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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!

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46 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!

    • Allie permalink
      August 4, 2014 2:00 am

      Your cat needs affection and interaction, and you consider that “weird behavior”? And you apparently think his need for love isn’t natural, but consider it some odd behavior that only occurs when specifically encouraged…?

      And did I understand correctly that you lock the cat out of the house and night – and then you are surprised that he desperately wants to come in and be with you??

      My tip for you is to rethink cat ownership. (Although you can’t be considered much of a cat owner given that you’re put off by the cat’s need for company and affection)

      I’d say find the little guy a good home where he is truly loved and gets the affection he needs.

    • August 20, 2014 10:25 am

      I agree with Allie. Cats very much need normal attention and care and affection, and it is not safe to leave him outdoors at night. There are predators around and he is afraid at night and needs to be indoors. You need to play, talk to, pet your cat. Ignoring him is cruel. The cats that we are talking about in this article are cats that cling for various reasons. Your cat sounds like a normal cat who is being denied normal care and is crying out for basic needs. Also, every cat I have ever had starts to meow or jump on my bed in the morning when they want breakfast. Mine start at about 8:00am. I just get up and feed them. Most cats do this. So give your cat affection, brush him, get him some toys to play with and for his safety do keep him inside. You will find he will respond and be a sweet cat.

    • melissa permalink
      February 20, 2015 3:29 pm

      yeah, let him be an indoor cat. You “rescued” him from what if you are going to leave him outside with the dangers of cat fights, cars, raccoons, dogs, harsh weather, etc.. Is he an ornament for your house or did you get him as a pet? If you rescued him so he could be a pet, why dont you train him how to sleep at night, pay some attention to him when you are home and dont ignore him.

  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 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!

    • October 17, 2014 12:24 am

      Simple. Giver her a playmate.

  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. 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!

  16. Jennifer Johnson permalink
    May 8, 2014 1:04 am

    So. I have a cat named hermione. She is my baby. I got her at 6 weeks old and can vouch for the strong mother bond. I can’t have children of my own so she has become my family. My whole world. But she’s always up my butt and meowing at me every few seconds because I’m not showing her attention. I’ve recently gotten her fixed and hope this will calm her down a bit .. We shall see

  17. nabila permalink
    May 17, 2014 7:22 am

    Its strange how u lot rescue a cat and den be heartless and want to rehome them. They have feelings too. I have 3 cats. 2 Who i rescued. I have a small apartment and have to divide my attention to all 3. but i would never rehome them or give them to a shelter. If the cats were human babies would u give them away? they cling because they love u not because they want to annoy u. When u get annoyed lightly push the cat and say no in a harder tone. Cats understand through ur tone and body language.

    • Kurtis Stryker permalink
      May 17, 2014 6:22 pm

      Some of us have long days at work, families, and other stressors in our lives so to have a pet that is excessively high maintenance is not helpful in that regard. A lot of us don’t have the luxury of spending 24/7 with our pets like some people do either to satiate a pet’s constant need for attention.

      Your (ur) condescension and arrogant tone is beyond offensive. People (ppl) come here and other forums to (2) look for (4) suggestions on how to deal with overly needy cats, plus to vent their frustrations, not to be talked down to. For the record, rehoming is a valid option unless all, and I mean an exhaustive “all”, options and methods have been explored and utilized; it should never be a option used as first choice or on a whim.

      Unless you have some valid, pertinent advice, sometimes keeping to yourself (urself) is a better route. Simply because you can post a comment, doesn’t mean you should.

  18. matt sylvester permalink
    May 21, 2014 5:48 pm

    My cat was a stray cat, we’ve had her a while now. She became pregnant. Few days ago she had 1 kitten but was very small and came out tail first and got stuck. It was her first litter. I had to help pull kitten out. Ever since then she has been very clingy to me, follows me everywhere, cuddles up to me. Anyone have any ideas why this has happened??

    • Rebecca Whisenhunt permalink
      May 31, 2014 3:50 pm

      Matt, she has become this way with you because she trust you. You helped her when she needed help the most and is still in loving mode and showing you she is thankful.

