Why is my cat so clingy ? Cat on owner chest

Why is My Cat So Clingy and Needy? 7 Reasons for Overly Clingy Cats

Cats typically love their independence. Unlike dogs, these furry little creatures are low maintenance and can take good care of themselves. They can use the litter box, bathe, and do almost everything else without the help of their owners. That’s why if your cat starts acting weird and becomes overly dependent or clingy, it can be a cause for concern. 

From cuddling up next to you on the sofa to curling up on your bed to vocalizing every time you’re around – there are many signs your cat is clingy. Although this can be endearing at times, it’s vital to find out why your cat is clingy. As pet parents, this’ll allow you to better manage the situation and help your demanding cat feel comforted and loved.

Signs of Overly Clingy Cat Behavior

why is my cat being so clingy cat laid on bed

Many cat owners find it adorable when their feline friend shows signs of affection. Although affectionate cats can be a source of contentment for their owners, extremely clingy behavior can be a problem. So how do you know that your cat has become overly clingy and needy?

Let’s talk about the signs of a clingy cat:

  • A sure sign of clinginess in cats is they become agitated when you leave them alone. This can culminate into crying, excessive meowing, or even destructive behavior such as knocking things over, urinating outside the litter box and scratching the furniture.  
  • If your feline friend gets jealous when you pay attention to a new cat or family member, it’s obvious that your cat has become clingy.
  • Another clear sign of clinginess is that your cat follows you around everywhere you go, even to the bathroom.
  • Overly clingy felines tend to rub against their owners or headbutt them to mark them with their scent.
  • Purring loudly every time you pet your cat is a sign that it is happy to get your attention. A cat is needy if it constantly seeks physical contact with its owner.
  • Your cat is needy if it stays by your side or acts shy when visitors come over.
  • If your cat loves to sleep on your chest or on your pillow next to your head, it means that your cat is too clingy.
  • Refusing to eat when you’re not home or getting overly excited to see you may be a sign of a clingy cat.

Why is Your Cat So Clingy and Needy?

do cats get jealous of other cats cat is looking to me

Purebred cats breeds such as the Abyssinian and the Siamese are known for their clingy nature. But if you find that your independent cat is suddenly acting clingy, there’s definitely something wrong. You need to pay more attention and find the possible reasons why your cat is behaving that way. 

1. Boredom

One of the most common reasons your cat is clingy is because it isn’t getting enough physical and mental stimulation. Provide your bored cat with interactive toys and play with them every day to keep it entertained and active throughout the day.

2. Insecurity

Cats can get pretty disturbed by any sudden change in their environment. Addition or loss of another pet or family member, moving to a new home, or kids returning to their classes after a long break can be some reasons why your cat may become clingy.

In addition, newly rescued cats need extra care and attention so that they can feel safe and secure in their new home.

3. Old Age

Older cats are more likely to become obsessively clingy due to their physical and mental health deterioration. Dementia and other cognitive disorders can make them disoriented and confused, causing your cat to become clingy.

4. Separation Anxiety

Kittens that are weaned too early from their mothers can develop separation anxiety. It can also prevent them from learning basic social skills from their mother that can help them become more independent and secure as adults. 

Some cats may also suffer from separation anxiety if their owners are away from home for long periods of time. Such cats can become clingy in an attempt to get the attention of their pet parent or family member.

5. Underlying Health Issues

A cat suffering from certain health conditions such as vision or hearing impairments can be insecure. And such insecure cats may constantly seek out their owners in order to compensate for their reduced senses and to feel safe and loved.

6. Poor Nutrition

Insufficient attention to their nutritional needs can also cause a cat to cling to its owner. Cats who don’t eat a balanced diet are more likely to have behavioral issues like aggression and anxiety.

7. Lack of Socialization

Your cat’s clingy behavior might also be due to very little positive interaction with other animals or humans. Your pet is likely to become attached to you as it thinks of you as its only source of comfort.

How to Deal With Clinginess in Cats

cat jealous of other cat cat laid on owner shoulder

A clingy feline can be endearing at first. However, it can become a hassle in no time. For instance, you might have trouble leaving your cat home alone to go to work.

But the following tips can make your cat less clingy without breaking your bond with it:

Understand the Reason

The first thing you should do is try to understand its behavior. Cats are social creatures, and they love being around humans. But if your cat is constantly seeking you out and has become more clingy, there must be a reason behind it.

Get Your Pet to Exercise Regularly

Cats are known to be active creatures, and it’s important for them to burn off excess energy. For that, you need to play with them regularly and make sure they exercise every day. Set up a scratching post or cat tree to keep your cat entertained and engaged. You can also invest in some interactive toys to ensure that your cat gets physical as well as mental exercise.

Give Your Cat Lots of Love and Affection

Another way you can help a clingy cat feel safe and less demanding is by giving it plenty of love. If a cat doesn’t feel safe, it’ll definitely react in the worst way.

The best way to make your cat feel secure is to not ignore it and devote lots of time to play with it every day. Allow it to sleep in your lap or bed once in a while, but don’t make it a habit.

Stick to a Feeding Schedule

Most cat owners know that following a feeding schedule helps to keep their pet healthy and content. In addition, it can also help your cat to become less clingy.

Discourage Clingy Behavior

Don’t pay attention to your needy cat if it follows you around the house, meows excessively or shows destructive behavior. Instead, wait for it to settle down before you spend time with it. This will help your cat become less clingy, as it’ll know that its demands for attention will not get favorable results.

Consult a Vet

The above tips can come in quite handy when you deal with a clingy cat. However, if your cat’s clinginess still persists, it’s best to consult a vet. Some medical condition, such as feline leukemia virus (FelV) or thyroid, may cause a cat to become needy.

Final Thoughts

Us cat owners know and love the warm and fuzzy feeling of our kitten snuggling up on our lap or following us around the house. An occasionally demanding cat isn’t an issue, but if your cat seems too clingy and is constantly seeking attention, it’s essential to find out the reason behind this change.

Remember, you shouldn’t completely ignore your cat. Instead, take corrective steps to help your demanding cat become less clingy can make you both happier and healthier. 


Picture of Evelyn Baxter, Writer and Cat Expert

Evelyn Baxter, Writer and Cat Expert

Evelyn is an animal advocate, cat expert, and the proud mom of 2 rescue cats, Sugar, a beautiful fluffy tabby and Beebee, a black, fluffy beauty. Evelyn has studied animal care while volunteering at her local shelter. She loves all animals and wants to share the animal knowledge she has been lucky enough to gain together with knowledge from other experts with cat parents across the world.