if their clinginess is due to their history, medical issues, or separation anxiety. Pinpointing the source can be difficult, but we hope this article has helped you look for those signs.

As a rule, if you’re not sure, just go and ask for help first before trying to fix anything.


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