When I take a shower my cat will often sit right outside of the sliding glass door and poke at the edges of it. If I open the door (which potentially exposes him to the water) he runs away. However, after I am done, if I leave the sliding door open he often wants to walk into the shower and sniff around. Why does he do this?
My have-no-idea guess is that the moisture in the shower amplifies smells and this makes it very appealing to him to sniff the higher-magnitude smells. How far off am I?

  • Good question. One of my cats will sit in the shower for about an hour after I get out. I just thought he was weird!
    – StephenS
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 2:50
  • I guess most of the stuff here are directly relevant if you are looking for a fast answer. Especially "captive audience" fits your situation very well.
    – ck1987pd
    Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 0:59
  • @C.Koca Its not captive audience, at least in my case; when I get out of the shower, he walks into it and just sits there while I go off and dress, make coffee, eat breakfast, etc. On mornings I skip the shower, he follows me around, so it’s something about the shower itself. Maybe residual heat?
    – StephenS
    Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 1:17
  • @StephenS my cat is both. He sits outside very interested in it while I shower, AND will want to go into and hang out in there by himself when I’m gone, though I typically don’t allow him to do this because he’s paws getting wet will cause him to track dirt and (potentially) litter everywhere
    – Runeaway3
    Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 1:19
  • @StephenS Captive audience was your response in the linked question, so if you think it is not applicable, who am I to say otherwise :)
    – ck1987pd
    Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


We can only guess what exactly is going through a cat's head, however I can think of multiple possible reasons.

The cat is drawn to the smell of your hygiene products.

I've heard tales anecdotally of cats that for whatever reason super like the smell of hygiene products, even going so far as trying to eat shampoo or conditioner, or licking newly washed hair. Of course be careful to keep these things away from your cat, as they are not safe to be eaten.

Some cats like playing with water.

Even while most (but not all) cats hate getting wet, even still they might like playing with small amounts of water, like the drips left behind in a shower. As long as it's only their paws getting wet, they don't seem to mind as much.

The cat is trying to follow you.

Though cats don't have much of a reputation for being social, they will actually follow cats or people they are bonded to around as a way to socialize. Some cats even get separation anxiety when left alone, though it's often less obvious than it is with dogs.

The cat is curious or thinks showering is entertaining.

Cats are often curious about human activity, or even entertained by people watching. I've seen my cat obviously taking interest in watching my neighbors out the window. Multiple of my cats have been drawn to the kitchen when we're doing anything in there. If it were just while cooking, I'd guess they are drawn to the food smells, but they also seem to like to come and watch if we're just washing dishes or cleaning too.

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