How to fix clinginess in cats

How to fix clinginess in catsFeline personalities are shaped by biology and environment. Cats with timid, nervous temperaments may become clingy due to specific phobias or the feline equivalent of generalized anxiety disorder. Cats are also likely to develop needy personalities if they have suffered abandonment, deprivation, or poor socialization as kittens.

Certain cat breeds (such as the Siamese) tend to be more affectionate, whereas others are usually more independent. Not all affectionate cats are clingy, but they may be more likely to develop this trait, particularly when under stress.

Symptoms of Over-Dependence in Cats

Clingy cats want to be with their owners constantly. They demand attention frequently and try to maintain physical contact (such as sitting on an owner’s lap) as much as possible. They follow their owners around, become distressed when left alone, and may lose their appetites or vomit when their owners leave the house. In extreme cases, they develop neurotic habits such as:

If a formerly independent cat has suddenly become needy, this usually signals a medical problem or anxiety about a specific event, such as:

  • The arrival of a new baby or pet
  • The death of a beloved animal or person
  • Moving house

If a cat that wasn’t needy in the past suddenly begins exhibiting signs of clinginess, bring her in for a veterinary check-up to rule out illness. If the clinginess has been triggered by a recent change, provide extra attention to get her through the rough patch. With a little support, most cats eventually return to normal. However, if the neediness is a long-term problem rather than a temporary reaction, the following approaches can be used to reduce separation anxiety and increase confidence and independence.

How to Reduce Separation Anxiety in Cats

Clingy cats usually suffer from separation anxiety. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce separation anxiety in over-dependent cats:

  • Don’t engage in elaborate good-bye routines when leaving the house; have keys ready by the door or in a bag so you can exit quickly.
  • Give a favourite toy or treat to the cat just before you leave so that she’ll associate your leaving with something positive.
  • When returning home, ignore the cat for 10-15 minutes, especially if she demands attention. Wait until she’s calm and then provide affection.
  • If the cat engages in undesirable behaviour such as house soiling or scratching furniture while you’re out, don’t yell or punish her, as this will make stress-induced behaviours worse.
  • Provide a hideaway (this can be anything from a fancy carpeted kitty condo to a cardboard box with a doorway cut into it). Add a piece of your clothing (unwashed so that it has your scent on it) for comfort. This gives the cat a safe place to retreat when she’s alone and anxious. A comfort object should also be provided if she needs to stay overnight at the vet’s or board somewhere else temporarily.
  • A few fake departures can be helpful for teaching the cat not to panic whenever she sees you getting ready to leave. Put on your coat and go out for a minute or two, then come back, varying the length of these excursions until the cat learns that not every leave-taking means you’ll be gone for hours or days.

How to Reduce Clinginess in Over-Dependent Cats

To help needy cats become more confident and independent:

  • Engage in interactive play rather than cuddling.
  • Ignore demanding behaviour. Have one or more set times to dispense affection (such as in the evening with a good book or favourite television show), and stick to those routines.
  • If the cat begins to knead or suck on your clothing or earlobes (common self-comforting behaviours in needy cats), gently remove her from your lap, get up, and leave the room.
  • If she’s fixated on one person, have others share in petting, feeding, playing, and grooming to expand the circle of people with whom she feels comfortable.
  • Try a calming feline pheromone product such as Feliway (not all cats respond to it, but many do).
  • If the cat is friendly toward other cats, consider adopting a second cat for company, preferably a kitten to reduce the likelihood of dominance struggles, and make sure to handle the introductions properly.
  • Sometimes neediness results from boredom. To prevent boredom, provide an enriched environment with plenty of distractions, such as solo toys, healthy treats hidden around the house (assuming the cat is not overweight), cat trees, cat-safe plants, and an entertaining view (such as a bird feeder outside a window).
  • Owners who are afraid to let their cats out due to traffic, predators, pet thieves, and other hazards should consider putting up a cat fence or enclosure if they have outdoor space so that they can let their cats out safely. Leash training and taking the cat out for safe excursions is also an option.
  • If the cat’s anxiety is causing him to urinate, spray, or defecate in inappropriate places, see Why Cats Soil Outside the Litter Box for deterrents and reconditioning strategies (house soiling may also be caused by a medical problem or a dirty litter box, so if a cat begins soiling around the house, first clean the box and take her for a veterinary check-up before assuming the problem is behavioural).

