Monday 25 April 2022

'Clingy cat' - an alternative viewpoint

If you do a Google search for the word “clingy", Google throws up a list of possibilities for what you are searching for.  Google extends the search term and finds searches for information on "clingy babies", "clingy girlfriends", "clingy toddlers" etc..  When Google adds to your search term it bases its information upon what people search for. Obviously, people are searching for information about clingy toddlers etc.. The word "clingy" proceeds a human but not a cat.

Clingy? Insecure cat needing reassurance or a loving cat who likes to be with her human?
You decide.

This reinforces my beliefs about articles on clingy cats.  I don't believe there is such a cat as a clingy cat or if there are clingy cats, they are rarer than people believe.

I believe that cats who want to be with you a lot and who wish to interact with you when you're at home simply want to do that. They want to be with you, close to you and interact with you and why not? This is why people look after a domestic cat, isn't it? Some cats will be more independent-minded than others and they won't be so "needy", to use a human expression, but some cats will in human parlance demonstrate that they are needy but in my opinion they're not.  They simply want to have some fun with their human caretaker.

This may come about because, as is often the case, the cat's owner is out for a large part of the day. If that is the case then it is completely natural that a domestic cat will want to be with their human companion more than usual.

Sometimes, the cat may make a nuisance of himself with his owner by pestering her. Once again, I do not think that this is attention seeking or a cat that is needy or clingy. I think this is a cat that either wants to play or be with their human companion, or want something else.

On occasions, you may see a cat that is genuinely clingy meaning insecure in the same way that a person who is insecure may seek attention and be needy. However, I believe these cases are relatively rare and I also believe that cat behaviourist can and often do mistake the behavior of insecurity in a cat with a cat who likes to be around their human companion.

If a cat does interfere too much with the activities of their human caretaker, I believe that the onus is on the human caretaker to resolve the matter by looking at what they are doing to see whether they can improve their performance in relation to their cat.

What I mean by that is are they interacting with their cat enough from the cat's standpoint?  And are they feeding their cat enough?  Those sorts of things should be a priority and if they are all dealt with satisfactorily, perhaps look at the possibility that the cat is genuinely insecure and figure out ways to make the cat feel more secure.

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