The domestic cat has transformed from a solitary species who regarded humans as their enemy 10,000 years ago to one that forms social and amicable relationships with people.
These days, the foremost important things for pet cats are social relationships with their owners and their core territory. Connections with other cats have lower priority since many littermates are separated from their mum by the third month of life, joining new homes and encountering felines with fixed territories.
If your cat is attached to your hip similarly to my cat Simba, who follows me everywhere, you’ll be intrigued to find out that your cat may have a remarkably close relationship with you or may be displaying signs of separation anxiety.
Let’s decode why your cat is shadowing you to the bathroom, as well as the best intervention to enhance emotional happiness.
Why Does A Cat Follow An Owner To The Bathroom?
Erik and Rexxie like to follow me to the bathroom.
Domestic and tamed cats now live in human diverse cultures, and their learned behaviors are receptive to different ways of living with people. Many cats exhibitclingy behavior and follow their owner everywhere, particularly into the restroom.
Common reasons why felines may pursue owners into the bathroom include, but are not limited to:
Close Animal-Human Bond
You formed a remarkably close relationship with your cat. This means you both love sharing many activities together, including spending time with each other in the restroom. Some cats adore sitting on an owner’s lap while they’re doing their business on the toilet. Although it’s not comfortable for humans, it’s warm and cozy for your kitty.
Attention-solicitation behavior is accompanied by persistent purring plus vocalization, as well as pursuing an owner around the home, including the bathroom. Attention-seeking cats may also beg for food or to be let outdoors, which is sometimes reinforced when the owner gives attention, lets the cat out or offers food.
Be mindful to not reinforce attention-seeking behavior, which might become a problem behavior in the future.
Separation Related Problems
It has been determined that cats can suffer separation related problems (SRP) similarly to dogs. Separation anxiety is evident through clinginess, destructive behavior, excessive vocalization, peeing on the bed and pursuing an owner in all places.
Environmental enrichment and behavior modification, along with cognitive training, plays a key role in developing an independent feline who doesn’t feel the need to prowl their owner incessantly into the washroom.
For an adult cat, cozy bedding plus toys will provide comfort and a sense of self-assurance.
When a kitten or adult cat is rehomed, it may lose a sense of security within its environment and territory, and seek to re-establish connection with the focus of safety through suckling behavior or over-attachment to a new caregiver.
To prevent attachment-loss during severance, provide a kitten a warm blanket with the mother’s odor. For an adult cat, cozy bedding plus toys will provide comfort and a sense of self-assurance.
When a cat loses a sibling or another species with a close attachment bond, they can become insecure and crave more attention by shadowing their owner.
Pain or disease can cause a sudden behavioral change, triggering your companion animal to stalk you around the home, as well as chase you into the lavatory.
Although cats hide signs of illness, a feline displaying subtle behavioral changes, such as increased vocalization, urinating outside the box and/or human over-attachment, may be experiencing pain or distress, and require a veterinary examination.
Loss Of An Animal Companion
Pain or disease can cause a sudden behavioral change, triggering your companion animal to stalk you around the home, as well as chase you into the lavatory.
Losing an animal is heartbreaking for both owner and resident moggie. When a cat loses a sibling or another species with a close attachment bond, they can become insecure and crave more attention by shadowing their owner.
Luckily, there are several things that you can do to assist your cat with the grieving process.
Why Does A Cat Want To Spend Time In The Bathroom?
Jimmy likes playing hide and seek in the bathroom.
The bathroom is an exhilarating place for a kitten as well as an adult cat. There may be several reasons why your cat wants to spend time in the washroom, most common motives include:
The Litter Tray Is Located Within The Washroom
Most owners place litter trays in discreet restroom corners where the cat feels safe to toilet without interruption by other pets or humans.
The litter box is often tucked away in a quiet spot within the lavatory necessitating your kitty to use it multiple times per day for urination and defecation. Most owners place litter trays in discreet restroom corners where the cat feels safe to toilet without interruption by other pets or humans.
Cats Love Drinking Water From The Basin Or Bath
You might be surprised to find out that the majority of cats love drinking running water from the sink; others enjoy sipping water from the shower or bathtub. Felines love flowing water since in nature water isn’t stagnant and fresher.
If you have a fussy drinker, purchase a water fountainto encourage them to drink.
Bathrooms Have Comfortable Cool Sinks
Certain cats will seek shelter within bathrooms since they often have rock-solid walls, built into the center of the house
The smooth surface of the sink basin with oval shape is hard to resist for some cats, who like to snuggle against the curvature of the bowl, which making them feel cool and also safe up high.
Cozy resting sites aid with body heat maintenance for seniors and geriatrics.