In extreme cases, if all else fails, a veterinarian may prescribe anti-anxiety medication or recommend a natural anxiety remedy.

For more cat articles, see the main Cats page.

How to fix clinginess in cats

Nasal congestion is a manifestation of nasal inflammation (medically termed rhinitis) which leads to excess mucus. The type of discharge will vary depending on the underlying cause but may be watery, mucoid (thick), purulent or bloody. Discharge can lead to congestion in which the nose becomes partially or fully blocked. This affects the cat’s ability to smell, which can impact the cat’s appetite.


The most common cause of nasal congestion is cat flu (usually caused by feline herpesvirus or calicivirus), which is similar to a human cold. Other causes include allergies, foreign body, fungal infections, nasal polyps, neoplasia, gum disease, tooth root abscess and cleft palate.

Nasal congestion can affect one or both nasal passage and can be chronic (long-standing) or acute. The type of discharge, along with presenting symptoms may give the veterinarian a clue as to the underlying cause.

How to treat a congested cat

The goal of treatment is to address the underlying cause as well as relieve congestion. Unfortunately, most of the medications we take to resolve nasal congestion are toxic to cats.

Increase humidity

Place the cat in a small room with doors and windows closed, use a cool-mist humidifier twice a day. Humidity helps to break up mucus and soothe inflamed nasal passageways loosen up congestion within the nasal passages.

If you don’t have a humidifier, place the cat in a warm bathroom with the shower running for 10-15 minutes. The water should be hot enough to fill the bathroom with steam, which moistens the mucus and helps it drain from the nasal cavity.

Do this two to three times a day.

Saline nose drops

Saline nose drops can be purchased over the counter at any chemist (pharmacy), always check the label to make sure it only contains saline and no other medications which can be toxic to cats.

These drops are designed for human nostrils which are considerably larger than a cat’s nostrils. Take care when instilling saline nose drops to not introduce too much saline into the nostril. You can add a drop or two to the end of a cotton bud and squeeze the liquid into the nostril.

Saline usually causes the cat to sneeze which can help to clear the nasal passages.

Remove eye and nasal discharge

Discharge from the eyes and nose can dry and form crusts. Dip a facecloth or cotton balls in warm water and apply to the crusty area to soften, and wipe away. Do not add anything to the facecloth, just water. Be careful when wiping the cat’s eyes and nasal area as it can be sore.

Encourage the cat to eat

Just as we often lose our appetite when we have a cold, cats can too when they can’t smell anything due to congestion. A cat must eat so that he or she has enough energy to get better.

Offer high-value food such as chicken breast, tinned tuna or baby food (make sure it doesn’t contain garlic or onion), and warm in the microwave to make the food smell more pungent. Stir well to ensure there are no hot spots. Soft food has the added benefit that it is more gentle on the throat which may be sore if the cat has an upper respiratory tract infection.

Maintain hydration

Cats can dehydrate quickly when they are sick, particularly if they are not eating enough. Encourage the cat to drink water by keeping a clean, fresh supply close. Switching to a canned diet or poached chicken breast with a small amount of water from the pan can increase fluid intake.

Set up a quiet and comfortable area

Keep the cat as warm and comfortable as possible. Set up a comfortable bed with food and water bowls and a litter tray. Cats who have cat flu should be kept in a separate room from other cats in the household to reduce the risk of transmission.

Medical treatment

Seek veterinary attention if home-treatment does not work, if symptoms don’t resolve within a day or two, or if the cat is displaying additional symptoms such as refusal to eat, dehydration, fever, lethargy and weakness.

