We’ve all been there. You’re happily chilling out on the couch, when the call of nature comes. You jump up and head to the bathroom… and so does your cat. Just what is it about cats, that they find your business so fascinating? If you’re wondering why do cats follow you into the bathroom, you’re in the right place. We’ll break down the answer to that all-important question of “why does my cat follow me to the bathroom”.
Why Does My Cat Follow Me To The Bathroom?
If you’re thinking “my cat follows me to the bathroom, every time I need to go – what is up with that?” you’ll be pleased to know you’re not alone. Of course, for some, quickly searching “why does my cat follow me to the bathroom” is more out of interest than how to stop your cat from following you.
So, if you’re perfectly happy with this cat behavior, read on. If you’re interested in getting your cat to stop following you to the bathroom, you might want to skip ahead.
Why do My Pets Follow Me to the Bathroom?
You’ll be pleased to know that it’s not just cats who take part in this peculiar business of following you to the toilet. Indeed, animal behaviorists have been studying the desire of domesticated animals for centuries, now.
Still, until animals learn to talk, we’re only able to make educated guesses as to why your cat enjoys the toilet so much. That being said, here are the most common reasons why animal behaviorists believe cats follow us to the bathroom.
Your Cat Wants To Play In The Bathroom
The bathroom is where fun things happen (for your cat, at least). Firstly, there’s toilet paper to play with – a delightful plaything that allows them to make a mess. Which, as we all know as cat owners, is one of your cats’ favorite things to do.
Aside from toilet paper, however, there’s also the chance that there are things your cat gets to see and smell. Most people will keep the bathroom door shut, which means your cat doesn’t get the chance to see this area very often.
Sometimes, by opening the bathroom door, you’re giving your cat the chance to check out what’s in this rarely-opened room.
Curiosity Causes The Cat To Paw At the Door
As soon as you close the door, you can guarantee that your cat wants to know what’s on the other side. While us humans know that we’re just getting up to meeting our basic needs, your cat wants to know what’s going on and why. Even if your bathrooms are generally fair game, your best friend will automatically wonder what you’re up to.
It must be interesting if their owners have decided to step in, after all. For this reason, if you shut the door for a little privacy, you can guarantee that your cats are going to paw the bathroom door, if they’re on the other side.
Your Cat Has You Cornered And Can Get What They Want – Attention
Attention is easily one of the biggest needs for cats. They may like to pretend that they aren’t that interested in what you, as a cat owner, is up to. However, any owner knows that your kitty is keener than the family dog for a good stroke. On their terms, of course.
Instead, your feline friend finds that following you to the bathroom means they’ve got you cornered. As such, expect to find your cat walking between your legs, sitting on your lap or just standing and watching you. All of these things help your cat feel like they’re getting a good level of attention from you. Something that they’ve always wanted.
Your Bathroom Has Fresh Water
There’s nothing as refreshing as fresh water – even your cat thinks so. One of the main reasons why cats follow you to the bathroom is to partake in a delightful drink. Especially if you usually close the door to the bathroom when it’s not in use.
You can guarantee that, as soon as the humans have opened up the door, your cats are going to dive right in and enjoy a drink straight from the toilet bowl. Or, hopefully, the sink.
Your Cats Enjoy Routine
If the litter box is in the bathroom, your action of going to the bathroom will help to remind your cat that it’s time to go, themselves. Cats are a big believer in following routine, so having the same body clock as their people will help them to follow this. If you prefer a little privacy when using the bathroom, it might be worth placing their litter box in a different area.
Your Bathroom Smells Like You
Animals have extremely sensitive noses. While their nose may not have the 200 million olfactory senses that a dog has, they still have a very impressive 50-80 million. And enjoying your company is something that involves enjoying your smells and exciting these senses.
As such, the bathroom is one room in the home that is absolutely jam-packed with all kinds of scents and odors that remind your kitty of you. Whether it’s the shampoo you use or the errr, other smells that come with bathrooms. Your cat is coming along to enjoy being close to you.
You Offer Protection
This one is particularly true if you have a young kitten or an older cat. Cats look to you for protection and therefore may join you, wherever you may be, if they’re feeling vulnerable. In this case, you might want to forget your privacy and be ready to accommodate your cat and their need to invade your space.
Cat Follows Me To The Bathroom When I Shower
You might have seen a photo or two online of cats trying to join their owners in the shower. This might seem like an odd exception, given that cats are generally expected to hate water. However, if your cat is looking to keep you company, it could just indicate that they enjoy the freshness.
That being said, do be careful if your cat joins your space, as this can easily lead to accidents. While a dog may generally enjoy chasing the water, at least they’re easier to avoid and be mindful of. A cat, however, is just small enough that people can easily trip and hurt themselves or their cat.
