If you’re wondering Why is my cat so affectionate all of a sudden, the answer might be that you’re not spending enough time with it. However, the cat might also be:
- scared, stressed out, or anxious
- pregnant, old, or sick
- newly adopted or insecure
Why Is My Cat So Affectionate All of a Sudden?
Should I Be Worried About My Cat’s Sudden Shows of Affection?
I love my three cats, and I love spending time with them. All of them are pretty affectionate and love petting, snuggling, and cuddling. However, one of my cats, Clawdia, is being even more affectionate lately. I can’t lie — even though I’m enjoying the extra cuddles, I’m concerned. I can’t help but wonder Why is my cat so affectionate all of a sudden and is that a bad sign?
Signs of a Clingy Cat
Clawdia has always been a loving cat. However, lately, she can’t seem to get enough of me. She follows me around and doesn’t really interact with other cats in the house. She even follows me to the bathroom!
Clawdia never did that before, so it’s alarming. Sure, I feel special when she abandons everything and ignores other people so she could sit with me (or rather, on me). But as a responsible owner, I know that any change in behavior is potentially bad.
Some might ask, “What’s the big deal; what does she do?” Well, Clawdia:
- follows me around constantly
- meows and scratches at the door until I let her in
- won’t eat unless I’m watching (or she’ll drag her bowl to where I am, even though her eating spot has been the same since I’ve had her)
- engages me in those creepy staring contests (that I always lose).
Of course, there are also other signs of clingy cats. Those of us who work from home are probably familiar with the “If it fits, I sit” meme, where cats sit anywhere they please as long as they can shove their furry little butts in.
Computer keyboards, books their owners are reading, their owners’ shoulders, and heads seem to be particularly alluring spots for clingy cats. These types of cats also love to rub themselves all over their owners and generally demand attention.
Why Is My Cat So Affectionate All of a Sudden and Should I Be Worried?
Affectionate cats are a godsend for lonely owners who love cuddles. But sudden affection should always be suspicious. If we notice our cats getting too clingy all of a sudden, we should carefully consider the circumstances and find the cause.
The Cat Might Be Lonely or Feeling Neglected
As I mentioned, I have three cats. I try to give them all equal attention, but it’s not like I can keep score. What’s more, not all of them are equally affectionate. One of my cats prefers to be left alone, for example. She’ll come to me if she needs cuddles (which happens often), but doesn’t appreciate me reaching out and disturbing her peace.
I’m okay with that, and I usually let my cats dictate the level of attention and affection they get. However, even though this particular tactic worked for us so far, I had to consider that the answer to the question Why is my cat so affectionate all of a sudden? might be that Clawdia was feeling neglected.
All owners should ask themselves, “How much time am I spending with my cat?” because that might resolve the mystery of sudden affection. If we aren’t paying enough attention to our pets, they’ll demand it from us. It’s as simple as that.
Nervousness, Anxiety, and Fear
I couldn’t know for sure if Clawdia was just feeling lonely and neglected. So I kept digging to find more potential causes for a sudden burst of clinginess. While searching for the exact cause, I started paying more attention to her, to see if it would make a difference.
It didn’t, by the way. Thus, I considered other options.
Anxious or nervous cats often cling to their owners. They like to rub their legs and go in circles around them, or simply nudge their owners with their entire furry bodies. Of course, they’ll also take any opportunity to physically share the same space as their owners (they’ll sit in their laps, essentially stopping them from moving and abandoning them).
The same goes for frightful cats. Loud noises, bright lights, and unexpected changes can frighten a cat. When that happens, cats tend to seek comfort and protection from those they trust the most. Almost always, that means they’ll run to their owners.
Cats that become affectionate all of a sudden might be anxious due to unexpected changes. New environment, strangers in the house, changes in the cat’s routine — these are all potential causes of anxiety that can result in sudden clinginess.
Because Clawdia wasn’t a neglected cat and there were no changes in her routine or anything that could have made her anxious or scared, I had to keep looking. Instead of trying to find answers on my own, I decided to take her to the vet.