  • Antibiotics to treat secondary infection
  • Pediatric topical decongestants
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Antihistamines (Diphenhydramine)
  • Appetite stimulants
  • Fluid therapy
  • Nebuliser
  • Oxygen therapy

Never administer over the counter or prescriptions to a cat (including human cold medication or painkillers) unless your veterinarian has instructed you to do so. Most human medications are extremely toxic to cats due to their altered metabolism.

Chronic rhinitis

Some cats with chronic rhinitis will experience flare-ups in the future. By treating nasal charge and maintaining nutrition, symptoms should quickly improve.

Keeping the cat in a stress-free home, feeding a quality and balanced diet and following a vaccine protocol outlined by your cat’s veterinarian can help to reduce flare-ups in the future.


TCS Member
Thread starter


Snowshoe Servant

My brother had a dog who couldn’t be near other dogs, so I’ve had experience with finding the off spots to take animals. From that experience, what we typically did was go for a walk along the route on the same day of the week and time the week before. Then we could get a feel for the traffic level and who else was there at that time/place. If it was good we’d then take his dog along that same path, time and day of the week. It didn’t prevent sudden road crossings or holding the leash tight when something unexpected came but it did generally lead to more peaceful walks.

I found that along bike trails was particularly good, because a lot of people avoid them with dogs. Parks just after a sports league finishes up for the day are generally fairly quiet for about an hour. A lot of it is just paying attention to the ebb and flow of people and picking off times. Meal times, just before people come home from work or just after kids will go to bed.

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3


TCS Member
Thread starter

My brother had a dog who couldn’t be near other dogs, so I’ve had experience with finding the off spots to take animals. From that experience, what we typically did was go for a walk along the route on the same day of the week and time the week before. Then we could get a feel for the traffic level and who else was there at that time/place. If it was good we’d then take his dog along that same path, time and day of the week. It didn’t prevent sudden road crossings or holding the leash tight when something unexpected came but it did generally lead to more peaceful walks.

I found that along bike trails was particularly good, because a lot of people avoid them with dogs. Parks just after a sports league finishes up for the day are generally fairly quiet for about an hour. A lot of it is just paying attention to the ebb and flow of people and picking off times. Meal times, just before people come home from work or just after kids will go to bed.


Cat Fan especially Black Cats


TCS Member

Again Kieka ‘s advice is great.

I have a few locations that are far from the general populous that on work days are lightly used. Weekends can be pretty busy.

Where I live all dogs are to be leashed, but as many of us know, not many dog owners seem to follow this rule.
I do a lot of hiking, and I’d say that 80% of times I’ve run across dogs on a trail they have been unleashed. Most owners will leash their dogs when they see you on the trail.
Now that I’ve been taking Buddy on hikes with me this is a greater concern of mine.

First thing I did was make up some signs. I place these at the trail-head I’m hiking at and forks in the trail.
This helps for anyone that is following in your path. Those coming from the other direction obviously will not have seen the signs and have no idea you are out with a cat.

How to fix clinginess in cats

I always take Buddy out with his backpack. That way when I spot something I can hopefully get him back into his backpack and away from danger.

Here is a video of me letting him out of his pack. After he’s out I always zip everything up but the top when I place it back on my back. This way I can as quickly as possible get him back in the pack if need be.

Earlier last week I made a mod to his backpack to more quickly and easily get the pack off my back.
Before to fully remove the pack I would have to let go of the leash by switching hands.
Now I placed a buckle on one of the shoulder straps. I can unclip the buckle and remove the pack without ever having to worry about the leash.

How to fix clinginess in cats

How to fix clinginess in cats

How to fix clinginess in cats


TCS Member


TCS Member

This is a great question and I am appreciating the suggestions.

I live with a juvenile Savannah who will happily and confidentially trot and run on a leash for a mile or more away from home, but who is terrified of cars, passerbys, and maybe dogs too.

We have yet to run into a dog.

I live a 1/4 mile from a really nice trail, and dogs are not supposed to be off leash there, but even a dog on a leash is likely to scare him. I can carry him to the trail in a cat backpack to contain his panic when the rare car drives by, and I have it with me to pop him back into if I hear something coming. But I know from having a couple cars go by before I could get him in this doesn’t always work.

