Why Is My Cat So Needy, Demanding, And Clingy?

If you’re reading this, chances are you have a clingy, needy, and demanding feline furball in your home. Your cat probably won’t leave you alone when you’re working, watching TV, or even going to the bathroom. And if you try to distance yourself, then you have to face constant meowing or even door scratching.

Having a loving and cuddly cat is great, but sometimes it’s just a TON of work.

Unfortunately, your cat doesn’t understand that you need some alone time to focus on yourself and other activities apart from playing, petting, or snuggling with your fluffy friend.

So why is your pet being clingy to the point of utter annoyance?

Even though each kitty is unique, there are a few universal reasons, which could make any cat out there impossibly needy and demanding.

Why Is My Cat Being So Needy And Demanding (All Of A Sudden)?


Several factors can cause insecurity in cats. Unfamiliar odors, new furniture pieces, or a noisy environment are example triggers that can cause your cat to feel vulnerable.

When cats are close to their owners, they think they are safe and protected. They feel like they belong. They know everything is OK as long as their pet parent is around them.

Think of it this way – your cat perceives you as its safe haven. And without being in close range to you, it starts feeling insecure about itself and its surroundings.

Separation Anxiety

It’s a common misconception that only young kittens suffer from separation anxiety. Their adult or senior counterparts can also get anxious, scared, or depressed.  If the kitty has lost its favorite toys, mother, siblings, previous home, or even another pet parent, it will act needy and demanding.

By this behavior, the cat is clinging to its reliable solid rock – you. 

Affinity For Attention

Some feline breeds, like the Oriental Shorthair, adore being the center of attention. If your furball has a strong affinity towards getting the attention of everyone in the room, it will do everything in its power to receive it. And that includes jumping into your lap, pawing at your face, or even hissing at you just to make sure you won’t ignore it.

Moreover, if a cat has been neglected in its previous home, it will definitely act needy. Lastly, it will also try to get your attention if it has started suffering from a new undiagnosed health issue.

Lack Of Enough Socializing

Even the most independent kitty out there still needs some socializing. Bored cats, as well as felines residing with one pet parent and no other animals, can easily become too attached to their owner. Why? Simply because they don’t have any other means of socialization.

How To Cope With A Needy And Demanding Cat?

When your cat’s clingy, needy, and demanding behavior takes its toll, you probably want to shout or lock yourself in another room. Don’t do that! Apply positive reinforcement training practices instead of punishment.

Make your cat associate the thing it’s supposed to do with something rewarding and enjoyable. In this case, that “thing” is leaving you alone.

Should your cat feel insecure and uneasy, offer it some comfort – something different than your hug. Get a cozy cat bed and opt for catnip or even calming pheromone sprays. Bring your kitty’s attention to something other than yourself. Interactive toys, cat trees, and even a new cat or a new dog could fix that.

If you need to leave the cat home alone, don’t make it feel lonely and abandoned. Get a pet camera that offers built-in interactive games or a fun treat dispenser. Leave tiny bits of food in your home. This way, your pet doesn’t feel like it solely depends on your return for its survival.

Schedule play sessions and training sessions at the exact time each day. Don’t skip this bonding time, because it can make the cat even more demanding.

If the kitty has started acting needy and clingy all of a sudden, don’t hesitate to schedule a vet check-up. There might be an underlying health problem, which could be affecting your fluffy friend. If it’s necessary, your vet can prescribe mild relaxants and sedatives to reduce anxiety and depression.

Last but not least, try to remember that you are a pet parent. This means you can’t neglect your cat’s needs. We all know you can’t cater to its every whim 24/7. However, trying to distance yourself from your pet by ignoring or punishing it could only make the furball clingier.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!