For quite some time I’ve thought my British Shorthair was obsessed with me and my partner too… and you know what?
Sometimes we just worry too much and what we may perceive as so-called obsession turns out to be nothing more than harmless affection.
That being said, once the thin line of affection to obsession is crossed, you’ll usually notice serious behavior problems.
While some articles discuss the surface reasons for your cat's obsession, I’ll try to shed more light on the scientific side (all studies linked below) and how you can avoid these behavior issues.
You may be tempted to put off training your cat to actually enjoy being alone from time to time, but that’ll come at a price sooner or later.
Serious behavior issues are not only uncomfortable for your cat, they can also cost you big bucks to get rid of and can seriously affect your and your cat's social life.
Let’s go over what it means when your cat is obsessed with you, how you can spot the specific signs, and how to get rid of the root cause.
What Does It Mean When Your Cat Is Obsessed With You?
Your cat is most commonly obsessed with you due to a lack of exercise or food, behavior issues such as separation anxiety, external changes (new home, pregnancy, period), or simply positive reinforcement especially if you have a velcro cat already.
Of course, your first point should be checking that your cat has the right amount of food, an overall healthy diet, as well as a feeding schedule.
Just because you’re feeding your cat doesn’t necessarily mean that the diet is balanced.
Personally, I feed a raw diet and a proper diet can also be the reason why your cat gets more clingy at certain times.
My British Shorthair kind of expects her food in the morning and sometimes in the evening and that’s when the stalking and intense stares can start.
A lack of exercise is also a common issue so make sure you’re properly exercising your cat. Boredom can lead to your cat being obsessed with you because they have nothing else to do.
Tired cats are good cats, remember that.
Exercise also extends to our next issue which is separation anxiety.
I’ve got a complete and simple-to-follow separation anxiety guide if you’re afraid that your cat might suffer from this.
Address this issue asap as it can lead to destructive behavior in the future (we’ll discuss other signs your cat might show below).
Another really likely possibility is the plain ol’ positive reinforcement.
If your cat is obsessed with you due to positive reinforcement, that just means that you’ve rewarded your cat in the past for being close to you and following you around.
A healthy bond where your cat wants to be with you is totally okay and we actually kind of want to implant this in our cats’ minds when we train them to be off-leash.
However, once your cat can’t be alone anymore or experiences any of the signs below, you should act.
Last but not least, there are a couple of surprising reasons for your cat's obsession, especially if the behavior change occurred suddenly.
Why Is My Cat So Obsessed With Me All Of A Sudden
If your cat is obsessed with you all of a sudden, it’s most likely due to external changes which include moving, you or your wife’s pregnancy or period, as well as household changes such as a diseased pet or family member or a newly added pet which induces jealousy.
Yep, all these reasons can be the root cause of your cat suddenly acting all clingy and never leaving your side.
However, it’s important to keep medical issues in mind and have your cat checked out by a vet if you’re unsure about a behavior change out of the blue.
So let’s check out all the possible causes.
Moving homes can be very stressful for some cats and it’s definitely possible that your cat tries to stick to you more in a completely new environment.
Why should your cat be obsessed with you due to pregnancy or period you ask?
While science hasn’t yet uncovered everything related to a cat's sense of smell (e.g. how they detect certain illnesses), it’s clear that cats do smell these changes.
Same as with being in an unfamiliar environment, your cat may be obsessed with you because he just recently lost his furry best friend or because somebody has left or was newly added to your household.
If you brought home a rescue cat, chances are that your cat claims the number one spot and slowly has to get used to the new situation.
Keep in mind that the same is true vice versa – rescue cats often go through various fear stages.
Signs My Cat Is Obsessed With Me
Signs that your cat is obsessed with you include never leaving your side, overall alertness of where you’re going, and most commonly hissing, whining, or destructive behavior when you leave for a short period of time.
If you noticed a recent change in your cat's behavior, that’s a sign that something has changed that has caused your cat to be obsessed with you.
However, not every kind of affection is necessarily an obsession.
My British Shorthair follows me around all the rooms in the house, is always relatively close when out and about, and yet she has absolutely zero issues with separation anxiety.
If your cat stays close to you all the time but can actually stay alone without any issues or stress, then that’s a good sign.
There’s a term for breeds who are prone to being clingy – velcro cats.
Cat breeds definitely have these predispositions and how you raise them as kittens can determine whether or not their independence will go up or down.
My Friend’s Cat Is Obsessed With Me
If your friend’s cat is obsessed with you, it might be because of your activities with the cat, generally upswing in the mood once you arrive, or perhaps your scent.
Yep, cats learn by association.
Every time you’re over at your friend’s house and interact with the cat, talk to them in a happy voice, or the owner is genuinely happy to see you, that can create a positive association.
The cat will remember you being there equals a fun time.
Sometimes it’s pretty simple and the cat just likes you playing with him or they just love your scent (having pets of your own can practically act as a feline magnet).
My Cat Is Obsessed With Being Petted
If your cat is obsessed with being petted, that’s a sign of a strong bond and you should definitely dedicate some time in the day just to your cat.
In case you think the need to be petted is a bit excessive, try redirecting them to play, brain games, or whatever else you have at hand.
As long as it’s not neurotic behavior, being obsessed with pets shouldn’t hurt anybody though.
If your cat is rambunctious around strangers with a fiery need for pets, you may try to tone that excitement down via training and plenty of exercise.
Some cats even growl when petted and that’s not necessarily a bad sign either.
How Can I Stop My Cat Being So Obsessed With Me?
To stop your cat from being so obsessed with you, it’s crucial to make them enjoy their alone time through positive reinforcement, avoid them following you everywhere, and not rewarding clingy behavior.
Separation anxiety is a big element when it comes to a cat's obsession with people as a lot of them have issues with staying alone.
Exercise your cat before leaving, make sure they get a potty break and are not hungry, and provide them with toys and you’re off to a good start.
Over time, you want to increase the time spent alone but only take tiny steps. A couple of seconds, a minute, five minutes, ten minutes, and so on.
Never set your cat up for failure.
While you want to encourage them to enjoy their time, it’s equally as important not to reward clingy behavior.
Rewarding obsessive behavior means letting them follow you everywhere, immediately running back to because they whine when left alone, or allowing them to be on your lap or totally in your face all the time.
Why Is My Cat Obsessed With My Hands
Cats are often obsessed with your hands or face since these are the main points of interaction and your hands provide food, play, pets and might be recognized as the equivalent to cats paws.
My British Shorthair is definitely into human hands.
Whereas some cats are jumping up and generally try to lick your face, I always thought it to be interesting that my cat prefers hands so strongly.
She’ll literally go after your hands if you pet her, asking for more.
A good way to solve this is by just putting your hands away and rewarding your cat for calm behavior.
Don’t make it a game of chase and don’t reward your cat going after your hands for licks if you don’t want to encourage that behavior in the future.
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