Why Does My Cat Follow Me?

Why Does My Cat Follow Me?

Pet owners will often observe that cats have a tendency to play follow the leader. New cat owners often ask why does my cat follow me around. When you go to the bedroom to get something, it will follow you there. Move to the kitchen and it will navigate through the dining room chairs to chase you down. Even when going to the bathroom, it will follow you with an unnerving stare. No space is sacred nor private to your ever-following cat.

Your cat’s following behavior can be attributed to not just one, but to several possible reasons. After all cats are very complex creatures. As cat owners know, their pets are hardly one dimensional, which is why they are so endearing in the first place. Let’s look at some of the reasons for the following behavior in cats.

Seeking Affection

While some cats are quite content being alone, most cats will go out of their way to look for companionship from time to time. Affection-seeking behavior in cats may include rubbing against you, rolling over and exposing its belly (except when the claws are out), greeting you with a gentle upright tail, and yes – following you around, just wanting to be near you.

One particular cat behavior that stresses a lot of people is its tendency to present gifts in the form of small dead animals or insects it has subdued. The thing is, the hunting instinct cannot easily be suppressed even among domesticated cats. When your cat offers you its kill, it indicates that it recognizes you as part of its family, much like the way lions will share a zebra with the rest of its pride. In that sense, your cat following you demonstrates a sense of kinship, familiarity or closeness.

You are the Source

You give your cat food every meal of every day. Your cat is comfortable to be around you and would probably want to play, and as a cat owner, you ought to know that play is something your cat needs to do from time to time. Whatever it is, the cat sees you as the source of almost everything good that happens in its life. So of course, it will have a tendency to follow you around.

It is looking for a pleasant stimulus that you presented previously, and it wants to experience it again. Your cat already associates you with food. Another perfect example of this would be laser pointers. It may associate that crazy red dot with your presence, and as it is something that proved challenging to itself, it is probably waiting for you to produce that stimulus again. Do you allow your cat to sleep on you? Then you are its source of warmth when it naps, and that association would bond your cat closely to you that it would not want to have you leave its presence.

You are the Alpha

Following behavior in cats could be explained from an evolutionary perspective and might be attributed to alpha and follower relationships in nature, with you as the alpha. Animals in the wild tend to have a social hierarchy. The stronger, bigger, more impressive units of the group will have success at being more dominant and aggressive over others. These are the alphas. The rest of the group will have little choice but be followers to the alpha. This happens for seeking attention, playing to the needs of the alpha, and working within the context of the alpha’s leadership.

So, for the most part, your little fur ball will be following you around because you are the bigger, stronger, more dominant, more skillful individual in the group. Think about it; you can open a can of cat food while it can’t. It therefore recognizes you as a functional alpha cat. It is probably weirded out that you look very different from other cats, but that’s beside the point.

The only exception here is when beta followers attempt to rise up and challenge the alpha’s authority. Ever wonder why your cat would be docile and cuddly one minute and then all of a sudden becomes stubborn and temperamental seemingly without any reason whatsoever? That’s probably your little kitty challenging your authority, wanting to kick you out from your alpha position.

Cat Curiosity

To offer another answer to the question why does my cat follow me, it may simply be because your cat is naturally curious. You are a totally different animal and it is interested about how you behave in your environment. In the wild, cats would instinctively observe its prey first; where does it go, how fast does it move, which of these wildebeests might be easier to chase and overcome.

Your cat may not look at you as prey, but the instinct to observe and learn about your behavior as a living entity in its domain comes as second nature. It needs to know if you’re a threat or someone it can trust. When you disappear into another room, it would of course go after you. The fact that you change color several times a day (that is you change your clothes) or even your scent (applying perfume or cologne), is something that would probably pique its interest.

Your Attention is Needed

I would raise another point on why cats do follow its owners. Let us be very clear about this: You are its primary caregiver. Observe your cats with careful intent when they do try to follow you around and seek your attention. Do they meow incessantly? Do they seem restless or maybe low spirited?

If so, then you should consider the possibility that your cat may be stressed. Maybe there’s something in the house that is an irritant or its affecting it adversely. Perhaps it’s down with an illness or a condition, maybe it swallowed something that it should not have and would require medical attention. Take the time to observe for any symptom that is out of the ordinary and if so, then be sure to get your cat to your veterinarian.

Why Does My Cat Follow Me Summary

There may be other reasons why your cat may follow you around. It may see you as the leader, or the source of every good thing, it might want to play, or it is just plain curious, it may need your care, or it may be following you for some other reason we have not tackled here.

What is important is not to let your cat’s following behavior be a nuisance to you. Appreciate the fact that your cat sees you as someone significant in its life, and in turn, you must also demonstrate without fail your appreciation for your feline friend. Be responsive to your cat.

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