It turns out that was an excellent decision because, unbeknownst to me, Clawdia was pregnant! In fact, she was quite pregnant and almost about to give birth.
That, of course, explains the change in behavior. Pregnant cats are hormonal, which is why they might need extra attention. They’ll demand cuddles and affection from their owners.
Furthermore, pregnant cats are also preparing themselves for giving birth. That is a stressful event, so they seek their owners for comfort and protection.
Now, not all pregnancy-related causes for clinginess are as heartwarming as the ones I mentioned. Some pregnant cats show more affection to their owners because they know they’ll get more treats and food that way. Sneaky!
Why Is My Cat So Affectionate All of a Sudden — Other Potential Causes
Even though I quickly found the exact cause of Clawdia’s affection, I still did some extra research to see what the other potential causes are.
New Rescue Kittens (and Cats)
There are two ways the first few days with a rescue kitty can go. The cat can either be quite wary of the new environment (and that includes the owner) or get overly affectionate.
Of course, some people experience a combination of both. Their cats are aloof the first few days or weeks, and then they get overly affectionate. That, of course, worries the owners, because it’s a sudden change in behavior.
Rescue cats usually have tragic backstories and traumatic experiences that leave them insecure. What’s more, they aren’t quick to trust people. So, we have to give them time to get adjusted to a new environment and form a routine of their own.
All our kitties get attached to us. That’s perfectly normal and expected. However, there’s a massive difference between secure and insecure attachment. Cats who are securely attached to their owners won’t get too clingy. They know their owners will be there, love them, and provide for them.
Insecure attachment means the cat isn’t sure about the owner’s affection. In other words, it doesn’t know we love it and is scared we’ll abandon it. That’s why it is following us around and taking advantage of every moment together.
Old-Age and Medical Issues
Those of us who have old cats know that any change in behavior is concerning. Old cats can get suddenly affectionate because they are sick or because their overall health is deteriorating. That makes them insecure, afraid and leaves them feeling unsafe.
As their faithful companions and providers, we are their safety blankets. So, it’s only logical that they aren’t too keen on keeping their distance from us.
Poor health, declining vision, and hearing loss are usual symptoms of old age in cats. Those symptoms are also potential reasons our cats are so affectionate all of a sudden. They rely on us to protect and help them.
Why Is My Cat So Affectionate All of a Sudden and What Should I Do About It?
While I was looking for the answer to the question Why is my cat so affectionate all of a sudden? I also found something else. Although affectionate cats aren’t that big of a deal to us cat-lovers, we still need our cats to be healthy and function properly. So, all the causes I listed in this article also have their “solutions.”
If our cats are atypically affectionate, we should:
- Make time for the cat — lonely and neglected cats need our attention. We should make sure we play with them and spend time with them every day.
- Comfort it — if the cat is scared and runs to us for protection, we shouldn’t turn it away. Instead, we should comfort it. If we need to leave the cat, we should make a safe space for it. Gathering all its toys in one secluded spot, and leaving a shirt that smells like us with the cat will probably help.
- Don’t reward negative behavior — if our cats are overly affectionate because they demand our attention, and there isn’t a more severe underlying cause to their behavior, we should try to train them. Eliminating negative behavior is vital both for us and our cats. We can start by making sure we don’t reward negative behavior. Otherwise, it will never stop. Instead, try not to give your cat what it wants when it demands it (but don’t deprive it of your attention either).
- A visit to the vet will be the most helpful — of course, we should never assume we know what’s wrong. It’s much better to consult a professional so we can know for sure. Any change in behavior is worrisome. Therefore, it’s best that we don’t belittle know-it-alls, and ask a professional for help instead.
A Few Parting Words
So there you have it. Those are the potential answers to the question Why is my cat so affectionate all of a sudden? Hopefully, this will be a helpful list for many cat owners. However, it’s vital that we remember that our kitties deserve the best care. So we should never ignore any changes in their behavior and we should take all of them seriously and at least call the vet to make sure everything is hunky-dory.