Felines are highly territorial species; your cat may perceive a threat to their personal security when important resources like litter trays are obstructed by a bathroom door closure, leaving them feeling less safe and distressed.
Cats Love Underfloor Heating
Nothing is more amusing than playing with toilet rolls, rummaging the bin, rolling on the bathmat, climbing on blinds or hanging off towels – it’s a feline amusement park!
No cat can resist sprawling on heated floors especially in the colder months of the year. Cats love warmth since it helps with temperature regulation.
Felines that suffer chronic musculoskeletal pain are all drawn to heat sources since warmth is beneficial for stiff joints. Cozy resting sites aid with body heat maintenance for seniors and geriatrics.
Exhilarating Place For Fun And Adventure
Felines that suffer chronic musculoskeletal pain are all drawn to heat sources since warmth is beneficial for stiff joints.
Indoor-only kitties are prone to boredom. Frankly, what other room within the home is as exhilarating, scent tantalizing and moreover fun as the restroom? Nothing is more amusing than playing with toilet rolls, rummaging the bin, rolling on the bathmat, climbing on blinds or hanging off towels – it’s a feline amusement park!
Cats Feel Safe In Confined Areas During Storms
Bathrooms are important cat territories and entertainment spaces containing familiar human smells and their own scent.
Pets who experience fear of storms will show increased anxiety as the thunderstorm approaches. Certain cats will seek shelter within bathrooms since they often have rock-solid walls, built into the center of the house, with small or absent windows, offering insulation as well as perceived protection.
Bathrooms are important cat territories and entertainment spaces containing familiar human smells and their own scent. There’s nothing wrong with your cat shadowing you to the bathroom from time to time as long as it doesn’t become an obsessive behavior warranting a veterinary health check.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my cat follow me to the bathroom every time?
Your cat may be following you to the bathroom due to many reasons like wanting to be near you, seeking your undivided attention, curiosity, neediness, enjoying the lavatory substrate or simply because they want to use the litter tray.
Is it normal for cats to follow you to the bathroom?
It’s normal for cats to follow their caregivers to the bathroom. Certain cat breeds like a Maine Coon, Burmese, Ragdoll, Scottish Fold and Himalayan are ranked the foremost attention-seeking breeds with somewhat "dog-like" manners accompanying their owners around the house.
Why does my cat guard me in the bathroom?
Cats are very protective of their owners' territory. Cats with separation-related problems tend to seek their owners' undivided attention and likewise guard them within the bathroom.
Fraser, A. F. (2012). Feline Behaviour and Welfare. (S. Hulbert, Ed.) CAB International. Pages 15-17. Retrieved February 21, 2022
Salla Mikkola, M. S. (2021, July 01). Reliability and Validity of Seven Feline Behavior and Personality Traits. MDPI, 1-17. Retrieved February 27, 2022, from https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/11/7/1991
Sparkes, D. S. (2016). ISFM Guide to Feline Stress and Health; Managing negative emotions to improve feline health and wellbeing. Tisbury, Wiltshire, UK: International Cat Care. Retrieved February 25, 2022
Care, I. C. (2020, September 01). Advanced Feline Behaviour for Vet Professionals. Module 1 What am I and where did I come from. UK. Retrieved February 24, 2022
Why does my cat follow me into the bathroom? ›
Your cat follows you into the bathroom because he needs fresh water. Cats are crazy about moving water and the bathroom is a room where they find the most opportunities for water fun. Bidet taps, shower taps, toilet water, etc.Why does my cat guard me while I poop? ›
This is very normal in cats. The reason they might want to sit next to your feet, or just be near you while you're going to the bathroom, is an instinctive thing that cats all do. They usually do this to protect you, since going to the bathroom is a very vulnerable action.Why do cats want you to watch them pee? ›
Cats watch you pee because they want to be near you. Separation anxiety, curiosity, and an instinct to protect their owners are also reasons why cats show this behavior. Cats also find bathrooms to be soothing and a comfortable environment.Where your cat sleeps on your bed and what it means? ›
If your cat sleeps on your bed, he may choose a position that lets him see out your bedroom door more easily. If he's curled up in a ball under your bed or in a quiet corner, then he may be hiding. Cats who sleep under the covers might love being close to you, or they might be hiding to feel safer.Why do animals follow you into the bathroom? ›
Dogs who follow you to the bathroom
As their owner, you are the one who meets most of their needs, including for affection, so following is a sign of this attachment. They may also be waiting for routines they enjoy such as a walk or dinner time.
