Why Do Cats Follow You?

Have you ever wondered why your cat always follows you around? No, it’s not because you have this magical charm that is irresistible to living things around you – it actually has more to do with the learned behavior of your cat rather than your attractiveness!

One of the most common answers to this question stems from the younger days of your cat. Contrary to the popular image of cats as highly independent four legged creatures, there is much to say about the responsibility of a mother cat for raising her kittens during their young days. This is known as the mother-kitten connection, where young kittens learn all there is to know about cat life by following what their mothers do.



Mother cats: from a kitten’s perspective

A highly protective, maternal nature is a natural instinct in mother cats, whether it is in the wild or in a domestic scenario. When a mother cat bears a litter of kittens, she does her very best to provide food, comfort and shelter for her babies until they’re old enough to go out in the wild and start their own families.

Because of the protection and care that mama cat provides to her kittens, things like food, safety, affection and of course – playful experiences are always associated with following the mother cat. And if you’re a pet parent to a kitten or a few kittens, you become the one shouldering the responsibility of the mother cat – this means your kittens will associate security, food, shelter and warmth with you.


Reasons that cats follow you around

Apart from regarding you as a mother cat, there are other reasons as well. If you’re wondering why do cats follow you around the house, we’ve listed down a few possible explanations below.


1. They want to be fed

In most cases, pet parents will always know when their cats are hungry or when they have had enough to eat. But sometimes, humans are prone to forgetfulness – and if you put your cat’s feeding schedule out of whack, more often than not, your furry friend will be intently following you around until you actually do remember that it’s been 2 hours past their regular dinnertime. Basically, it’s their way of saying “feed me, human!”


2. They are curious creatures

Ever heard of the phrase, curiosity killed the cat? Well, take the death part out of the equation, and you’ve got another reason why your cat follows you around. The natural instincts of cats are inquisitiveness and curiosity, and they are often intrigued or interested in what their human companions are up to on a daily basis.


They are also creatures of habit and love a daily routine. If your cats recognize your daily routine, expect to have them be by your side at particular moments – whether it be making your morning coffee and toast in the kitchen, or washing up and brushing your teeth at the end of the day. If you’re asking yourself why cats follow you into the bathroom, it is probably also because the bathroom is a whole new world of interesting things in your cats’ eyes – the sound of running water, the feel of cool bathroom tiles under their paws and the sight of you sticking a foamy brush into your mouth and rubbing it around!


3. They want your attention

Cats who seek attention often follow their owners around the house wherever they may be. Sometimes, your cat may get lonely and just want you to give them your fullest attention. This behavior is often accompanied by meowing and rubbing against you. In some cases, your cat might even jump up on your lap as you’re working on the computer or on your desk, followed by hopping up onto the keyboard and blocking your view of the screen.

Although it is a wonderful feeling to know that your cats love and adore you so much, pet parents have to be careful not to reinforce excessive needy behavior in their cats. Over-attachment can be a serious issue and may lead to depression or other mental conditions in cats whenever you are apart from them for more than a few hours – for example, if you go off on holiday or are away from home for a few days. It’s not natural behavior for cats to be insecure, so try not to reward needy behavior. Instead, slowly train your cat to understand that being independent will lead to a much more rewarding life together in the many years to come.


4. They just want to be in your company

Cats are known to be aloof and fiercely independent, but there’s nothing to prove that they don’t enjoy human companionship too, especially if your cat associates you with food, warmth and shelter. Even if your cat isn’t partial to physical affection, just being close to you is a highly comforting experience for your cat, and if you take care of them well, this might be a lot more common than you realize – for example, they might stand next to you while you are asleep! A little creepy, but it happens more often than you think. They love the warmth from their human companions, and the ultimate form of affection for cats is when they trust you enough to sleep beside you.


Final thoughts

Often, cat behavior is learnt and becomes a part of their psyche from kittenhood, and the life of a kitten often involves a mother figure. Pet parents who raise a happy, healthy kitten from young will almost certainly expect their cats to treat them as mother figures for the rest of their lives, with an emotional bond that is rock solid.

If you own a cat that has been adopted and you’ve made him or her very happy, chances are you’re making up for the lost time it has spent without a mother figure in its life, or in some very rare cases, you’ve been promoted to best friend status. This means your cat associates you with everything good in its life – food, shelter, company and the best feeling of all – love.

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