We have yet to actually encounter anyone else on the trail, but talking to someone 20 feet away on the road while he was in his cat backpack had him making threatened cat noises, and he hides from visitors, so I am thinking he is not going to enjoy meeting people on he trail. I have been trying to spend 1/2 an hour a day with him sitting 30 feet from the road in various locations, so he can get used to things he might encounter on a walk, but as I am in a sparsely populated area, usually nothing at all goes by and learning opportunities are few and far between.

As he tries to climb almost every tree on the way home, I am thinking he is probably going to try and go up a tree if something scares him and that it would be a good idea to rig up some kind of a thin bungee cord to make sure his retractable leash handle is clipped to me as he can sometimes yank this out of my hand, and carry along a couple lightweight 10 by 10 piece of plastic net and string in case he ever ends dangerously far up a tree. That way I could quickly rig up something to break a possible fall.

Introducing the velcro cat! This is the type of cat that will give you LOTS of affection and attention. They broke the stereotypical cat personality of being aloof and indifferent.

Velcro cats will follow you everywhere you go — even to the bathroom. They will deliberately put themselves on top of your computer when you are working. You will always catch them staring at you or meowing while you are preparing to leave the house. And because they always want to be with you, they may refuse to eat when you are not around.

Although it is nice to have a cat that seems devoted to you, it may also mean that something is amiss, and it could be a bit troubling over time. What if your kitty becomes too much to handle?

Difference between a clingy cat and a friendly cat

First, let us draw the line between a friendly cat and a clingy cat to check if your pet is turning into a velcro type.

Friendly Cat Clingy Cat
Your cat rubs herself against your foot or legs when she is only hungry. Your cat is lying on you out of nowhere.
Your cat licks or kneads you sometimes. Your cat always licks or kneads you whenever she wants.
Your cat is alright being alone all the time. Your cat follows you everywhere you go, even while you are using the bathroom.
Your cat peacefully plays by herself while you are working or reading. Your cat will do anything to get your attention, like putting herself on top of your laptop or book.
Your cat will never stare at you and will avoid your eyes if you do so. Your cat stares at you almost 24/7.
Your cat is content eating by herself. You must be at home when she eats, or else she will not eat.
Your cat loves to sleep alone in her own bed. Your cat treats your bed as their own just to be close to you.

In short, a friendly cat will get your attention only when she needs you. This is not the case with a clingy or velcro cat. They want to be around you day and night, even while you are sleeping or busy with your own day to day activities.

Two types of a clingy cat

There are two “breeds” of a velcro cat: the needy cat and the demanding cat. We’ve mentioned above the characteristics of a needy cat when we compared it to a friendly cat. How about a finicky cat? Here are the signs that you have one:

  • Your cat yells at you when it is lunch or dinner time.
  • Your cat will cause a commotion to wake you up in the morning.
  • Your cat will do anything until you pick her up.
  • Your cat spontaneously sits on your lap without being invited.

9 Signs that your cat is clingy

Now let us dive deeper into the workings of a velcro cat. If you experienced four or more of the scenarios below, congratulations (?) you have a clingy cat:

  1. You’ve lost count on how many times you’ve tripped over your cat.
  2. You are always cautious when you walk around your house to avoid stepping on your cat.
  3. Your cat repeatedly kneads or scratches you to get attention.
  4. Your cat goes on a hunger strike if you are not at home.
  5. You are always sharing your bed with your cat, or is it the other way around?
  6. They will get restless when you sit on a different chair.
  7. Your cat will cling to you whenever she gets a chance.
  8. You will find yourself petting your cat always.
  9. Your cat is always rushing towards you whenever you leave the house and will demand you to stay.

Why is your cat so clingy?

At first, you’ve thought it is cute, but later on, you will realize how distressing it is for both of you. As much as you want to be there for your cat, it is not possible. You still have to go to work or school or run some errands inside and outside the house.

