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Attention-Seeking Behavior in Cats

attention-seeking behavior in cats

Attention-seeking behavior can occur in any cat at any age but during my consultations I’ve seen it most often in cats who don’t receive adequate stimulation or who are left alone for longer periods.

Signs of Attention-Seeking Behavior in Cats

In general, a cat who is trying to get your attention will resort to whatever works. Typical behaviors include:



Jumping up to be at your level

Walking around and between your legs

Stealing objects, knocking things off tables

Biting (usually an inhibited bite)

cat near laptop and coffee cup

Photo: Fotolia

Causes of Attention-Seeking Behavior

This behavior can occur as part of another primary behavior problem, a medical problem or it can happen just for the sake of gaining the cat parent’s attention. Cats who suffer from separation anxiety or cognitive issues may also often engage in attention-seeking behavior. If the behavior is due to an underlying medical issue, the cat may be seeking your attention as a source of comfort from her pain. It can also be because she’s confused by her discomfort. With attention-seeking behavior, as with any behavior issue, it’s important to get a medical work-up so you can rule out any medical causes to avoid having your cat suffer or be in pain.