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Stuck On You? 6 Reasons Why Your CH Cat May Be Extra Clingy

March 17, 2013

Let’s face it. You very well may have a clingy CH cat.

In fact, a few months ago 75% of readers said their CH cats *love* being close to them. But as some of us know, our cats’ love can be a clingy, dependent type of love.

Photo courtesy skooksie.

As much as we all may list our kitties’ clingy tendencies as a favorite characteristic, sometimes it can be a bit much. And that’s just the problem – clingy cats don’t understand that you really do need a few uninterrupted minutes to send those work emails, and they can’t comprehend that sometimes it’s easier to walk through the hallway with a full laundry basket without tripping over a small, furry body.

I must admit that I give in, too. As I type this, I’m sitting on my floor. Ellie’s to the left of me, watching as each letter pops on to the screen. You can only imagine what she does when the cursor moves around. But the reason I’m down here is totally because of her – she wouldn’t leave me alone otherwise.

Recently I’ve noticed several folks talking about this very topic on the Facebook CH Cats and Kittens page.

Sarah asked, “What do you guys do when your kitties meow and carry on? As soon as I sit at the computer, use the phone, or try to do much of anything, Sierra carries on and on, until I pick her up. She is so mommy attached.”

Similarly, Sharrylynn asked the group if our CH kitties demand bonding time like hers does. The overwhelming response? YES.

So why exactly do our cats become so clingy? Here are a few reasons:

  • They’re insecure. Consider any changes that have occurred in your home recently. Have you moved the furniture around? Purchased a new rug that may have a strong odor to it? Changes like these can be intimidating to your cat.
  • They’re new. Along those lines, cats who are new to a household, who haven’t found their place in the hierarchy yet, may also feel insecure and may latch on to you. As the provider, you’re seen as an excellent ally and a source of comfort.
  • There are mommy issues. If your kitten was separated from her mother too early, it may have resulted in some bonding complications. Perhaps your kitten has problems with trust; perhaps you’re imprinted in her mind as her true mother. Either way, this can result in a very close bond.
  • Photo courtesy withgalen

    They were rescued. Rescued cats may also have trust issues and be overly clingy. Their prior lives may have been difficult, which could have instilled many fears in them. Once they’ve found a forever home, they may worry that it’s temporary, or cling to you out of thankfulness.

  • It’s a health issue. Sometimes if clingy behavior develops out of the blue, there could be something else going on behind the scenes. A radical behavior change, like extreme dependence, can signal medical problems. You may want to schedule a quick trip to your vet to rule out any serious issues.

Clingy or demanding?

If none of those possibilities sound like they apply to your cat, consider this: Is your cat clingy or is she simply demanding? (Side note, Miss Ellie definitely falls under the “demanding” category!)

Clingy or needy cats may need you for comfort or support. For example, a clingy cat may not eat unless you’re near. They may spend their day as your quiet shadow and cry out when they’re scared or need your help. Clingy or needy cats may have little confidence, whereas demanding cats may have too much confidence.

Demanding cats are likely “in-your-face,” pushy cats. They’re the ones that jump first into your lap. They’ll yell at you when it’s time for food. They’ve learned that being demanding, usually by meowing or dominating your space, can get them what they want. Often our cats end up training us, which can put us in a tough situation.

But don’t worry, there are ways you can improve your relationship with your cat, no matter if your cat is clingy or demanding. Stay tuned to find out more!

Do you have a clingy cat? Or is your cat more of the demanding type? Please share in the comments!

19 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2013 9:43 am

    My CH kitty from Afghanistan (found by us at 8 mos. old) has always been a bit standoffish. Slowly, he’s getting more cuddly, not that he doesn’t crave affection. He just doesn’t give it back. We just moved back from three years in Jordan and he’s been extremely needy after some boarding and the plane trip. It’s kind of cute how he wants to sleep on the bed at night now and both our cats are a bit clingy at the moment. I can’t wait until they are back to normal! I have a friend living in our house so I can’t do tough love by keeping the bedroom door shut when they meow to come in at night. It would wake her up. I think they will eventually sleep downstairs as they used to in this house.

