My cat insists on being pet. He will insistently meow until someone comes to him and pets him. After just a few seconds, he will take a few steps away and look back, asking for more pets. He leads me on completely random paths throughout my house on these little petting excursions.

He is not leading me to anywhere specific. No matter how long I continue this behavior, he never leads me anywhere consistent. He just keeps going in completely random directions until I stop, and have continued this for over an hour before.

He is very well loved by both his older cat sibling and my fiance and I, I wake up with him cuddling me in the morning most times and pet him for a long while. Not sure if relevant but he also HATES being picked up.

He never wants for food and I replace his water every day. He has two high quality litter boxes and we recently moved to a new house. We had to stay in a hotel for about a week and at no point before, during or after the move did this walking around while being pet behavior change in any way. He is a little over a year old and has been doing this since January-ish I would guess.

  • 4
    Welcome to StackExchange Pets! Please take the tour and have a look at the help center. Stack Exchange is a Q&A site, not a general discussion forum, so we need for each post to contain a question. What is your specific problem or goal here? Do you want to know why he does it? Do you want him to stop leading you around? Please edit your post and ask one reasonably scoped question, as described in How to ask good questions?
    – Elmy
    Aug 14, 2020 at 18:43
  • My cat does the same thing. He meows constantly until I follow him to different parts of the house. My guess is that he's being a little security guard and wants me to know that he has checked out the area and it's safe. I pet him every time he stops and say thank you for doing a good job. He seems to be looking for reassurance.
    – kat
    Dec 21, 2021 at 2:37

2 Answers 2


As I see it, you are asking why your cat starts walking when you pet him. I do not think anybody knows why many cats do this.

All the cats I have had start to walk when I pet them it is just something cats do and if you stop walking the cat comes back to you and the whole thing starts over.

I am not sure if cats know why they start to move when they are getting pet, so I think this is one of the questions that have no answer. It is in a way fine that you try to understand your cats behaviour, but this one does not have an answer that I know of.

Some people have a strange behaviour too, a friend of mine starts to walk every time he gets a mobile phone call; he walks and talks and when the call is over he wonders why he ended up where he is (inside the house or outside the house it does not matter).

You might think this is not an answer, but I do not know is actually an answer to this question :)

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    Answers to 'why does a cat do X?' should always include 'because it can', and 'it is a cat...' Aug 18, 2020 at 16:32
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    @simonatrcl you are not wrong :) Aug 18, 2020 at 16:37
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    Our cats were similar. They would meow forever until you started to pet them, and then they would lead you around with no real end goal. Just wander around. If you stopped, they would come to get you. Then, just as suddenly, they would decide that they had enough and wander off on their own. Honestly, best that can be offered here is "It's a cat".
    – Mandemon
    Aug 28, 2020 at 11:46

That’s likely some dominant behavior and attention seeking as your cat is figuring out the new place, cats don’t like change and there’s residual anxiety for cats when they move,even if their environment is better, and it can take them a while to reestablish their territory. Cats like it when they have their very specific places to hang out, and he/she is probably just needing a lot more attention so they feel comfortable. Nothing concerning unless this is a volatile shift in behavior and they aren’t eating or drinking normally. It actually took my cat about a year to feel really settled into our new place, and now she loves it. She still wants me to follow her into a room where she knows she has a special cat bed where I’ll pet her! Cats are very routine-based so I’d not worry about it at all, but don’t worry if you want to stop if it gets annoying,she’ll edit her behavior.

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    Welcome to pets.SE! To make your answer better, you could edit and focus more about the "following". Until now you only mention it in one sentence somewhere in the middle (and only that it has reduced) :) Nov 8, 2022 at 17:12

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