Clingy cats? Do they really exist? There is a fine difference between a cat who likes to be close to you and a cat who needs to be close to you.
Perhaps when people refer to their cat as clingy they are using the word in the same way they’d use it to describe the behaviour of a child. Is that a good idea? After all cats are different to people and I am not sure that once a cat is an adult they are capable of being clingy. Sometimes cats just like to be close to their human companion, which is a reflection of an excellent relationship.
However, there may be an overlap between clingy behaviour in kids and cat behaviour that looks like human clingy behaviour.
Children can become clingy because of separation anxiety. It is the distress a child experiences when he/she is separated from her carer for a time. Perhaps the mother takes her child to a nursery or school social event and the child clings on not wanting to be separated.
Cats can suffer from separation anxiety. That seems to be fairly well established. When this happens the cat does not cling on to her human companion as she leaves but the anxiety is expressed in the home in forms of territorial marking such as spraying and sometimes defecating; markers to help the cat feel more secure at home.
The picture above shows one cat clinging onto another but this is temporary and two cats who are friends interacting with each other. This picture is not an example of clingy cat behaviour, in my opinion.
So what are we to make of the video? My opinion is that it is the behaviour of a cat enjoying interacting with and being close to her human companion. It is as simple as that. It is cat love if you want to use human terminology.
But for me, the word “clingy” does not usually apply to the domestic cat. However, there may be occasions when it might occur and there may be individual cats who, in their own way, do show signs of distress when their human leaves them for the day or longer. It may not be hanging on as children do. There may be some other more subtle signs. Do you know what they might be?
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