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Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere? A Pet Pro Explains the Adorable Reasons

Plus, learn how to get a shy kitty to follow you more often!

If you have a cat, you’re probably used to them doing all sorts of quirky and cute things, from curling up in cardboard boxes to using your shoelaces as a toy. One perennial weird cat behavior? Following their owners around. Many cats love nothing more than to follow their humans all over the house (and yes, this often includes the bathroom!). If you’ve ever had a cat do this, you may have wondered whether your cat is trying to tell you something when they act like your little shadow. Read on to get a cat behaviorist’s answer to the question, Why does my cat follow me everywhere?

Why does my cat follow me everywhere?

Cats are mysterious little creatures, and there’s no one-size-fits-all reason for why they follow their owners. “Sometimes they just want attention or they’re bored and they’d like to know what you are doing,” says Dr. Mikel Maria Delgado, cat behavior expert for Rover. “Other times, they are very attached to us, and enjoy being close or being petted,” she adds. And who can resist giving the little guy a pet when they’re following us and nuzzling our legs? Unsurprisingly, hunger can also be a driving force here. “Some cats think that every time you walk into the kitchen it’s an opportunity for a snack!” she says.

Cat meowing by woman's feet

Should I ever be concerned about my cat following me everywhere?

In most cases, being followed by your cat is a normal occurrence. However, if your cat is following you constantly, you may start to worry that they have attachment issues or are shadowing you as a call for help (after all, it’s not like they can talk).

Dr. Delgado says that while cats can develop separation anxiety, the condition doesn’t manifest itself in following. “Some cats do develop separation anxiety, but this is diagnosed based on what your cat does when you aren’t around, not when you are, which usually means you need a webcam,” she explains. “Cats with attachment issues may meow, pace or have a hard time settling down when their human isn’t home. Some cats may become so distressed that they over-groom or urinate outside the litter box,” she adds. “If your cat shows any of these behaviors when you aren’t home, talk to your vet,” but just having your cat follow you without any of these other behaviors isn’t a cause for concern.

How do I get my cat to stop following me so much?

If your cat is constantly following you into spots where you’d rather they not hang out (say, the bathroom or the garage), you may want to know how to stop this behavior. In these instances, distraction is key. “You can give your cat activities to do to keep them busy if you’d like them to leave you alone,” says Dr. Delgado. She suggests a lick mat or food puzzle, so that you can keep them entertained (and let them have a treat!) without needing to follow you. Playing with your cat is also essential, as this will keep them busy and burn off some of the energy they may be using to follow you non-stop.

Cat sitting on top of toilet

How do I get my cat to follow me more often?

If you have a standoffish kitty, you may wonder how you can encourage them to follow you. It turns out the answer is again using treats, albeit in a different way. “You can use treats and positive reinforcement training methods to encourage your cat to follow you,” says Dr. Delgado. “Try dropping treats when you walk around and most cats are going to be interested in following you!”

Woman's hand offering treat to black cat

You can also try a simple training technique. “Train your cat to touch a target (for example, a wooden spoon handle) with their nose by giving them treats when they investigate the target,” Dr. Delgado says. “Soon, you can hold the target at your side while you walk around, and reward your cat for following you and touching it.” This can help your shy cat come out from under the bed and start being more outgoing.

Two cats following woman

Ultimately, being followed by your cat is just one of the many fun parts of being a pet parent. Some people believe following behavior is linked to a cat’s gender and there are even theories that a cat following you has a spiritual meaning. While it’s nice to think that there may be a greater meaning to being trailed by your cat, Dr. Delgado says, “I personally wouldn’t read too much into it.” As she puts it, “Our cats live in a pretty small space with us, and often we are the most interesting thing happening at any given moment!” Luckily for us, the feeling is mutual!

Read on to learn more about quirky cat behaviors!

Why Do Cats Like Boxes So Much? Vets Explain Why Kitties Can’t Resist Cardboard

Why Does My Cat Sniff My Face? Here’s the Reason Behind the Curious Kitty Behavior

Why Do Cats Like Shoes So Much? Vets Reveal the Reason for Their Quirky Obsession

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