Anyone who owns a cat knows these fur babies are fiercely independent. Kitties love to dash off on their own, even when you’re cuddling and petting them just the right way. So, why does your pet insist on staying close when you’re in the bathroom, of all places? As it turns out, this cat quirk actually makes a lot of sense.
“Where cats are concerned, the right to privacy goes only one way. Theirs,” says Marty Becker, DVM, in an article for Vet Street. But don’t think that your kitty is intruding on this private moment just to annoy you. “Cats always want to know what’s going on in their territory, and they probably want to make sure you don’t do anything that might attract predators,” explains Dr. Becker.
It’s easy to forget that our spoiled cats would be considered both predators and prey if they lived in the wild. Although cat predator behavior is referenced more often — to explain why cats won’t sleep at night and why cats chirp for example — their prey behavior is also important to remember. After all, our felines are relatively small in size compared to other creatures out there.
Other cat experts suggest additional reasons for your kitty’s strange obsession with your bathroom. “Cats probably know that when we are on the toilet, we are a captive audience,” says cat researcher Mikel Delgado in an interview with Inverse. “Nowadays, we are so busy and distracted that many cats are probably looking for an opportunity to have our undivided attention.” How can you say no to that?
As any feline fan knows, a cat only wants affection on his or her terms — it’s never shocking that he or she shows interest when your attention is elsewhere. What could be more intriguing to a cat than a closed door? You love your kitty, so you open doors — both literally and figuratively — for your pet all the time.
Veterinarian Kathryn Primm, DVM, sums it up like this: “Vulnerability, curiosity, and resource value can all be explanations, but really, everyone with a cat knows the real answer. Cats are contrarians. It is in their DNA to want what they cannot have.”
Hard to argue with that!