Although most cats can be incredibly independent, the majority are also domesticated and socialized. What this means is that although they may be quite content to spend the majority of the day outside, without any interaction with you – when it pleases them, they require attention – attention only you can provide!
There can be some obvious reasons why they would do this and some perhaps not so obvious – read on to discover what these are.
Contrary to what some sites may want you to believe, it is unlikely that your cat will bother you if it’s not well. In fact, just the opposite – it is more likely that they will take themselves off to some quiet corner of your home or garden and hide it out until better.
The reason why your cat will bother you for attention is most likely that it wants food. Often, if you get up it will lead you to the kitchen. Like it or not, in your cat’s eyes, this is your main responsibility in the relationship – you supply them with food on request and they do exactly what they want when they want.
Why does your cat want attention?
There are a few different reasons why your cat may be bothering you – don’t make any assumptions until you’ve explored all the options as there may be more than one reason! Below are the most common reasons why your cat will be bothering you for attention.
Your cat is bothering you as it is hungry
The most obvious reason why your cat is bothering you is that is hungry. Over time, your cat has become accustomed to the person (or people) that provide its food. Whether that’s at certain times of the day, like first thing in the morning or when it’s dark – a routine was formed that your cat became familiar with.
If for whatever reason, their food doesn’t magically appear at the pre-agreed times, your cat will often come and find you. This may be whilst you’re still in bed having a well-deserved lie-in for a change. This is totally unacceptable as far as your cat is concerned of course!
Another reason why your cat may bother you relating to food is when you don’t have a feeding routine. Then, it may become normal for you to only feed your cat when they come and find you. An association is formed over time and they now know that if they trouble you enough – they will get what they want!
Your cat is bored and wants attention
Particularly if you’ve lived with your cat since it was a kitten, it may associate you with someone that they can play with! Cats, no matter what age, like to play and indeed it should be encouraged wherever possible.
A good sign that your cat would like you to play would be when you enter a room where they already are and you see them roll onto their backs. Alternatively, they may give you a cheeky meow or see their tail immediately stick up as they see you.
These are all signs that they want some kind of interaction from you but additionally, they may seek you out. This usually means finding you in your house and trying to get your attention. How they do this can vary but may simply be to jump onto a table or couch near where you are and just stare at you. Eventually, it will freak you out so much that you’ll be forced to do something!
You smell of something unfamiliar
Your cat has a far greater sense of smell than us lowly humans. In fact, their olfactory mucosa (the receptors for smell are located here) surface area is about as twice as large as ours. So, when you come in smelling of other things, particularly other cats or animals, they know about it.
This makes you of interest to them and they may be keen to ‘correct’ this unusual smell by re-applying their smell back onto you so you smell normal once again!
You may think it unusual that your usual non-lap cat has jumped up onto your lap but unfortunately, it’s unlikely to last long. They just want to investigate the source of the smell in greater detail before they jump off and go about their business as per usual.
Could your cat be bothering you because they are ill?
It’s unlikely that you will notice your cat bothering you more if they are feeling unwell. In fact, it’s highly unlikely. In the wild, being unwell would put the cat at a serious disadvantage to any predators. Because of this, they would find somewhere quiet and as hidden away as possible until such time that they feel better.
This behavior still exists with the domesticated cat. Although it would make sense for your cat to seek you out if they weren’t feeling very well – it doesn’t make sense to them. If only they could tell us when they were feeling rough!
The very last thing your cat would do in this situation would be to seek out interaction from anything, including you.
So, despite what you may read on some other sites – logic will tell you that this is not the case and your cat bothering you is not indicative of it trying to tell you it is unwell!
How should you react when your cat bothers you?
Don’t ignore your cat if it wants your attention. This kind of behavior isn’t that common so grasp it whilst you can and try and understand why it might be. Affirming your cat’s behavior with a reaction can only improve any bond you have with them.
Your cat doesn’t understand why you might ignore them. If it’s really getting too much for you, determine the reason and address it. The chances are it’s related to food so perhaps arrange to put food down more regularly so they don’t have to come and find you whenever they want something to eat.
Ensure you spend quality time with your cat – the best way is by playing with them. I’m yet to see a healthy cat unable to resist the temptation of a bit of string has to offer! Also, just five minutes of playing with a cat will not only make your cat happy but will have the same effect on you!
Conclusion – why your cat bothers you
In the majority of occasions, your cat will be trying to get your attention as it’s hungry. Whether it’s justified to feel hungry five minutes after they’ve been fed (perhaps you’re trying to get them to lose weight) is something only you can decide.
What you shouldn’t do is ignore it – there’s a reason why they want interaction from you. It’s something they can’t get by themselves and whether that’s food, boredom or because you smell strange – it’s something that only you can address.