How To Stop A Cat Following You To The Bathroom
Cats thrive off routine and positive reinforcement. As such, the best way to ensure your privacy is to cut them off from these, when going to the bathroom ensures both. Usually, when people go to the bathroom and their cats are following them, we’ll give our cats a stroke and then continue about our business. Or, we might even push them out of the way, first.
However, both of these methods are actually providing your cat with positive reinforcement.
Meaning these hardcore predators of prey will happily join you in your next trip to the bathroom – and so the cycle continues. Instead, if you want to have the toilet to yourself again, you should simply ignore your cat, the next time they enter the bathroom.
Secondly, if you have a toilet schedule, try to change this up a bit.
Since cats will stick rigidly to a routine, it can be worth waiting for your cat to go first, then going after them. This might confuse them a bit, at first (or a lot, depending on how much your cat sticks to their guns on this). But, by changing something as simple as their expected timeslot, you can avoid the bathroom at the same time as your cat.
Shutting Your Bathroom Door Is Another Option
Naturally, this one depends on how well your cat takes to being shut out. Some cats will claw and yowl. Others might just see what else is going on around the house. Either way, it’s always worth a try.
Redirecting your cat is another method.
If you want to keep your cat out of the bathroom, but don’t have the heart to hear them clawing the door or yowling out for your love, redirection is key. A great way of doing this is to add food to their bowls, right before you close the bathroom door. Your cats are very unlikely to care what you’re up to, if you’ve given them some tasty food!
Finally, if appropriate, move the litter box to somewhere other than the bathroom.
Naturally, you should still keep to the same basic needs of placement. Namely, the litter box should be away from food and somewhere that your cat is comfortable using it. Ideally, it should be in a quiet room, in a place that has coverage, such as a corner, so your cats feel comfortable.
Q: Why Does My Cat Love Running Water?
A: Something that all animals can agree on is that tastes better than stagnant water. In the home, that means a lot of the fresh drinks will come from your bathroom, for your cats. This may not be the best place for your cat to fetch their latest tipple – but that won’t stop your cats from hunting down the prey of their fresh water.
Q: Why Do Cats Like To Sleep In The Sink?
A: In the summer months, you’re more likely to see your cats enjoying time in the sink. These makeshift cat beds are perfect for your feline friends. Particularly as the bathroom is often one of the coolest rooms around the home.
Even better, a lot of sinks are made of ceramics, with enamel coating, making your sink even cooler. As such, regardless of the size of your cats, you’ll often spot them enjoying this cooling spot.
Q: Should You Let Your Cat Watch You In The Shower?
A: There’s no research that signifies any harm will come to your cat, if they watch you in the shower. Beyond checking to make sure that your cats aren’t likely to be accidentally tripped over, of course. Despite this, whether you decide to let your cat watch you comes down to personal preference.
Even though cats do have emotions, it’s fairly clear that they don’t understand the concept of shame or embarrassment. Instead, your cat is likely to just be being nosy, and is interested in with their human is purposely pouring liquid over themselves.
Q: How Often Do Cats Go To The Bathroom?
A: Cats will often need to go to the bathroom between every 8 and 12 hours. If they’re going more often than this, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Or, simply, that your cat is more interested in following you to the bathroom than they are genuinely concerned with going to the toilet themselves.
If your cat is going more frequently than this, with or without you, it could be that they have a UTI. Schedule a check-up with your local vet, or pop them an email if you aren’t too concerned, and let them know.
Q: How do you know when a cat needs to go to the bathroom?
A: This depends on whether you have an outdoor or indoor cat. Outdoor cats will often ask to go to the bathroom by hanging around the back door and meowing for your attention. Indoor cats, on the other hand, should have easy access to the litter box. If your cat is an indoor cat but they are reluctant to use this, it’s worth changing up the position of your litter tray, to see if this makes a difference.
Q: What does it mean when your cat follows you everywhere?
A: The answer to this question is slightly different, because it indicates that your cat isn’t just interested in one activity. Instead, this shows that your cat may be feeling a little ‘off’ and want some company, because they know you can protect them. This level of vulnerability can be common in both kittens and elderly cats who are feeling a little anxious.
However, it’s also common in cats who have separation anxiety. These cats will often want to be by your side, regardless of what you’re doing. If this trait is new, you should always contact your vet in the first instance.
Of course, if this is a long-term occurrence, it could simply be that your cat loves you! Be proud of yourself, as cats don’t give their affection freely. Just be aware that you may need to work on helping your cat become more independent as time goes on. This way, you won’t need to worry about separation anxiety in future.