  19. Rachel permalink
    June 1, 2014 12:37 am

    I just got a kitten that will not leave me alone for a second, and she cries as soon as I go into the other room. The main problem with having her around is that she scratches me constantly, and she was just doing so and walking all over my face while I was trying to sleep. Will it scar a cat at all if you don’t let them sleep in the same room as you? She’s in the other room right now and I feel terrible, but I really need some reassurance! Thank you!

    • Kurtis Stryker permalink
      June 1, 2014 9:04 am

      Kittenhood is the perfect time to set boundaries as the are young. If you do not want her in your bedroom, keep the door shut, even when you’re not in there. The key is to be consistent so she learns that the room is off-limits.

      I have a shelter cat who was 18 months old and that’s what I had to do. She had everything she needed plus full roam of my home *except* the bedroom. It took a some time (couple of weeks) but the crying eventually stopped once she figured out my routine.

      Again, you have to be consistent with your own behavior and expectations or the cat will not learn.

  20. P. Chick permalink
    August 16, 2014 2:36 pm

    Hi Kurt! Don’t know for sure but your calico sounds like my Sarah …also a calico.It has been a heck of a ride and I went thru many many a time wondering if I could take her behavior anymore.Sarah is now 8 and I got her from a shelter at 6 mon. Numerous and expensive vet bills later found out she suffers from rippling skin or hyperathesia(Not the right spelling) Once I found out there was a sense of calm in me as I realized it wasn’t her fault,it was a real issue. As I started dealing with her in a more calm manner as you would a child with behavioural issues ,lo and behold she started calming down as well.She still has issues but as the years have passed has grown into a loving and adorable cat. I wish you luck… isn’t easy and don’t feel like any of it is your fault . Good Luck!

  21. Dee Klaser permalink
    September 8, 2014 10:39 pm

    Very insightful, mine would definitely be demanding. She is quite persistent when she wants something, or just your attention. She is now going on her first birthday and I feel we have been communicating well with each other. I also have her mother, who may I say, is so layed back.

  22. Jacqueline permalink
    September 13, 2014 5:31 pm

    Hi all. I have a 4 year old cat named Boo who has been with me since I took her in as a foster at 4 weeks old (I bonded so closely with her she became a permanent family member). She is a very small but healthy cat full of personality. I recently moved to a new house (about 4 weeks ago) and ever since she has been a clingy, crying ball of fur. My other 2 rescues have settled in nicely (all 3 are fixed & strictly indoors). Having fostered dozens of cats in the past, I like to think I have a fairly good understanding of cats and I assume her new found dependency is a result of the move. I am wondering, however, if anyone has suggestions on how to ease my Boo’s transition? I did everything gradually… introducing them to a new room only after they were confident with the last. I’ve kept our schedule the same and made sure to spend extra time playing, cuddling, etc. I understand 4 weeks is not a super long adjusting period for such a big change but is there any additional advice for Boo’s sake & my own? Something I should do differently? Is it possible I am coddling her too much? We have moved in the past but never had an issue with being overly dependent. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  23. Rebecca Yi permalink
    September 14, 2014 9:13 am

    I have a Siamese named Tippy, who has to be on me all of the time! Most of the time I love it! He is my baby! We have 3 other cats, one is his litter mate, his name is Frankie. The other cats seem to know that I am Tippys domain and look around before jumping up on me. When he comes in the room, they jump off. Sometimes his brother tries to stand his ground, only to have a cat fight on my lap. When I’m gone he lays by the door and yowls, my boyfriend tries to console him to no avail. And if i am gone too long he chews his hair off! He will NOT lay on anyone but me. I love it that he loves me so much but i feel bad knowing a trip to the store might result in a bald spot.

  24. Dana Nathanson permalink
    September 14, 2014 3:55 pm

    I have a very shy..pudgy…almost 14 year old gorgeous Russian Blue.She is still eating/peeing/pooping… perfectly normal. She seems to have some discomfort when i rub her lower back..near her butt. I have a stepping stool for her for bed/couch. Should i worry? Also ..I live alone.. so shes understandably very attached to me however the last few days she wouldnt leave my side..when home. I Am nervous..should I be?

