Do Cats Usually Follow You Around? (Is this weird?)
Are you wondering if the fact that your cat is following you around like a shadow if this is normal? Well, I am here to put the record straight once and for all.
Do cats usually follow you around? Yes, they do. This is for a variety of reasons including curiosity, need attention, separation anxiety, boredom, territorial marking, feeling hungry and many more. In general, it is normal and nothing to be “weirded out” about.
Now that you know that it is normal for cats to follow you, let’s dig into these reasons a bit more to understand why. Also, let me explain what the “Mother Kitten connection” is (I think you will relate to this) as well as “Imprinting”, and how this affects them following you around, keep reading.
Why do cats usually follow you around?
Cats have a number of different reasons why they follow you around. For that reason, I’m going to break down a few common reasons why they do this…
Curiosity is one of their most popular reasons. For example, they may be interested in gaining access to a room that they know they should be in. Or they may just be feeling nosey, and curious as to where you are heading.
Sometimes your cat simply wants your attention. They can be quite persistent and constantly follow you around. This is usually followed up with them “meowing” as well.
In fact, cats are more likely to meow to get your attention (with humans). Even more than using this same tactic with their own fellow cats.
If you do not want your cat to get his own way, and feel that she can just call out and follow you to get your attention, just don’t always give her what she wants.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to offer an alternative to their request. But, let me explain what I mean…
For example, if your cat is following you around and “meowing”, instead of giving her more food, because she’s crying and begging for more and following you around, instead, give her an alternative such as a food puzzle or slow feeder (click here for my 3 best slow feed cat bowls).
This is a complicated one. Usually, this happens if you return home from a long weekend away or maybe even longer.
You may find on your return that your cat may defecate around the house. This may be out of character for them. It may seem weird, but its a way of them dealing with this complex separation anxiety.
Straight up Boredom!
Boredom is another reason for your cat following to start following you around. This is usually more apparent with indoor cats that really do not have much to do to be honest.
Indoor cats are notoriously starved of their natural hunting and day-to-day activities by being stuck indoors all day.
For example, the moment you come in from work, you may notice your cat is really happy to see you. After being bored all day she will start to follow you around the house like a shadow, right?
This is her way of getting some stimulus and something for her to look forward to.
Marking of territory
Cats like to mark their territory. This is an instinctive behavior. You may be thinking, what’s that got do with it following me, right?
In fact, this may be because they are trying to mark their territory, by gliding their body against furniture but this actually includes you. Yes, you may be categorized as “their territory”, in their head.
In other cases, your cat may get a bit confused. See you pacing around the house, during your normal day to day activities, and may interpret this as your method of marking your territory. This, in turn, may trigger your cat to follow you around to do the same.
They may need your help
If a cat is in pain or has an issue it can’t solve, it will naturally try to hide away and become defensive if you attempt to approach it. It may even try and bite or scratch you if you try and pick it up while it is feeling in this way.
This is nothing to worry about and it’s just a natural response, to be honest. However, to confuse matters, there are some cats which will do the complete opposite.
These type of cats will follow you around, trying to tell you that they have a problem or in pain.
Another obvious reason why your cat may be following you around is the fact that she is feeling hungry. It may be close to their normal mealtime and want to prompt you to feed them.
Or, they may just generally be begging for more food after they’ve had a meal. BAsically being a bit greedy, are you with me?
Typically they will meow around their cat bowl (Click here to see how often you should clean your cat bowl? ) if this is the case. To direct you towards their food bowl.
Will stray cats follow you as well (if yes, why?)
Yes, there is a good chance that a stray cat will follow you. If you were walking ( click here to see why cats lay down when on a Leash (Real Reason!) along a road minding your business, and notice that a stray cat is following you, this could be for a few reasons…
Picking up cat scent (really?)
If you are a cat owner yourself there is a good chance that a stray cat picked up on your sent and feels comfortable around you. Understand this, cats have a very sensitive nose. They can pick up on scent quite easily.
The chances are the stray cat is hoping that you may take it in or show it some love. It may feel safe around you because it detected that you have cats, are you with me?
Sometimes, or shall I say, for the most part, they are generally hungry and looking for some food. There is also a chance that just wants you to pet them as well.
What is the mother kitten connection?
This stems from when a kitten is first horn and has an instinctive connection with its mother (sound familiar?).
For the first week’s of its life, usually up to the age of 12 weeks, sometimes this can be earlier, the mother cat will do everything for their beloved kitten. You name it, feed them, groom them, protect them, etc. Naturally, the kitten will build an amazing bond with their mother, similar to humans in a way, right?
Becoming the substitute mother…
When the kitten is eventually separated from their mother. For example, they are re-housed with another family, as you can imagine, the kitten misses this connection with its mother. As a cat owner, the kitten will typically latch onto you as a substitute mother.
Therefore this mother kitten connection has been re-created through your bond with your cat. In a way, this is great because your cat will always be loyal to you for this reason.
What is “imprinting”?
Imprinting is a close natural bond with a kittens mother (similar behavior to newborn babies). Imagine when a newborn baby is born and the first time it opens his eyes he is pressed against his mother’s naked skin. He naturally accepts his mother as a special/trusted person, right?
This is similar to kittens…
Especially if they are rescued as newborns. To be honest, even adult kittens, that have been in a traumatic situation, can have this same feeling. Why?
Because they will associate you with being their savior, understand? They will build a natural bond with you.
Basically imprinting is when the newborn kitten (or rescued adult kitten) takes you as a trusted person in their life and will follow you around at all costs. You will always be someone really special in their eyes and nobody can change that.