Why does my cat want so much attention ?

After having engaged in long play sessions with your cat, you must have wondered why does my cat want so much attention still upon looking into its curious eyes that are craving more of it. This is a very common cat behavior and is exhibited at a different level by cats of different breeds. While some cats get satisfied with occasional petting and like to spend some of their time in solitude too, the others prefer clinging to their owners and want someone to accompany them constantly.

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While you can choose to give them the attention they want, the behavior can also be curtailed positively if it exceeds the limit and you can’t satisfy their attention cravings. We are going to help you understand why cats get clingy first and then how to treat the behavior after a proper observation.

Understand the cat behavior of seeking attention

The need for attention is a very intrinsic part of natural cat behavior and in fact, the limit of attention-craving in felines can go much higher than what any average person can ever expect. Other than the existential needs like food, freshwater, and clean litter, a cat wants attention of their owner mandatorily. You may find it contrasting to their usually independent nature but attention and care are indeed very important for their overall well-being.

The average amount of time for which any cat requires to receive personal attention from the owner is 20 minutes and this time varies with the preferences of every individual cat. Many cats can do with taking care of themselves while others love to be pampered by their owners.

You may think that your cat may get upset upon not getting enough attention but the extent of the impact of attention deprivation on cats can leave you surprised. Here are some of the ways attention deprived cats suffer:

  • Cats can get too much bored in the absence of any company and that messes with their health. They may become very lazy and resort to overeating.
  • They may also get stressed and catch issues like anxiety, depression, pica, etc a result.
  • Separation anxiety can become an issue with the cat if they live along for a time longer than their usual limit.
  • Some cats can turn too aggressive when not given attention and start destroying things, biting people, and do other destructive activities.

Common reasons behind cat behavior of seeking attention

If your cat wants attention, it can be so for a lot of things like wanting you to provide for their daily needs or making you know that something is wrong. Here are some of the major reasons for which they seek your attention.

Instinctual urge

It majorly depends on the breed of cats that how much attention they can demand. A lot of cats have historically been very important and center of attraction in their respective environments like the Siamese, Tuxedo, etc. Thus, it may simply be in the genes of your cat to demand attention and they would continue to do so.

Demanding food

Other than the times when they are really hungry, your cat may try to seek your attention to ask for certain food treats which they love like those tuna scrapes or bread. Also, if you skip their mealtime, you will have your cat loitering around your feet.

Release hyper-stimulation through play

Some cats only settle with hyperactivity and they might try to catch your sight into convincing you to play with them. Cats need too much stimulation when they have a lot of energy pent up and thus seek a partner to play with, thus, you may be the easy target for that.

Purely for company

Cats tend to get bored very easily and may want their owners to engage with them in any way to make them stimulated. This demand may necessarily not be for play sessions but can also be just for cuddles, outdoor strolls, or lazing around. Your cat may simply want you around.

Health issues

Your cat may be vocalizing excessively for pointing your attention towards any health issues that may be suffering from. There can be many things like cognitive dysfunction, inability to hear, feline hyperesthesia or rippling skin disorder, hyperthyroidism, pain, discomfort, neurological disease, cancer, etc. This reason can be affirmed by paying close attention to the pattern of their vocalization and if they match the symptoms of any of these medical issues.

Signs to watch out for in attention-seeking cats

why does my cat want so much attention

Cats do a lot of activities which are merely a part of their instinctual behavior and you might end up mistaking them as the answer to why does my cat want so much attention. Thus, to be able to distinguish the attention demands, check out for these signs:

Meowing: There is a particular way your cat will vocalize when it wants your attention. It will start with a soft and persistent meowing and go on till it has to screech to immediately catch your sight. The tone and pitch of the meow will vary as per the message.

Starring: Cats also resort to staring at the person whose company they want for whatever reasons. This is because they know it’s very difficult for anyone to ignore the intensity of their stare.

Sit right in front of you: This is another very common way cats try to tell their owners that they want to be focused upon. They will sit right in front of your face over anything and coerce you into looking at them and listen to what they want.

Follow: Your cat will follow everywhere around the house until you look at them and cater to their attention demand. High chances are that it may take you tripping over them running into your feet.

Scratch: They might even scratch you on the nose, forehead, or cheeks to show affection and expect the same in return in the form of cuddles, petting, etc.

Bring stuff: Cats even bring their stuff like toys, bowl, etc, or any of your stuff lying randomly and give it to you for getting you to pet them and understand what they asking for.

Cling: They would stick to any part of your body like the arm, leg, or torso and won’t let go no matter how much you move. This is a very desperate attempt to seek attention.

Knock things: If you don’t pay heed to their persistent efforts of seeking attention, cats may even knock things off as they know that you will surely look at them when your stuff will drop on the ground. This behavior may turn to become more destructive if let to be continued.

Tips on solving the problem of attention-seeking in cats

The important thing to understand is that if your cat wants attention, then you must give it but also know how to control their demands when they exceed the limit. Here are some tips that you can use:

  • Play with your cat regularly and keep the session enriching enough for the cat to get stimulated to the desired levels. Get interactive toys, motion sensor toys, puzzle feeders, catnip toys, etc. that keep your cat engaged.
  • Make sure that you don’t give a food treat to the cats every time they ask for it or they will grow into the habit of howling for food.
  • Take your cat for outdoor activities and maybe show them cat videos to see their excited faces.
  • You may have to increase the frequency and intensity of play sessions when dealing with hyperactive cats.
  • If a company is all that matters to your cat, get it a fellow pet to play with.
  • Be observant about your cat crying, hissing, howling, scratching, or biting for attention-grabbing. If you notice that the attention-seeking signals are too aggressive, then do get your cat checked with a vet or pet behaviorist for any underlying health or mental issue.

Conclusion

Now you must be sorted about why does my cat want so much attention and may have already thought of how to deal with that. Remember that giving the desired care and attention to the pet is something that you signed up for anyway when you got them in the first place and you must not run away from it. You must only control their attention urges when they cross boundaries.

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Luna Tran
 

My name is Luna and I am a great cat lover and a cat owner of three lovely cats. I have owned many cats till now and have dedicated many years to nurturing and caring cats. Through this blog, I am here to share my knowledge and experience about cats.