If your sassy kitty suddenly becomes too affectionate, you’ll find yourself wondering: why is my cat being so clingy all of a sudden? Well, it can be due to a lot of reasons. Sudden behavioral changes should be a cause of concern to you as it can point to an underlying health condition of your cat. In this post, I will share with you my experience as a cat owner and the possible reasons why your feline suddenly becomes affectionate out of nowhere.
Things that an overly clingy cat do
Do you find yourself asking this question: why is my cat being so clingy all of a sudden? If so, your cat is probably doing the following things:
- Following you to the bathroom every single time
- Scratching the door if you lock them out
- Staring at you for long
- Sitting in front of you, even on your computer
- Not eating unless you’re around
- Too much rubbing and demanding to sit on your lap
Why is my cat suddenly so affectionate?
As a cat owner, I’ve encountered a lot of weird behavior with my 3-year-old kitty, Watson. He’s not much of a cuddly cat, but when he became too clingy one day, I know that something is up.
While cats may have a reputation as being ‘aloof’, ‘sassy’, or ‘indifferent’ to humans, it’s not an absolute truth. Depending on the breed, cats can be attention-seeking and overly affectionate.
However, if your cat isn’t one of the ‘showy’ kind, the following can be the reasons why it suddenly becomes clingy:
A year ago, when we moved to our new home, I noticed that Watson became more close to me, physically. He will climb on my lap and nudge his body against mine all the time. I thought that this was a good thing until I consulted it with a vet.
It turns out that Watson was suffering from anxiety. Being in a new house triggered the feeling of insecurity. It’s unchartered territory for my cat, and I, being the familiar face, is somewhat relieving for him.
Aside from a new environment, loud sounds may also spook a cat. This will make them seek shelter or comfort from you, as their owner. Even aloof cats will do this sometimes.
But why is my cat being so clingy all of a sudden during holidays? It’s not the cheery season, but the visitors in your home. Lots of guests will spook your cat, which will compel it to seek comfort to your side. This may look like your cat is suddenly clingy all of a sudden.
In such situations, it’s best to secure your kitty in a room with its bed and toys. Putting one of your used shirts beside them may also help reduce potential anxiety.
Domesticated cats form a bond with their owners. However, this can either be a secure or insecure attachment.
A cat with secure attachment doesn’t have the need to be clingy because the kitty knows that he is loved. This is the reason why your cat may seem aloof. It’s actually a good thing because your pet is assured of your affection.
On the other hand, cats with insecure attachments can be clingy all of a sudden. Whenever the owner leaves the room, the cat will have a tendency to follow around. It’s due to the feeling that their owner may not return. This is highly observed among adopted cats.
Pregnancy can also result in an overly affectionate cat. Due to the fluctuations in the feline’s hormones, it will somehow make them ‘in the mood’ for some cuddles and human interaction.
A cat that’s suddenly clingy can also be due to being ‘in heat’. This reproduction period will result in your overly clingy cat to rub its bum to your legs or furniture. Male cats may also hump your legs, which isn’t a case of another cat being clingy. This is usually accompanied by vocalization and spraying, which can be annoying.
Aside from that, pregnant cats get hungry easily, so they become clingy all of a sudden to get more food. This suddenly clingy behavior may linger even after your cat has given birth.
However, the same hormonal changes may also be negative. Your cat may be clingy then suddenly aggressive on another minute. Pregnant cats may also attack other pets or humans, even in the slightest provocation. Take note that suddenly being clingy or aggressive isn’t a behavioral problem. Once your cat gave birth and its litter has grown, its behavior should go back to normal.
Old age and sickness
An older cat suddenly clingy isn’t always a cause of concern. My brother had a 15-year-old Tabby who’s always by his side, although it doesn’t use to when it’s still younger.
Senior cats tend to have poor vision and hearing, which is they prefer to stick around the people they are familiar with. It would give them a sense of safety and comfort, especially if they experienced a painful accident before.
However, old age is a double-edged sword when an older cat is suddenly clingy. What may look like an affectionate behavior could be a call for help from your pooch. It’s like your cat saying, “I’m not feeling well, and I need you to help me”. In this case, an appointment with the veterinarian will help diagnose any potential health problem.
An underlying medical problem may confuse your cat. A cat being clingy can be a sign that it will have a seizure any minute. It’s always worth checking with the vet if you’re worried about your cat’s behavior.
If you have a newly adopted cat, the kitty would be extremely aloof or overly clingy once you bring it home. Every pet in a shelter has their own tragic stories. Some were surrendered, abandoned, hurt, or unwanted by their previous owners. These experiences can make a cat long for affection and care.
A cat that’s outgoing and friendly in the shelter will become suddenly clingy at home. Such attention-seeking behavior is their way of being wanted. They want to be assured that your home isn’t temporary and that they will not be brought back to their cage at the shelter.
