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. It 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, the cat doesn’t really understand that you need some alone time in order 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)?


Insecurity can be caused by a number of factors. The vulnerability towards a cat’s own safety can be triggered by something as simple as unfamiliar odors, new furniture pieces, or noisy environment. When cats are close to their owners, they think they are safe and protected. They also feel like they belong and there’s no reason for them to be exposed to vulnerability by someone or something as long as their pet parent is around them.

Think of it this way – your cat perceives you as its own safe haven. And without being in close range to you, it starts feeling insecure of 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 by it. If the kitty has lost its favorite toys, mother, siblings, previous home or even another pet parent, it will act needy and demanding.

It’s basically the cat’s way of clinging to some kind of reliable solid rock – in this case that’s you. Furthermore, the separation anxiety also causes fear of abandonment. It makes the cat afraid that if it’s not near you, it might lose you too.

Affinity For Attention

Some feline breeds, like the Oriental Shorthair for example, 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, could easily become too attached to their owner. Why? Simply because they don’t have anything/ anyone else to socialize with.

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 the cat associate the thing it’s supposed to do with something rewarding and enjoyable. In this case it’s 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 interactive built-in games or a fun treat dispenser. Leave tiny bits of food in your home so that your pet doesn’t feel like it’s solely depending 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.

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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?!

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