Cats like privacy when they do their business. Try a different type of litter box. If you're using a hooded litter box, try an uncovered one. An open litter box gives a cat a feeling of security because he can see people or other animals approaching.Why does my cat stare at me? ›
As well as being a method of communication, staring is also a sign of a close bond between you and your cat, as they are unlikely to hold eye contact with someone they don't like or trust.Why do cats have to cover their poop? ›
"Cats have the instinctual behavior of eliminating away from their core living area and then burying their waste so they don't alert predators to their presence," explains Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC, author and owner of Cat Behavior Associates and member of Daily Paws' Advisory Board.How does my cat know I'm in the bathroom? ›
The bathroom is a place of terrific smells
To your cat, the bathroom smells like you. The wet towels smell like you, the robe smells like you, and yes, the toilet has your scent as well. Scent means different things to animals than it does to humans.
Your cat keeps an eye on you while you clean the litter box to make sure you are not removing the litter box and everything is going according to plan. Cats frequently enter the litter box right away after it has been cleaned or emptied so they can scent-mark it as their own.
Do cats pick a favorite person? ›
In a multi-human household, it seems that cats will choose one family member they want to spend more of their time with. According to a study done by the nutrition company, Canadae, they discovered that the person who makes the most effort is the favorite.What is Splooting cats? ›
"Sploot" is a slang term for the position pets take when they lay on their stomach with their legs stretched out behind them. Dogs can sploot, too, but there's nothing quite like the sploot of the ever-agile cat. cat laying on floor in a sploot postion. Mercedes Santana / Getty.Do cats know we love them? ›
The truth is, cats understand affection just like any other animal, and domestic cats might actually see us as their real-life mommies and daddies. A 2019 study revealed that kittens evince the same behavior towards us as they do their biological parents.Do dogs protect you when you go to the bathroom? ›
The behavior of the species helps us understand that our dogs want to stay by our side in all places of the house because they are animals used to living in groups and are very protective. This way, he can walk you to the bathroom to protect you, just as the dog feels protected by you.Why does my cat sit on my lap while on the toilet? ›
We call this kitty behavior, 'Potty buddies'. Cats are interested in everything its owner does. A theory is that your cat follows you and sits on your lap on the toilet since it is able to smell all of your odors. This is a way of identifying and owning you.Why you shouldn't let your dog follow you to the bathroom? ›
It's perfectly normal for dogs to follow you into the bathroom—and perfectly normal if they don't. The only cause for concern would be if your dog gets seriously anxious about being alone while you're in the bathroom, even for a few minutes. It could be a sign of separation anxiety in dogs.Can cats be protective of their owners? ›
Cats are often stereotyped as standoffish and aloof, even to the people who love them most, but the truth is that cats can be just as protective of their people as dogs are of theirs. Put simply, cats love their family and their family loves them right back.Why do cats do Zoomies after pooping? ›
When a cat poops, it stimulates a nerve in their body that gives them a euphoric feeling, which might explain why your cat gets the zoomies. The nerve that's being stimulated is called the vagus nerve, and it runs from the brain throughout the body, including the entire digestive tract, Shojai said.Why does my cat guard me when I pee? ›
Cats watch you pee because they want to be near you. Separation anxiety, curiosity, and an instinct to protect their owners are also reasons why cats show this behavior. Cats also find bathrooms to be soothing and a comfortable environment.Do cats get hurt feelings? ›
Famously independent, sometimes falsely assumed to be immune to feelings, cats are in truth super-sensitive to emotions, sound, and stress. Perhaps because felines lack the eager-to-please openness of their canine colleagues, humans overlook the big and small ways they can break a cat's spirit.
Should you look a cat in the eyes? ›
Direct eye contact
Cats can find direct eye contact quite threatening. They wouldn't look another cat straight in the face unless they were fixing for a fight. When your cat's relaxed, they might look at you with a peaceful gaze or half closed eyes. A “slow blink” is your cat's way of saying they love you.
You should not stare back at your cat.
Cats see staring as a sign of aggression. Staring at a cat can make them fearful, angry, and deteriorate trust. You will not be the one to win your staring contest with your cat, so it is better not to start one or try.
