Most of us love to cuddle and pet our cats. In fact, studies show that petting cats can increase the human animal bond and reduce our stress and anxiety. Although cats are individuals and enjoy different degrees of attention, they all need social contact with us in order to thrive.
But what if your cat suddenly becomes overly affectionate? Let’s explore the reasons and what to do if you have an overly affectionate cat.
What Is An Overly Affectionate Cat?
Here are some signs of a needy cat.
- Refuses to allow you to move
- Invades your personal space
- Grabs onto your clothes with claws and won’t let go
- Becomes your shadow
- Wants constant attention
What Causes a Cat to Become Overly Affectionate?
When it comes to dealing with an overly affectionate cat, the owner should take note of the behavior and situation as well as the environment. A lot can be learned by simply observing your cat carefully for any changes that may have occurred in her life. Cats are creatures of habit and generally dislike changes in the routine.
Here are some common reasons a cat may become overly affectionate.
You’re ignoring me! – Cats are good communicators, and will let you know if they feel you are not paying enough attention to them. Have you spent time with your cat today? Do they need food or water? Has the litter box been changed today? A rub against your legs and following you around the house may indicate your cat feels ignored.
I’m cold! – One of the reasons cats may seek owner affection is simply practical: They’re cold! Cats may jump up in their owners laps for affection, but may want to remain for longer than usual to soak up residual body heat from said lap.
Boom! Thunder, Fireworks, and Loud Noises – Many cats dislike loud noises. When they hear loud noises such as fireworks or construction noise, they may seek the comfort of being close to their owner. The smoke alarm going off or a vacuum cleaner may even trigger sudden affectionate behavior, depending on your cat and what they’ve experienced in their past.
Change in family dynamics – The addition of a new baby or a new pet may cause anxiety in cats, leading them to seek more attention from their owners.
Anxiety – If your cat is anxious, an increased amount of affection could make matters worse. The more the cat demands (and receives) affection, the more anxious she may become when it’s taken away periodically (such as when you need to leave the house). Social distress can result in frequent meowing, inappropriate urination, and destructive behavior such as clawing furniture.
I’m hurting – Cats are masters at hiding signs of discomfort and pain. It may be that the only way they show there’s a medical problem is by seeking additional attention.
How To Help an Overly Affectionate Cat
Cats need both social interaction and environmental enrichment to thrive and stay healthy. But if your cat becomes suddenly much more affectionate or clingy it’s a clear indication that they should be seen by a veterinarian. Although many cats seek isolation when something is wrong, some react in the opposite way.
By performing a physical exam, your veterinarian can determine if there is a medical problem or painful condition affecting your cat that may cause her to become more affectionate.
Barring a health problem, behavioral considerations can also be taken into account. It’s common for cats experiencing a life change to need behavioral support, and we can help get things back on the right track.
Anytime you’re uncertain about your pet’s behavior, please don’t hesitate to contactAnimal Kind Veterinary Hospital. We are here to help!