But why is your cat clingy in the first place? Is it somehow your fault because you are spoiling her? You are letting her do whatever she wants. You let them bother you and even reward their needy behavior with treats, scratches, or belly rubs.

However, if it is nothing like that, then maybe it is inherent or a medical condition? It is possible that she was separated from her mom too early, and now she thinks you are her true “mother.” Another reason is she is a foster kitty that is in constant search of her forever home.

It is also possible that she has a medical issue. Since they cannot verbally tell you she is not feeling well, they will show you through their clingy behavior. Or your cat is only bored. Yup, it isn’t because of a medical condition or trauma. Your cat is just B-O-R-E-D.

Cats are complicated.

How to handle a clingy cat

Here are the “home remedies” to tackle your cat’s velcro ways:

  • Gently pick your cat up and move it away from you when it rubs non-stop against you or disturbs you in the most inopportune moments.
  • It would be hard at first, but you should ignore them when they scratch your door. You must resist!
  • Try to lessen your interaction with them. Remember that not every mew or lick warrants a couple of scritches or treats.
  • Give her toys, scratch posts, and vertical space so they won’t get bored. Better yet, adopt another cat to give them company.

If the solutions above didn’t work out, you and your cat must visit the vet to seek medical attention because she might not be feeling well.

What if I still want a cat minus the clinginess?

Who in their right mind will back out from owning an adorable creature? If you are thinking of adopting a kitten but don’t want to deal with too much clinginess, we have a perfect alternative for you.

It is none other than Perfect Petzzz, a lifelike pet that can provide the same comfort and companionship as living pets. It offers a real pet ownership experience without the hassles and expenses like vet bills.

Perfect Petzzz will never annoy you or go velcro on you because it will just sleep peacefully on their plush bed and emit cute little snores. It will be contented with whatever amount of attention and affection you give to them.

You don’t need to adopt another cat to give them company because you know that a plus one will cost you a lot. Moreover, you can still go on with your everyday life since they will never be demanding or needy.

Each Perfect Petzzz bundle includes a new plush pet bed, collar with pet tag, pet brush, and adoption certificate. It’s available for purchase through our site, Walmart, and Amazon. For any other inquiries, contact us here.

A lot of cats like their independence. Unlike dogs, these aloof furballs are praised for being low maintenance and taking care of themselves. Aside from mealtime, cats bathe, use the litter box and do pretty much everything else without the help of humans. It’s hard to imagine such proud felines acting clingy, which is why a suddenly clingy kitty can raise some suspicion.

If your cat has suddenly begun acting clingier than usual, you might be tempted to dismiss the behavior as bizarre and not give it a second thought. However, drastic changes in behavior one way or the other are not only strange—they’re usually cause for concern.

While a trip to the vet is necessary to make sure your furry friend is okay, here are some common reasons why your independent cat is suddenly following at your heels.

Chronic health problems

Cats are independent by nature, and this behavior usually extends to their health and wellbeing. Our feline friends will go to extreme lengths to hide their pain and handle the problem on their own. That’s why pet parents need to pay such close attention to detect an infected wound or a sore paw.

But, while many cats hide away when they feel sick or are injured, others might do the opposite. Becoming clingy might be their way of asking for help because they’re dealing with a serious health concern.

If your cat won’t stop following you around and is experiencing additional issues like weight loss, inappetence or anxiety, it’s a clear sign that something is wrong. It’s possible that your furry friend isn’t sure how to solve their problem, so they’re seeking comfort from you, their beloved owner. If anything, clinginess is a sign they trust you in times of need!

You won’t know for sure what’s wrong until a vet provides a diagnosis. However, clinginess is a common symptom in cats right before a seizure. Many diseases can trigger seizures in cats, so speak with your vet to get to the bottom of the issue.

Cognitive dysfunction or disability

As senior cats age, they’re more likely to become clingy. This could be a sign of cognitive dysfunction. Older cats may experience a range of symptoms, including loss of sight, hearing, balance and coordination. Essentially, cats with cognitive dysfunction are not as sharp as they used to be and get clingy because they rely on their owners’ senses for guidance.