Are Cats Supposed to Clean Themselves After Going to the Bathroom? "Cats are naturally clean critters, so they are inclined to clean up after using the litter box," Dr. Zay told POPSUGAR. "Typically though, they have little to no residue from their bathroom habits.Why does a cat smell your face? ›
When your cat sniffs your face, they're taking in information too: what you smell like! Sniffing your face allows your cat to familiarize themselves with your scent so that they can recognize it, and you, in the future. Once they commit your scent to memory, they are better able to identify you going forward.Why do cats hate water? ›
Cats are fastidious animals that spend a great deal of their day grooming themselves. Wet fur is extremely uncomfortable for a cat and often takes a long time to dry. Wet fur is also heavier than dry and thus makes a cat less nimble and easier for predators to catch. There is also the shock factor.Do cats know we are pooping? ›
To answer you question I will say yes, they know. And they love it. Don't be confused or shy if your cat comes around when you are on the toilet. As gross as it might sound to humans - for cats the best smell is the one that comes naturally out of their human, not their perfume, not their aftershave cream, etc…Can you leave cats alone for 3 days? ›
No matter how independent your cat is, we do not recommend leaving your cat alone without daily visits from a friend or a professional cat-sitter for more than two or three days. Today, there are many options to care for your cat while you are away. Keep in mind that, cats tend to be independent, territorial animals.Do cats know their names? ›
Unlike dogs, cats are not known for coming when called. But if your cat doesn't move a whisker when you call its name, it doesn't necessarily mean that it doesn't know its name. According to a study1 published in 2019 in the journal Scientific Reports, cats do, in fact, recognize their own names.What does a cat sigh mean? ›
Cats can sigh as humans do. Although people often sigh due to negative emotions, cats mostly sigh because of feelings of contentment and relaxation. They might also sigh out of boredom.Do cats get happy when you clean their litter box? ›
“Cats will sometimes jump into the litter boxes and often use them while, and right after, their people have scooped them,” says Marilyn Krieger, certified cat behavior consultant. “Cats love clean litter boxes, ones that are freshly scooped and don't smell of excrement.
Do cats know you change their litter? ›
In most cases, if you go slowly enough, your cat won't even realize a change is taking place. The way to do the gradual changeover is to mix a small amount of the new litter in with the current brand every day for several days. This changeover should typically take place over three to five days.Can cats sense your energy? ›
Like humans, cats, dogs and other animals have the ability to sense energy shifts in people. Speaking or acting out in fear, anger or stress are obvious sources of negative energy, but our pets may even pick up on silent fretting.Do cats miss their humans? ›
Yes, they do. The cats miss the owners whenever they are away or have been detached from the owner. They notice the absence of all the showered love their owners have left for them.Does a cat trust you if it sleeps next to you? ›
Sleeping near you
If your kitty likes to sleep near you - or even on you - this is an indication that they have total trust in you.
My Cat Follows Me Everywhere But Won't Cuddle
Some reasons a cat may not enjoy physical contact include individual personality variations, a lack of adequate socialization during kittenhood, a history of being feral, or a previous negative experience associated with human physical touch.
Anxiety. If your cat is feeling vulnerable or insecure, they may become a bit more affectionate or clingy. This is most often the case with rescue cats or kittens who were separated from their mothers when they were quite young.Why does my cat follow me everywhere I go? ›
Apart from showing love and affection, it may also be because cats feel safe when their owners are close by or are curious about where you're going or what you're doing while also acting on their instincts.Do cats guard their owners? ›
More frequently, cats try to protect their pet parents from people they consider to be dangerous. Although cats are fierce predators, humans can seem big and scary to some cats. It's instinctual for a cat to defend their territory and yours.Do cats get sad when you leave? ›
Regardless of their reputation, cats do get lonely when they are left unattended for long periods of time. Research proves that cats are social beings that form strong bonds with their owners. Do cats get sad when you leave? Short answer: yes.Can cats tell when you're sick? ›
Like dogs, cats also have an uncanny ability to detect ailments and diseases as well. Cats also have an acute sense of smell and have the ability to sniff out a chemical change in the body caused by a disease. And both dogs and cats can also sense the change in mood, behavior and pattern that affect a daily routine.
Do cats like being talked to? ›
Yes, you read that right: A recent study revealed that getting your pet's attention is as simple as speaking with a high-pitched tone and extended vowels, just like how you'd communicate with a human baby. Additionally, the study suggested that your cat can actually tell you apart from strangers.How does a cat show their love? ›
Cats groom each other as a display of affection, and this behavior will extend to humans when trust is built. Cats will often lick their people or allow them to brush them. Licking is similar to the grooming they would perform on their feline friends and allows for marking of each other.Why do cats raise their bums when you pet them? ›
Cats usually raise their bottoms when you pet them because they're enjoying it. However, it could also be because their skin is itchy due to fleas, an allergy, or another cause. It might also mean that they're experiencing pain or discomfort in their back or tail.Do cats prefer female owners? ›
According to a new study, cats experience the greatest fondness for female owners. Cats attach to your veterinary clients—your female clients in particular—as social partners and it's not just because they want to be fed, according to research in the journal Behavioral Processes.Can cats sense a good person? ›
Although a cat may not care (as that word is generally used) about human morals, cats can and do distinguish between good and bad people, and are excellent judges of human character and emotion.Do cats think humans are cats? ›
In fact, cats behave independently because they think humans are cats like them. They think we're just one of their kind. And cats reserve their affectionate behavior usually for the humans in their homes.