  25. ann eltz permalink
    October 10, 2014 1:56 pm

    I got my cat from a place were there was to many cats and kittens, i got her when she was very young, when i picked her up she cuddled up in my arms right away i knew she was my baby, now she follows me every were in the house, i can not even go to the bathroom without her,she has to lay with me when i am sitting on the chair watching tv,i got her to speek to me when she wants food, she even says ohno when i scold her . She says other words like no,oww and mom, she is an amazing little girl, she will be thee years old in march, and i love her she is my baby girl.

  26. venus permalink
    November 15, 2014 7:20 pm

    my 1yr old keeps pulling her hair out when i am away, but stops when she is carried or runs up to me to lay down and constantly licks my face. then she just want to lay on my neck and that gets awfully hot after awhile. she was fine a few weeks ago. she was the playful one out of all 8 i have. only thing that changed is me renting basement to tenant. if i leave to go out to eat or run errand, she pulls fur to the point where she bleeds.

  27. November 15, 2014 7:22 pm

    hmm .sec.. i did move my front room furniture a few weeks ago, too

  28. Sara permalink
    December 15, 2014 4:50 am

    My 4 and a half month old kitten just recently lost her brother and playmate. She witnessed hin being attacked by a pitbull and he died. Since this happened, she has become very clingy…although I totally understand and I give her constant attention, I want to try and help her. She wants to be with me all the time…even when I’m on the loo or in the shower, she gets under the covers with me at night…but the most worrying aspect, is she has started throwing herself at me when I am getting ready to go out. This is not only painful but I can see her distress and it is heart breaking. Please do not advise me to get another cat, as I feel this would be unfair on the new cat…pitbulls an ongoing problem and current cat cannot be let out. Any helpful advice would be great!!

  29. SANDIE permalink
    December 19, 2014 12:37 pm

    My youngest cat does not like me going to work, if i get up and put my everyday type of clothes on she is all around me following me around the house. If i put my work uniform on she is nowhetebto been seen she sulks. As soon as i come in the door after being atvwork she is eitger sat on the bannister or lying on her back on the stairs wanting her tummy tickled. My older cat is very much everything on her terms, you try and pet her and she doesnt want it she will lash out but if she sits on your lap she will lick your hand until you stroke her, love em.

  30. Ashley permalink
    December 22, 2014 11:38 am

    I have a female persian. I rescued her and before me she had been passed along from home to home. She follows me around the house and waits for me to say “let’s go to the room”. She’sattached to me and doesn’t trust anyone else. Lately I’ve been spending the weekends out of the house, spending the night, and she’ll freak out. She will “tell” my family to go to my room and show them I’m not there. She’s a very sweet cat.

  31. James Green permalink
    December 29, 2014 4:53 pm

    Loved this, great read, very helpful thank you :)

  32. Stephanie permalink
    January 30, 2015 9:17 pm

    My kitten is incredibly clingy and demanding. She meows to me in the most extreme fashion if I’m not paying her attention. And immediately goes silent when I’m down. I’m due to have a newborn in June, any suggestions on what will help curb this behavior!?

  33. Sars permalink
    February 3, 2015 9:32 pm

    My cat 9months old has to be in the same room as me even im using the bathroom she will sit in the sink

  34. Tamara permalink
    February 17, 2015 3:03 pm

    When we first got our cat she hardly ever came around me as a normal for my children. When she did I would just push her away. Then one night I woke up with her curled up next to me and u pushed her away. (Her fur makes me sneeze) This went on for several nights to the point I just gave in completely. Now all she does is follow me around, goes to bed when i go to bed. Goes under the blankets and snuggles up against my tummy. Climbs up on my lap at the dinner table, couch or recliner. I am wondering why all of a sudden she is doing this with me and no-one else in my family when her and I never had a relationship like she did with the rest of my family???

  35. kawana permalink
    March 23, 2015 10:01 pm

    I received Buttaz at 6 weeks old he is now 5 months I put new blanket set in my room and it seems like ever night and in the day all he wants to do is get under the cover & sleep !he normally sleeps with the kids I wonder why is he in my bed all the time now!

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