Younger cats can be clingy for a similar reason. While cognitive dysfunction is most common in older cats, feline companions of all ages can suffer from hearing and vision impairments that make them feel unsteady in your home. Consider scheduling a consultation with the vet if your cat is clingy, walks hesitantly around the house or bumps into furniture.

How to fix clinginess in cats

New family members

Cats are creatures of habit, and they need a routine in order to feel safe. A regular feeding time, litter box cleaning and daily schedule help them feel at ease. But they also grow accustomed to your house and the people living in it.

New members of the household like a baby, grandparent or another furry friend can throw your kitty’s routine out of whack. If your household recently changed and your cat became clingy overnight, they might be suspicious of the strange new people in your home!

It can take time for your cat to adjust to these changes. Help them with the transition by limiting other changes to their routine. Keep up a consistent feeding regimen and give them lots of attention to let them know there’s no reason to be afraid.

Stressful environment

New family members are stressful enough for cats, but lots of other things could stress your cat out, too. Clinginess could be a sign that your cat trusts you but not others. Pay close attention to your cat’s behavior when certain people or pets walk into the room. If they scurry in the presence of a regular visitor, you know there’s a problem.

Any number of other factors could contribute to a stressful environment. For example, cats don’t like thunder or fireworks any more than dogs do. The sheer number of guests that come over for the holidays might increase your cat’s anxiety and force them to stay by your side for protection. Try to see things from your cat’s perspective and determine what’s causing them trouble.

Sudden clinginess from independent cats might be a welcomed change of pace for you as the owner. However, keep your furry friend’s feelings in mind and realize that an underlying issue is likely to blame for the change. Whether it be emotional or physical, investigate the problems your cat is facing so they can return to their normal, happy and independent self.

The old saying goes that nobody owns a cat—the cat owns you. Sometimes that means you can have trouble getting your cat to listen to you. Here are some of the worst cat behavior problems—from scratching to refusing to use the litter box—and how to easily fix them!

How to fix clinginess in cats

Get a Cat to Stop Scratching Furniture

Cats like to keep their claws sharp, and unfortunately for humans, they seem to think furniture is one of the best things to sharpen it on. To keep your kitties from digging their claws into furniture, walls, or anything else, swipe a bit of VapoRub on their favorite scratching targets. Cats hate the cough medicine’s mentholated smell and they won’t get within a sniff’s distance. You can also try applying straight hot sauce and buffing thoroughly. For upholstery, try a mixture of 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper in a spray bottle full of water (just make sure to test in an inconspicuous are to make sure it won’t stain first!).

Keep Your Cat from Scratching Your Bed

If your bed’s box spring is what your cat likes to scratch, try putting a fitted sheet made of sateen over it. The silky material won’t feel as fun to scratch as the covering on the box spring, and your cat will soon find something else to scratch (hopefully his scratching post!).

Keep Cats Away from Houseplants

If your cat is nibbling on your houseplant—or worse, using its soil as a secondary litter box, here’s a tip you need: Simply scatter some coffee grounds on top of the soil. Cats hate the scent and go cause trouble elsewhere! Just be careful: While coffee grounds are, for the most part, good for your plants, too much of them can cause the soil to become too acidic. Another remedy we’ve heard about is using dried thyme instead of coffee grounds.

Make Cats Stay Away from a Sandbox

One of the worst things you can discover in the backyard is that your outdoor cat has (once again) used your garden or kids’ sandbox as his litter box! To keep him away (as well as bugs like ants and millipedes) mix a cup or two of ground cinnamon with the dirt sand. Your cat will hate the scent and stay away.

Get Your Cat to Go in the Litter Box Again

Your cat seems to have taken a vacation from the litter box, and you’re finding unpleasant surprises in interesting places like the bathtub. To fix this problem, try placing a bowl of food in the places where you’ve found those surprises. Cats don’t do their business in the same place that they eat, so she’ll hopefully find her way back to the litter box. If not, call your vet to make sure she’s not suffering from any health problems.

