Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere? Understanding Your Furry Shadow

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Last Updated: November 7th, 2023

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If you’re asking yourself, “Why does my cat follow me everywhere?” you’re not alone. Let’s put on our detective hats and get to the bottom of this adorable mystery!

Why does my cat follow me everywhere? black and white cat peeking through the door

Ever find yourself tripping over your cat as they zigzag between your feet while you’re trying to make coffee? Or maybe you’ve noticed that the moment you settle down on the couch, there they are, curled up beside you. If you’re asking yourself, “Why does my cat follow me everywhere?” you’re not alone. It’s a question that seems as mysterious as cats themselves. Sure, we could explain it as a simple show of affection, but anyone who’s spent enough time around cats knows there’s often more to their actions than meets the eye. Let’s explore the quirky and endearing reasons behind your furry shadow’s constant companionship.

Why Does My Cat Follow Me Everywhere? 9 Common Reasons

A study conducted by the University of Tokyo found that cats are just as attached to their owners as dogs or infants are to their caregivers. Published in the journal “PLOS ONE,” the study involved placing cats in an unfamiliar environment with and without their owners being present. The researchers noticed that cats displayed attachment behaviors such as following their owners or appearing more relaxed when their owners were present. Your cat might be following you everywhere for a number of reasons and they are mostly part of their natural behavior. Here are some potential explanations:


When your cat follows you around for bonding purposes, it’s a sign that they view you as their favored companion and part of their trustworthy group. Cats, despite their independent reputation, form strong attachments to their owners and can express this through shadowing behaviors. This tendency is rooted in their natural behavior, where they seek out interaction and affection from those they trust. By staying close to you, your cat is maintaining a connection and demonstrating their affection, as well as ensuring they’re never too far from a comforting pet or a playful interaction, reinforcing the bond between you two.


Cats are naturally curious creatures. If you’re moving around, especially if you’re doing something interesting, your cat might just want to see what’s going on. If your cat follows you everywhere, it may be because each movement you make sparks their interest and ensures entertainment. Whether you’re sorting laundry, typing away at your computer, or simply going about your daily chores, your cat may be intrigued by the noises, movements, and new ‘territories’ your activities present. This curiosity is rooted in their predatory instincts, where investigating their environment is crucial for survival, even in the comfort of a modern home where the ‘prey’ is often just a stray sock or a flickering cursor.


We have already talked about how cats are creatures of routine in our article about “why does my cat sleep one me?” Cats are creatures of habit. If you have a set routine that involves regular activities where your cat can participate or observe, they may follow you as part of their daily pattern. Cats find comfort and security in predictable patterns and schedules. If your daily activities have formed a routine that involves certain interactions with your cat—like feedings, playtime, or cuddles—they may anticipate and look forward to these moments by keeping close to you. Over time, your cat learns that by tracking your movements, they’re better positioned to partake in or even initiate these routine engagements, which can include anything from their meal times to the cozy evening snuggles. This adherence to routine helps your cat feel in control of their environment, reducing stress and promoting a sense of well-being.


Your cat might follow you everywhere for attention because it has learned that this is a successful way to engage with you. Cats are smart and observant; they notice that when they’re close by, they’re more likely to receive strokes, scratches, playful interaction, or even a yummy treat from you. This behavior can be reinforced if you regularly respond to their presence with positive interactions. Essentially, your cat has associated following you with the pleasant and rewarding experience of your attention, making them more inclined to stay by your side as a way to solicit those desirable interactions.

cat being petted by its human owner


You are the primary source of safety for your cat. In the wild, cats are both predators and prey, and their survival depends on being cautious and alert. In a domestic setting, you are their trusted human—similar to a member of their colony in the wild—and being close to you makes them feel protected and at ease. Especially in new or stressful situations, your presence can be incredibly comforting to your cat. Following you is their way of ensuring they remain within the safety zone of their ‘protector’. It’s a behavior that also stems from kittenhood, where staying close to their mother meant warmth, security, and protection. This behavior is a sign of their trust and reliance on you to feel safe in their environment.


If it’s close to mealtime, your cat might be following you in anticipation of being fed. Your feline friend associates you with food and is either hungry or anticipating its next meal. Cats are smart when it comes to feeding times, and they quickly learn who feeds them and when that typically happens. This behavior is particularly common if you’ve responded positively in the past to your cat following you by giving it food or treats. As a result, they might follow you in an attempt to communicate their desire to eat or simply because they’re trying to remind you that it’s time for their meal.

cat sitting next to its heart shaped bowl, waiting for its meal to be served

Social Behavior

Your cat may follow you everywhere as part of its social behavior because, contrary to the popular belief that cats are solitary creatures, many are actually quite social and enjoy companionship. In the wild, felines often form colonies and show social behaviors with other members of their group. In a domestic setting, you are the closest thing your cat has to a colony mate. Following you around is a way for them to express their social inclination and desire for companionship. By keeping close to you, they’re seeking mutual comfort and interaction. This social behavior is proof of the strong bonds cats can form with their humans and their need for social interaction and stimulation.

Health Issues

When cats don’t feel well, they often seek out the security and safety of their preferred human companion. This can be due to their instinct to not show vulnerability. In the wild, a sick or weakened cat is at risk of predators, so they seek a safe haven. In your home, you are that safe place.

Cats also have the amazing ability to sense when they need extra care, and following you closely can be their method of ensuring they have your attention if their condition worsens. It’s also possible that if they are in pain or discomfort, being near you is soothing for them, as you’re a trusted source of comfort. If your cat’s behavior changes suddenly and they become more clingy than usual, it’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.


Cats are inherently territorial animals. In the wild, they patrol their range to mark their space, keep an eye out for intruders, and ensure their environment is secure. In a domestic setting, you, as their owner, are considered part of their territory. Cats may also sleep on you for the same reason. Following you allows them to monitor any changes in their perceived territory, including where you are and what you’re doing. This behavior could also be their way of marking their scent on you to let other pets in the household know you are part of their domain. This way, your cat is not just exhibiting its natural instincts but is also reinforcing the social hierarchy and their comfort in their territory, which now includes you.

Black cat standing in between its owners feet


Each cat is an individual with its own personality and reasons for doing things, so your cat’s specific reason may be one of these, a combination of several, or something entirely unique. Observing your cat’s body language and the context of the behavior can give further clues to their motivations. Always check with a vet professional if your cats behavior suddenly changes and they become unusually clingy. It may be a sign of an underlying health issue.



Maja Sebenik is a proud owner of a Dachshund named Bimba. With three years of experience working as a researcher for a pet magazine, Maja's love for animals runs deep. Through her heartfelt writing, Maja shares practical tips, advice, and heartwarming anecdotes to inspire fellow pet lovers. Join her on a journey to explore the wonders of the animal kingdom, one paw at a time.

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