While some cats are quite introverted and prefer their own company some can be very affectionate and never leave your side to the point of being clingy. They can purr and meow consistently, demanding your attention. There are occasions when a cat becomes too needy and annoying, and something must be done to correct her behavior.
Why is My cat so needy?
Most common reasons why a cat is needy are insecurity, having been mistreated, feeling sick, being cuddly, aging and changes, such as a new house:
1. Your cat is insecure
Not all cats are extroverted and confident. Some cats are insecure and nervous when they do not feel safe and comfortable and want to have you around to feel protected. It is important to figure out what makes your cat feel insecure at your home. Pay close attention to it and observe its behavior.
2. Your cat may have been mistreated
An outgoing cat can show signs of stress and may become clingy if it feels abused. If it acts differently when certain people or pets are around, this could indicate that the person or pet makes the cat feel uncomfortable or fearful of them.
It could also have had a rough experience. Adopted cats from a shelter may have been rescued from a household where it was abused. Cats from these situations tend to be very clingy, especially towards people who show them affection and care.
3. Your cat may be feeling sick
If your cat suddenly becomes super needy or clingy without any apparent reason, there may be an underlying medical issue. If your pet is not feeling well, it may bring confusion and being close to someone they trust will make them feel more secure.
4. Your cat is cuddly
Some cats are simply needy and clingy. There are many cat breeds that are more affectionate and cuddly than others.
5. Your cat is aging
As cats get older, they may experience a deterioration in hearing or vision. When they are not able to hear or see well, they can be needy and like staying close to their owners so that they are more aware of what’s going on in their surroundings. This can also be a sign that a senior pet is in the early stages of cognitive dysfunction.
6. Your cat is new to the household
Cats are attached to their surroundings and will find change unsettling. Moving to a new home may be difficult for them. If your cat is new to the house, it may take time to adjust to the new surrounding. It may feel insecure and will cling to you for comfort. If you have another cat already in the house, make sure you introduce them to each other gradually and carefully.
How to help a needy cat?
While there are numerous reasons for your cat to be needy or clingy, that does not mean the situation is hopeless.
It is important to give your cat a safe and pet-friendly environment. To make it feel more secure, you can place a basket or bed next to yours. Once it feels more comfortable with its space, it will be easier to correct its behavior.
Be kind and patient with your cat. It may take a lot of time and patience to make your cat independent and confident. To reinforce good behavior, reward your pet with treats. For undesirable actions, ignore your cat and be consistent in disciplining. You can also encourage your cat to play with other members of your household so it learns to feel secure with other people.
If you have tried everything to modify the needy behavior of your cat and nothing happens, it is recommended to take it to the vet for possible underlying medical conditions.
The needy behavior of a cat may be too much and annoying but what is important in correcting it is knowing the why. Not all cats are the same. They can get affected by sudden changes. And some of them, sadly, have rough experiences in their past. Others go through changes as they age. Whether you are taking care of a kitten or nurturing an adult cat, your cat may be less needy when you do it with genuine love and concern.
Image: istockphoto.com / Chalabala