Why does my cat follow me into the bathroom?
If you have a cat, you will never enjoy privacy in the bathroom ever again. You may think that you are entitled to some alone time in this most private of places in your home, but your cat firmly disagrees.
Maybe you’re taking shower. You don’t think you need company, but your cat most definitely thinks you do. Maybe your plan is to use the toilet. You can’t imagine why anyone would choose to come along for that activity, but your cat wouldn’t miss it for the world.
What does it mean when your cat follows you to the bathroom?
Funny, your cat thinks he needs privacy when he uses his litter box
From your cat’s point of view, everyone in the household needs privacy when urinating or defecating – except you. You need company.
Why does a cat need privacy when he’s using the litter box?
But unlike humans, cats are not squeamish about the act of elimination. There’s no shame in it for them. Privacy for cats is all about safety. We may think of our cats as predators, but given their small size they are also prey and they know it. They are very anxious about being caught unawares. When a cat is urinating or defecating he feels vulnerable. Cats seek out private places to do their business so that they don’t have to worry about someone sneaking up on them.
The best place for cat’s litter box is the place the cat wants it to be. Ideally, it has to be easy for the cat to access, but also easy for her to dash out if she needs to make a quick escape. And it has to be private enough that she can relax for a moment while doing her business.
Your cat doesn’t think you need privacy in the bathroom, however
The bathroom in your house is a cat amusement park. If you’re going to the bathroom, she wants to join you for all the fun. What is so fun about the bathroom for a cat?
The bathroom has the best cat toys: toilet paper, tissues, towels, and bathmats
The bathroom has water, which is fascinating to cats
The bathroom has sinks and tubs, which are some of the best cat beds in the house
The bathroom has you in it
The bathroom is a place of routines
The bathroom is a place of terrific smells
Your cat can not be on the other side of a closed door
There’s one more reason your cat follows you into the bathroom: he knows you’re going to close the door in front of her if he doesn’t scoot in fast enough.
Many a cat owner knows that you lock the cat out of the bathroom at your peril. You may think that by shutting yourself inside the bathroom alone, you’re assuring yourself a moment’s peace on the toilet. Instead, you find yourself enduring endless wailing or scratching on the other side of the door until you open it. How many times have you shut the bathroom door to find little cat paws sliding underneath at the threshold?
Why does the cat want in?
Until she starts speaking in full sentences, you’ll never really know. Perhaps the cat views the whole household as her territory and is outraged that you’ve closed off access to an important part of her dominion.
Maybe your cat is just curious. What mysteries are going on behind that closed door? Inquiring cats need to know.
Or perhaps it’s a kind of “scarcity of resources” issue. (Read “Do cats get jealous?”) You have something (access to the bathroom) that she does not have. And because you have it and she does not, she wants it.
And finally, it could just be cat perversity. Have you ever let a begging cat into the screened-in porch with you, only to have her demand almost instantaneously to be let out again? Has she ever whined and meowed incessantly for a treat only to refuse it as soon as you offer one?
You know that saying about how the minute you discover you can’t have something you want it even more? A cat probably wrote that about being on the other side of the bathroom door.
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Dawn LaFontaine is a lifelong animal lover who always seems to have a little pet hair in her keyboard. Her blog, Kitty Contemplations, helps cat guardians better understand and care for the special beings they share their lives and homes with. Her cat-products business, Cat in the Box, sells beautiful, well-made, and award-winning products that she designed to meet the biological needs of cats.