For more pet tips, check out our Pet Tips board on Pinterest! And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook for our Tip of the Day!

About the Author

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends’ refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.


TCS Member
Thread starter

Maybe this is a smokie thing. Maybe a mommy thing, who knows but lately smokie is getting these “clingy” spells- and while it is cute, it makes it almost impossible to get ANYTHING done because all he wants is to be held—

Maybe I have spoiled him beyond reasoning or something? Or maybe he is hurting, I dunno – just know he cries when I tell him no to holding or when i put him down from being held– its like a 2 year old leaving mommy @ daycare lol

Help please- my websites, work, blog, nothing can get done becasue of it!!

See how adorable- cute yes, but annoying @ times and makes it hard to get any work done!!

How to fix clinginess in cats


TCS Member

My Jack’s a clingy boy like that as well. As soon as l sit down he’s there wanting to cuddle in but l don’t mind it. I have Rosie on my legs, Sophie on my lap and jack in my arms.

Not sure how to stop it though unless you divert him with a toys?.


TCS Member

IMO never discourage affection, and push them a bit out of the way or relocate nearby them so they are less disruptive. They should get the idea soon enough, heh. These two love to get in my way as well.

This is now cat pad, not mouse pad!

How to fix clinginess in cats

How to fix clinginess in cats

How to fix clinginess in cats

Successful cat-butt relocation. until leg goes numb.

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4


TCS Member
Thread starter


TCS Member

I have 3 clingy cats. Stumpy has gotten more so as he gets older and that is understandable. Scarlett is a princess and just demands that her needs to be fulfilled (understandable because she’s so darn cute). Muddy is the one that tests my patience. He has an on/off switch that flips at any random moment of the day. When it is on, he’ll SCREAM at me to pick him up and cuddle with him. If I happen to be walking around, he becomes a moveable speed bump. If I’m standing still, he stands on his back legs and stretches up on me until I pick him up. If I fail to pick him up, he leaps in the air assuming that I will catch him and hold him. His on switch can stay on for 5 minutes or hours on end. When on, I must pick him up, place him on my left shoulder (he doesn’t do right shoulders) and remain standing with him. Talk about not getting anything done when he is ON. Muddy was orphaned at an early age and sometimes I wonder if this behavior stems from the fact that I’ve been his mom from 10 days old.

I don’t have any good advice here, as I’m one to just give in to his demands when I can do it. If I’m busy on the computer, I sit down and put him in my lap. He objects but has learned to deal with it. If I’m sewing or crafting, I put him next to me with his paws across my lap and give him a scritch from time to time. He’ll be 9 in April and he’s just gotten used to sitting in a lap without walking across me, trying to get me to stand up and hold him. I guess we’ve developed a compromise over the years and we’ve both adapted to that compromise.

Speaking of clingons, Stumpy just demanded that he sit in my lap as I type. The compromise I worked out with him: I have a spare chair in my home office so that when I need to get up and move around, I place Stumpy in that chair until I get back. I rotate myself between those 2 chairs so that they both smell like me.

One thing that I truly love about cats is that they are naturally affectionate. They are cuddly and they love to stick around and follow wherever you go. However, there are times that they get extra clingy. While this does not appear alarming, it is inevitable to know the reason behind such behavior.

Truth be told – although I enjoy how my cat loves to stay close to me, I admit that it could sometimes be a bit too much to bear. This is especially when I need to work and get things done. As much as I try to extra patient sometimes, I honestly feel that I need to address such clinginess.

To finally shed light on my question – why is my cat so clingy?, I needed to do a bit of extra research on the natural behaviors of my feline friend. Let me share with you some of the odd and shocking reasons as to why your cat tends to get a bit too clingy sometimes.

7 Reasons Behind a Cat’s Clingy and Needy Tendencies

#1. Your cat may be suffering a medical condition you are not aware of.