Moreover, an aloof adopted cat can become affectionate and clingy overtime. Just give the kitty a little time to adjust and build trust with you.
The same goes if you brought home a new dog, which will make your resident cat more wanting of attention. The clinginess will be more evident during the rescue dog honeymoon period.
Lack of attention
How much time are you spending with your cat lately? If you’re always busy at work, a suddenly and overly clingy cat might be a sign that you need to slow down. The sudden clinginess is a plea for you to give them more time and affection.
Like humans, cats need the feel to belong. If you tend to ignore them around, the cat may become destructive. The kitty may also hide your clothes and other belongings as a way of getting your prized attention. please read here why does my cat knead me
It’s also possible that you forgot to feed your cat, or there’s no longer water in their bowl.
Weaned too early
Cats need up to 8 weeks before they can be weaned out from their nursing mother. This period will give the kitten time to get nourishment and bond with the litter.
Weaning a kitten too early may lead to anxiety, separation anxiety, and suddenly clingy behavior.
Moreover, removing the kitten from its litter too early will cause emotional problems once it grows old. Removing a kitten out of its litter before 8 weeks can cause anxiety and clingy behavior.
This is the reason why professional breeders let kittens bond and nurse with their litter for at least 8 weeks before giving them out to new owners. Learn here how to wean a stubborn kitten
My cat is suddenly clingy! What to do?
If your overly affectionate cat is already affecting your daily routines, you can do the following steps to deal with the problem:
Cats don’t have respect over human’s time. They will demand attention whenever they want. In this case, you have to teach your kitty that attention is given on a scheduled basis.
See to it that you play with your cat twice a day. Make it a dedicated time for your pet and schedule it at the same time every day. Over time, your cat will get used to this setup. Playtime in the morning will help tone down your cat and appease their energy levels.
Don’t reward the negative behavior
You don’t have to give in every time your cat tries to reign on your laptop’s keyboard or table. Gently remove the kitty and avoid rewarding the behavior by petting. Doing so will only make your cat more clingy and eager to get your attention.
If your cat stays away, you can reward it with a small treat.
Comfort the cat if it’s scared
Sometimes, our cats will feel scared – it could be a thunderstorm, firecrackers, or dozens of people. If these are only moments when your cat becomes clingy all of a sudden, you can comfort them out of the situation.
A frightened cat will seek reassurance and comfort on the person they feel attached to. It will also help to remove the cat out of the room so they won’t be exposed to the stimulus that causes anxiety or fright.
You can teach your cat that an overly clingy behavior is not tolerated. If the kitty is starting to demand too much attention, try to associate a gesture as a sign for them to stop. It could be clapping toward their direction, stomping your foot, or turning your back.
Once your cat backs off, you can praise it. You can also use the clicker training wherein you associate the clicking sound as a reward to good behavior. For example, if your cat stopped the needy behavior, you will click the button, followed by a small reward.
Over time, you can skip the treats and retain the click alone.
Keep the surroundings busy
A cat that’s clingy all of a sudden can be a sign of boredom. You can prevent this by enriching the environment with toys, scratching posts, hanging feathers, cat trees, and so on. This will keep your cat busy, so they will not seek your attention for some playtime.
Check with the vet
If you’re worried that your cat is clingy all of a sudden, you can book an appointment with the veterinarian. The vet will run medical examinations to rule out any potential health problems.
The vet can also advise on how to deal with clingy behavior. If any underlying conditions are detected, your cat will be treated right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is my cat more affectionate than usual?
A: So why is my cat being so clingy all of a sudden?
It could be due to an abrupt change in routines, moving to a new home, fear, anxiety, old age, or an underlying health condition. It’s always ideal to check with the vet to rule out any potential health problems.
Q: Why is my cat acting weird all of a sudden?
A: If your cat is acting weird or clingy all of a sudden, it could be suffering from anxiety. You should also consider medical problems, especially if the behavior is accompanied by a change in appetite, coat health, and activity level.
Q: Why has my cat suddenly started following me everywhere?
A: Velcro cats have an insecure attachment to their owners. Whenever the owner leaves, they always worry that it would not come back. This leads them to follow their owner around, even in the bathroom. The cat could also demand attention.
Why is my cat being so clingy all of a sudden? It could be due to a variety of reasons, but one thing is for sure: you have to do something about it. I hope that the tips I gave here help you in dealing with the behavioral problem. Remember that a little patience will go a long way for a clingy kitty.
Marco Vasquez is a passionate animal lover and writer with extensive experience in the pet care industry. He has worked with various pets, including dogs, cats, birds, and fish, and deeply understand their unique needs and behaviors. Marco’s love for animals has driven him to become an expert in pet health, nutrition, and behavior, and he is always eager to share his knowledge and insights with others. As a member of the Petcosset team, Marco brings his expertise to help pet owners make informed decisions about the well-being of their little friends. He enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors with his pets in his free time.