  2. March 17, 2013 12:21 pm

    My cats all tend to be a bit demanding, but as a Siamese-lover, that kind of what I signed up for! Somehow I can tell a Siamese-esque kitten, whether he or she looks like a Siamese or not. Leia and Truffle both think if I’m on the phone I’m talking to them and get in my face and talk back…which is pretty confusing to the person on the phone…annoying sometimes? Yes, but who doesn’t love an insistent late night cuddle buddy??

  3. nionvox permalink
    March 19, 2013 2:03 am

    Chairman can be a bit demanding. He dislikes it when i go out during the day. If he’s anxious he cries a lot, or if we have to throw out his mat because he peed on it again! He’s very attached to them, like a security blanket.

  4. Andy permalink
    July 9, 2013 12:55 pm

    A couple of months ago we rescued a kitty a named him Crixus. He has adapted well to our home but his relationship with our dog (Phoebe) is a bit rocky. The real problem is that every morning , when we wake up and start moving around the house, Crixus starts meowing like crazy (extremely loud and not the normal meows you hear) for someone to let him inside the house (at night we close the doors so he doesn’t sneak around and disturb us). He wants to be pet and just be with someone. I find it weird since we haven’t encouraged that kind of behavior ever. The same thing sometimes happens at night when we come back from work. So far we’ve discovered that ignoring him is not working (we’ve been at it for a month. If anyone can give me a tip I’ll very thankful. Since we live in a big urban area, backyards and homes are next to each other, so even our neighbors can hear him. Thank you!

  5. Karen Aubin permalink
    July 21, 2013 1:43 pm

    Both of my cats have become very clingy and or demanding in the last month. I don’t know of any changes that have been made so I’m not sure what to do. They are both over 10 years old and have never exhibited this behavior before. HELP if you can. Thanks

    Karen Aubin

    • Anne permalink
      October 26, 2013 12:46 pm

      This sounds very much like the behavior exhibited by my cat recently, he is also an older cat, 8 years or so (he was a rescue so not entirely sure). He was always very independent and his health is very good. I would like to know, as I’m sure you would Karen, what could be the cause of this sudden huge change in his behavior. He is excessively clingy, a complete 180 degrees of his usual independent ways. I have looked all over the internet for an answer, but there seems no clear reason why a cat that is older and has passed the time of mating behavior to so suddenly become insecure. He is an outdoor cat but rarely strays from his own yard in the last 2 years and his fresh air time is limited by his own choice. He would stray when he was younger but not for 2 years now. I am baffled and he has been health checked. We changed his diet to Blue Buffalo over a year ago, all natural, thinking maybe his diet was a problem. Am I wrong to be concerned?

  6. Monika permalink
    July 31, 2013 8:12 am

    In reply to Andy – is Crixus fixed? The loud meowing is typical male behaviour when they reach sexual maturity, especially if there is a female in heat somewhere in the neighborhood. Talk to your vet.

  7. August 23, 2013 4:25 am

    I have two cats one belong to my Mother before she passed away almost three years ago, but when I took my Mom in I also took her cat in. This car head butts me if I am on the phone or watching tv. , and must be right be hind my head every minute I am.home this cat is a indoor cat .and about 6 years old. The other cat I rescued the family that had nurse him back to health because he had been a stray and was in bad condition.so they took him to the vet and he got better but started beating up their other cats so the were going to take him to the pound.welliI knew he would be put to sleep so I took him he was 2 years old then he is 16 years old and likes to go outdoors but lately he has to lay right next to me when I am on my couch sometimes he lays right across my feet. Never did that before always wad the bully on the block. But I love them both but some times feel smothered.

  8. Helen permalink
    September 17, 2013 5:27 am

    My kitten is 6 months old and me and my husband adore her, she is very clingy, basically when we are at home she is always with us, even if we’re at home all day. But what is concerning us is what she will be like when we have children, we are planning on starting a family soon but I cannot see how it will work if she carries on like she is. If we have to shut her in a separate room when we are cooking she meows and scratches at the door and she does the same when she goes outside. We really need some advice on this, is there a way to make her less clingy or will this lessen with age?

    • September 20, 2013 7:45 pm

      It may help to give her some dedicated quality time every day. Personally, I think it’s sweet when our cats are devoted to us, but I know sometimes it can seem a bit much. Giving her some one-on-one time every day may help so she becomes less needy during other parts of the day. Good luck!

