My cat is too needy, What can I do? This is a fictional re-modelling of a real “cat behavior problem” which probably occurs in many homes. What does a “needy cat” mean and why do people need help to stop a needy cat being needy? Also what might cause a cat to be needy?
This cat lived in a home with a couple, man and women, for a number of years. The cat behaved normally until one of them left because the relationship broke up. Since then the cat has been “needy”.
Needy Cat Signs
The signs of this fictional needy cat are: she…
- Rubs herself against me all the time. She does it a lot more than usual and for longer.
- Rubs against my face while I am asleep.
- Yowls outside a closed interior door; for example when I am in the bathroom.
- Sleeps on my pillow and on my head.
- Constantly stares at me.
- Won’t play with a toy. Just wants to be with me.
- She hates other animals so it is impossible to get another cat as a companion.
- She stays in my room.
- She is frightened of most things.
OK, a person lives with a cat that likes to be with her all the time making demands on her. This starts to irritate the cat’s owner. The cat’s owner starts to ignore her cat. She starts to think about relinquishing her cat. Solutions need to be found.
What is the big deal? This cat is very connected with the remaining person. Why doesn’t the person accept it and like it? That would be the simple answer. It seems that in this instance it takes two to tango. Is this a case of a cat that is needy or a person who doesn’t really want to keep a cat unless the cat is just there adorning the house?
Although that question is probably valid and fair, the assessment does not resolve the problem. It does, however, highlight a major issue regarding keeping a domestic cat – expectations. If what we expect and accept is different to what we get there will be problems and the cat will be the one to suffer.
Is this a case of a cat who formed a close relationship with the person who left before the relationship broke up? Is this cat stressed and has she become anxious because of the loss of the person who left?
Let’s decide that it is a case of cat anxiety. Perhaps it is separation anxiety. If this is what is happening shouldn’t the person who remains be sensitive and supportive towards the cat rather than become upset herself?
Feliway is a man made synthetic version of the scent produced by the glands on the side of a cat’s face; a pheromone. I actually wonder about this product because it is generic (general) and I thought each cat produces his own particular scent. That is the whole point of cat scent isn’t it. Perhaps not. Feliway is designed to “stop unwanted cat behavior”. It deals with cat stress. It comes to mind in this case.
Feliway is meant to create a sense of security and reassurance in the environment for the cat. The cat becomes less stressed and in doing so will be less needy and clingy. That is the theory.
The general conclusion is either (a) that this needy cat is not needy at all and the problem is with the cat caretaker or (b) the cat is needy due to anxiety and needs to be calmed down. Feliway might do this. Otherwise:
- accept it or
- see the vet
In accepting this cat’s behavior the remaining person should do the opposite to what she might feel like doing, namely, spend more time with her cat. She should do everything to reassure her cat and eventually the cat will become attuned to the loss of a human companion that perhaps meant more to her than the person who remains.