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I just got a cat last weekend (about a year old, according to the rescue place I got her from), and she is a fantastic cat, but I'm frustrated (and kind of worried for her sake) that she constantly needs attention. She follows me from room to room, often so close to my feet that I have to walk at an aggravatingly slow pace so that I don't step on her or kick her.

I don't let her sleep with me because I've heard horrible stories about people that have rolled over on pets in their sleep, so I close the door to my bedroom at night. She sits outside of my door and cries all night because I'm not with her. Same when I take a shower. I also work during the day, and when I get home she's ecstatic to see me.

Is this something that she'll grow out of, i.e., will she get used to being alone? I like that she likes humans so much, but I worry that she's miserable when she's alone, and I'm also a little frustrated that I can barely go to the bathroom without her following me in.

I've also thought about getting one of those dvds for cats to keep her occupied.

  • check out thyroid deficiency, might help (related to your workplace questions, but those were closed). can be deleted once he read it, bye :) – user7805 Aug 12 '16 at 10:39
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I have two cats that used to sleep with me. Their time to get up was 3:30 or 4 a.m. So I went to bed and closed the door. It took 2 weeks before they stopped meowing outside the door. Routine: 4 a.m. meowing begins. I waited until they paused for a minute, then opened the door. This took awhile and now they don't meow at all. When I get up at 5 a.m. they are at the door, waiting quietly. And sometimes I can sleep until 6!

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Thank you for adopting a cat from a rescue place! If your cat is "about a year old", then I assume that she's basically full-grown. I think it's safe to let her sleep with you, if you want to do that. A kitten might be in danger of getting rolled over on, but an adult cat will normally be alert enough (even while sleeping) to the movements of their human bed partners to avoid injury. However, if you prefer not to have her sleep with you, she will eventually adapt.

The cat walking close to your feet is a problem, though, because there is danger you will accidentally kick her. I once had a cat who did this, and I'll tell you how I trained her out of it. I have heard that other cat owners use this same technique. When she's getting in the way of your feet, slide one foot under her, lift her slightly and set her down to one side. (Of course, I'm not talking about kicking her, just lifting her an inch or so with your foot and moving her gently aside.) This is easier to do when you're barefoot or wearing soft slippers.

I think that most cat owners end up just accepting that they will have feline observers when they go to the bathroom. ;^) You can close her in the bathroom with you. But if you continue to close her outside, I'm sure she will adapt. Just be consistent.

As for the constant need for attention, she may well grow out of it. You've only had her for a short time. But do make sure she has toys around the house. These don't need to be expensive toys - things like walnuts, plastic bottle caps, etc. are often the best toys.

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I'm guessing you may be a first time cat owner. The first rules of "owning" a cat are:

  1. You will no longer have closed doors inside the house.
  2. You will no longer have plants or flowers inside the house (most are toxic to cats).
  3. You will learn to slowly go up and down stairs to let the cat run in front of you (and you will teach all visitors to do the same).
  4. And you will never (and I do mean never) go to the bathroom by yourself again.

Now, to answer your actual question: yes, your kitty should calm down in a couple weeks. I work at an animal shelter, and we do not have time to spend quality time with each cat, when we have 100 cats at any one time. Your kitty has been starved for attention. After she understands that you will come back every day after work and are not leaving her and after she understands she will get attention every day, she should start acting more like a "normal" cat.

Some cats are more affectionate than others. It sounds like your cat will likely always follow you (mine do too) and want to be with you, but her anxiety about needing to soak up every ounce of your attention before you leave her should subside.

I would recommend that you let her sleep with you. This will help her anxiety. You do not have to worry about hurting her in your sleep. You may not realize it, but you are very predictable to a cat. You will give some indication, no matter how slight, that you are getting ready to roll over, kick, etc. Your cat will know, even from what looks like a deep sleep, and respond accordingly.

Keep in mind, with a "normal" cat you still must follow the rules I stated at the beginning. These never go away. Cats hate closed doors. Cats eat plants. Cats will always be under your feet when going up and down stairs. It's cat law.

But as you can see by the many people who are trying to help you on this site, these small, insignificant aggravations are nothing compared to the joy of having a cat as your best friend.

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I don't think she will "grow out of it" (indicating that it's a function of age) so much as she will eventually learn your routines. Once she knows that you leave the house at (for example) 8 am every day but always come home at 5pm, she won't worry so much while you're gone because she knows you'll come home.

Also, I tend to be a restless sleeper and have never crushed a cat. I've kicked them a BUNCH and eventually they learn not to sleep near my feet!

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Your cat is displaying classic signs of loneliness. Do you go out during the day and leave her alone?

Signs to watch for:

  1. Shouting at you when you close the door on her
  2. Following you around constantly (may seem adorable but it's over-attachment)
  3. Destructive behaviour
  4. Eating quickly when you are there but ignoring food when you are not.

The best advice I can give you is to go back to the animal centre and get another cat. If that's not possible then

  1. Lots of toys, and swap them out regularly
  2. Plenty of things to climb on
  3. Audio / visual stimulation - so music and/or TV
  4. Play games with her to entertain her when you are there

Oh, and my cats have always slept on the bed with me. In fact, truth be told I have two Burmese, and they sleep IN the bed. I tried closing the door but gave up when they figured out how to use the handle. Honestly, I wouldn't worry about shutting her out.

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    I am assuming that when you say "get another cat" you mean an additional cat, not a replacement cat. – James Jenkins Mar 21 '16 at 13:30
  • yes, fair comment :) – Gareth Burrows May 18 '16 at 10:13

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