  9. Amber permalink
    October 27, 2013 7:37 pm

    Okay I just got my cat and I don’t know if she’s a kitten or in between adult hood but I rescued her from my job ever since I brought her home she has done nothing but lightly paw at me rub up against my face and if I’m not constantly touching her she will hop down and meow how do I get her to stop being so clingy?

  10. October 27, 2013 9:50 pm

    I got my cat when she was about 6 weeks old or so. She is now a little over a year old and up until about 5 days ago she always paid more attention to my roommate and pretty much ignored me. I figured it was because I health issues and cannot work and my roommate works so I was always the disciplinarian keeping her out of trouble. My roommate always fed her and she spent a great deal of time in my roommates room. Recently I replaced some furniture and rearranged my apartment. About 5 days ago or so my cat has been in the living room with me and always at my desk, either sitting on my desk in front of my laptop as I work or sitting on the shelf that slides out from the side. She even sits behind me when I am in my chair. It is strange because up until a few days ago she rarely came near me. Now she spends nearly all day close to me and often initiating play with me. I am curious about the change in behavior. Thank you

  11. Tracy Ebert permalink
    November 18, 2013 7:58 pm

    My cat clings to me when I am taking him to the vet. Otherwise he likes belly rubs, and sits on my lap as soon I get home and when I get up in the morning.

  12. Ruby Olvera permalink
    December 2, 2013 2:02 am

    Well i am 26 weeks pregnant and my cat listens to me only not my mother brothers or sister or my husband just me i went away for a 5 days and when i came back my cat seems very sad nd very clingy he sleeps on my feet and or sleeps while hugging my hand nd doesn’t seem to eat much idk whats wrong with him i want to kno if its something serious or not plz help i missmy old buddy :(

  13. pamperedpeach@msn.com permalink
    January 4, 2014 6:13 am

    My cat wants to put his paw on my face, lay on my chest, lick my face, keep his gums or lips on my skin constantly. Right now he is all up in my face and petting my face. He is a huge kitty, this is getting crazy.

  14. Kurt Stryker permalink
    February 16, 2014 10:53 am

    I have always had cats growing up, so I knew how to handle them, I adopted a shelter cat who’s about 2-3 years old and excessively needy. She’s my second shadow. At first I thought, “Well, she’s new to the home, I have to get used to her, she has to get used to me, etc”.

    I have established a routine for playtime, cuddle time (she’s LOVES attention), feeding time. I even adjusted my work schedule to be more consistent. She has windows to look out of, an assortment of toys, full roam of the house. None of it matters. A year later after adopting her, she’s still needy to the point I want to rehome her sometimes.

    She also has an obsession with food; too much is never enough. She gained two pounds in the year I have had her which is too much. I cut her food back and she lost half a pound in a few months.

    She cries. She meows. She “whines”. This is constant when I am home. I have no idea how to please her much less help her. Two vet checkups and a small fortune later determine physically she is very healthy.

    I made a commitment to her and to myself, so I will plow along, but good God…if in another year her behavior hasn’t changed….I may have to backtrack on that commitment for my own sanity.

  15. Mary graham permalink
    April 19, 2014 11:03 pm

    Oh Kurt, I am so sorry your cat is doing this to you. I am ” fostering” a CH 7 month old kitten and he is very sweet and does not talk but twice a day. I like that! I would go crazy with a talkative cat. But I feel like I can’t let him go back to the shelter either so as he is a very good cat he is not my ideal cat. I cat of 15 Years died 2 months earlier and I though I was ready to love again. Well if you can’t take it anymore take your cat to a no kill shelter.

    • Kurt Stryker permalink
      April 20, 2014 10:12 am

      Hi Mary,

      I like talkative cats, to a point, but as I mentioned this one never keeps quiet. She’s not even Siamese either (she’s a calico)! I’m learning to slowly deal with it. She’s done a lot for me emotionally, so the least I can do is work with her. After all, I made a commitment to her and to myself, so if I broke it, I think the damage done emotionally to both of us by sending her back to a shelter would be worse than dealing with her idiosyncrasies.

    • Mary graham permalink
      April 21, 2014 11:36 am

      You a good person for doing that and keeping your promise! I wish you all the luck that it goes well in the future!

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