One of the signs that your cat may be ill is that it has become more clingy or affectionate. When an independent cat starts to transform into a needy cat is considered a subtle sign of possible illness. Just the same, when a needy cat becomes less affectionate, she may also be suffering from an illness.

According to CATegorical Care: An Owner’s Guide to America’s #1, a change in the way cats interact with their owners is typically a sign that you should have your cat checked by a veterinarian the soonest possible time to rule out any possible illness.

#2. Your cat is new and is having difficulties adapting.

How to fix clinginess in cats

Another reason as to why your cat may be extra clingy is that she is new and may still feel a bit insecure. This happens when your cat has not found her own spot yet. Therefore, she has the tendency to latch on your more. As the owner, she may also expect you to be her main source of comfort.

Cats also demonstrate the same behavior when they see a drastic change in their environment. For instance, if you have moved the furniture or used a new rug with the distinct odor, this could intimidate a cat easily.

To address this behavior, you need to help your cat get used to the new place. This will take time and typically lasts for several weeks. To help your cat adjust, she needs to be confined carefully indoors until she has fully adapted.

#3. Your cat is aging and experiencing cognitive decline.

How to fix clinginess in cats

When cats start to age, they tend to demonstrate the opposite of their normal behavior. For instance, a friendly cat may become less interested in you. On the contrary, an aloof cat may suddenly become overly needy or clingy. Either way, this could be a sign of aging.

As this is a cause is irreversible, you can think of it as an opportunity to experience the opposite side of your cat’s personality. Being patient with your cat as she ages gives her the comfort that she needs. Remember that these animals are just like humans as well. They need more care as they grow old.

#4. Your cat is demonstrating behavior to its breed.

Genetic predisposition is also one of the reasons your cat may demonstrating an odd behavior. According to animal behaviorist Dr. Jacqui Neilson, DVM, and DACVB, cats that are purebred exhibit certain personalities or trait.

For example, the Abyssinian cats are more energetic and high-spirited. They like to play and be cuddled by their owners. Siamese cats are known to be more vocal when communicating what they want. They meow incessantly when they want to be cuddled, fed, or played with.

On the other hand, the Persian cats are the less active ones. They tend to crave for attention. For this reason, they make a great lap pet.

#5. You have adopted a rescued cat.

How to fix clinginess in cats

Just like people, cats may also have trust issues resulting from bad experiences. For instance, if your feline pal had a difficult life in past, the experience could have instilled fears in her. So, when they are finally adopted and found a new home, they tend to cling with the impression that it could be just temporary.

It is important for the new owner to establish a bond of trust with the cat. This would not only resolve the clinginess but also reduce the stress and anxiety that your cat may be experiencing. Trust also helps in developing security and in keeping them calm.

#6. Your cat may be vulnerable.

Cats with certain disorders tend to feel more insecure and vulnerable. For instance, cats that suffer from Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH) tend to cling more to their pet owners as they view them as their own comforter or provider.

These CH cats are more vulnerable and are more prone to accidents. This is why it is important to keep them indoor instead. As these cats typically have trouble walking, they tend to stay too close to their owners. Learning more about training CH cats on how to be more independent would immensely help your pet.

#7. Your cat has mommy issues.

Cats may also experience separation anxieties. This anxiety often occurs when a young cat is separated from her mother too early or from her owner. The cat may demonstrate her anxiety in different from including being extremely clingy or needy.

Other symptoms of cats suffering from separation anxiety include incessant meowing, overeating or undereating, being aloof to people, being overly fussy, or defecating outside her litter box. You can ease your cat’s anxiety by giving her a stimulating environment or by desensitization.

Animal behaviorists also express that when the cat gets too clingy, it’s important not to indulge in this demanding or clingy behavior. Make the environment more interesting so they do not resort to latching on your quickly. More importantly, always opt for a professional advice when the behavior starts to become worrisome.


I certainly hope that I was able to impart relevant information with you today. As a cat owner, having this list allows me to understand why is my cat so clingy and what I can do about it. What about you – what’s the most surprising fact you have discovered from the list? Comment below and do not forget to share.