Why Is My Cat Being So Clingy All Of A Sudden?

Cats are affectionate animals and some can become extremely close to their owners. However, some cats may be extra clingy, and this is a cause for concern, especially if the cat was not previously acting that way. In this article, we discuss some of the reasons cats may suddenly become clingy. 

Why is my cat being so clingy all of a sudden?

Your cat is bored.

Are you working in an office and leaving your cat at home the whole day? Cats that are often left alone at home may act clingy and needy. They are bored, and may have limited access to windows, cat toys or other forms of stimulation. This usually happens in young cats that still need extra stimulation.

To resolve your cat’s clinginess, hire a pet sitter to stay with her or provide her with entertainment such as toys, a scratching post or a cat tree. 

You have an orphaned cat.

Orphan cats tend to be clingy. They may depend too much on their owners because they see them as their mothers. This could be cute for a time, but it can become annoying when you have to take on the role of teaching your cat social skills and setting clear boundaries. 

There were sudden changes in your home.

Did you notice your cat suddenly becoming clingy when you moved to a new city? This and other changes could cause stress and anxiety for cats and they might get clingy and needy as a result. Other changes may include adopting a new pet, having an additional family member like a newborn baby, or ongoing home renovations.  

To resolve this, try not to make abrupt changes. Introduce a new pet or family member to your cat gradually. You may also use Feliway spray, a product that mimics feline facial pheromones, to help your cat become calm and relaxed. 

Your cat is sick. 

Just as kids can become extra clingy when they feel ill, cats could also have this tendency. Medical problems such as dementia, hyperthyroidism and high blood pressure could cause clinginess, especially in senior cats. Such health issues could also lead to behavioral changes. 

Some cats may even exhibit seizures which may not be related to epilepsy. Reasons for this include tumors, viral or fungal infections, trauma, feline infectious peritonitis, or medication reactions. Take your cat to the vet for a thorough check-up if you suspect that the sudden clinginess is due to medical issues. 

Your cat may be pregnant. 

Feline hormonal fluctuations could result in sudden clinginess. This could be due to pregnancy or because of the mating season. Spay or neuter your cats to avoid unwanted pregnancies. 

Is your cat suddenly clingy because you are reinforcing the behavior?

Sometimes, a cat’s clingy behavior could be partly attributed to the owner. Allowing your cat to sit on your lap, jump all over you or sprawl on your workstation whenever she wants to could encourage needy behavior. This is because she has the luxury to do anything she wants without you doing anything about it. Giving her cuddles at any time and bombarding her with cat treats could also reinforce clinginess.  

You should assess your actions and not over-indulge your cat with treats. Make changes to help your cat become independent and curb clingy behavior. 

How to prevent your cat from being so clingy

Ignore your cat if she becomes too demanding. 

If your cat starts to yowl, scratch on doors or enter your personal space without permission, simply ignore her. Do not give her any attention and eventually she will start to calm down. 

Reward your cat with treats if she behaves well. 

If your cat sits calmly and does not destroy things, reward her with treats. Give the rewards on your terms, and not because she demands them.

Assess your cat’s environment. 

See to it that your cat has plenty of things to do so that she does not resort to being clingy. Provide interactive toys and treat dispensers to keep her mind stimulated. Check whether your cat’s environment is a source of stress. Install a cat tree with a safe hiding place, and do not forget to provide a comfortable cat bed for her. 

Limit the time your cat is in contact with you. 

Help your cat overcome her clinginess by limiting the amount of time she is in contact with you. Teach her to become independent and if she behaves well, give her treats. 

Conclusion 

Cats are affectionate and independent, but some may become clingy. Your cat may suddenly become clingy if she is sick or orphaned. This behavior could also happen if she is pregnant, bored, or experiencing stress or anxiety due to sudden changes at home.

Image: istockphoto.com / suravikin