Why are Such Behaviors Dangerous?
8 Reasons Why Your Cat Won’t Leave You Alone
There is little to no scientific evidence suggesting there is a link between gender or breed and the inclination of a cat being dependent on its owner. This lack of evidence may be due to the fact that each cat is different, unique in its behavior, thus handling a situation or another in its own way.
Generally speaking, here are some reasons for which your cat might be needy:
They’re apprehensive or anxious
Your cat or kitten might have the tendency to feel dependent on you because they feel defenceless. They might view you as the one needed to keep them safe. This may also relate to domestication, and your cat seeing you as the comfort, safety and food provider.
They’re uncertain or insecure
Cats rarely react the same, and you might find yourself being the proud owner of more than one cat. So when only one of them is actually clingy, what are you doing wrong?
It’s important to understand that any change in environment (e.g. moving house, buying new furniture, moving furniture around) can cause distress and can intimidate your cat. Just be patient and let your cat adapt to the visual and olfactory cues!
They’re a new addition to your family
If your cat is new to your environment, they may feel attached to you because you are a strong and confident ally! Until your cat gets used to the new surroundings, it might feel insecure without you.
They have mommy issues
Since humans experience similar feelings, it should come as no surprise that your cat might be suffering from this. The cruel reality is that many kittens are separated from their mothers far too early. This can create fear of loss or separation anxiety. Remember, in their eyes, you are the new mommy!
They were rescued
Rescued cats might develop clingy behaviors for obvious reasons. They might have lived difficult and trying times in the past. They might be fearful that they will be abandoned or even abused once more. Patience, love and guidance are key!
They have underlying health issues
A sudden change in behavior (e.g. dependence) could be triggered by a medical problem. Since you are the best judge of your cat’s usual behavior, tell your veterinarian of any issues which worry you.
Although it may be hard to hear, you may have reinforced certain needy behaviors (e.g. meowing, demanding food or attention) by petting or cuddling your cat. Moreover, if the reinforcement has happened often, your cat might view this as normal behavior which will get it attention and rewards.
Lack of prior guidance and training
At the opposite end of the stick, you might have adopted a cat which is already an adult, so certain behaviors are already ingrained. If you’re thinking that’s you, don’t worry. There are certain techniques which you will be able to enforce. You are the new mommy after all.
How to Train Your Cat or Kitten
It’s important to understand that your kitten or cat does not follow the rules society has gotten humans used to. It will not understand that you need your own space, or that you actually need to work in order to provide for yourself.
Patience is key, but sometimes even when following the advice listed above, your cat might still persist in its dependent behavior. You may be forced to consult your veterinarian so as to potentially choose an anti-anxiety medication. However this must always be a last resort!