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Why Does My Cat Follow Me to the Bathroom? Our Vet Answers

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As much as we love our feline friends, they don’t always know how to respect our personal space! You may have wondered why, for example, your cat seems to follow you into the bathroom. Is this normal cat behavior? Why might they be doing it? This article delves a bit deeper into some of the possible reasons behind your cat’s fascination with the bathroom!cat face divider 2

What do cats like so much about the bathroom?

Whilst we may never know for sure, there are lots of things that cats enjoy in an average family bathroom. Many cats like the dripping of a faucet and will often drink from here in preference to their water bowl.

Cats may enjoy coming into a bathroom during hot weather to lie on the cool floor tiles or in the sink. For some it could be the opposite, particularly in the winter, seeking out the warmth of the boiler if it is in a cupboard in this room, or things like warm pipes and underfloor heating.

Cats can be fascinated with items like woolly bathroom mats, enjoying the texture of something different, or even playing with things like the plug in the bath. They may also like watching the toilet flush or enjoy seeing water disappearing down the sink. Some cats may go a step further and play with (and even shred!) toilet paper.

Some owners will also keep things like their cat’s food and litter tray in the bathroom, so in this case, the cat will be drawn to that room as that is where its provisions are.

Cat walking into bathtub
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Why is my cat so affectionate when I’m on the toilet?

The truth is, we don’t know for sure!

There is no definite answer to this, but one idea is that you a captive audience during this time. The rest of the day you might be rushing around, distracted by your phone, the tv, or by chores that need doing. But whilst sat on the toilet your cat can command your full attention.

Some cats’ will even try and climb into our laps — they don’t realize that this is not the most socially acceptable time, all they see is a nice comfortable lap. After all, you can’t go anywhere!

Why does my cat like to watch me poop?

Cats may get to know your daily routine, such that they know you get up and visit the bathroom before heading downstairs to feed them. Some cats may then proceed to continue following you around the house so that they won’t get forgotten, not relaxing until they’ve been fed.

It also might be the case that your cat follows you and sits to watch you in lots of different places in the house, so it is not a bathroom-specific behavior at all — it is probably that we just happen to notice it more when we are in the bathroom. Cats probably don’t realize that you are pooping, they are just trying to command your attention as they would in many other places in the home.

You can try shutting them out of the bathroom, but some cats will cry and scratch at the doors so much that it’s just not worth the hassle! Closed doors can just make them even more curious so many cat owners just get used to ‘having an audience’!

cat in the bathtub
Image Credit: Lou Dunning, Shutterstock

Why does my cat watch me in the shower?

In the same way that a cat doesn’t realize you are pooping, cats don’t know that you are naked, this isn’t the part that interests them — so try not to get too hung up by his invasion of your privacy!

Although most cats don’t tend to be swimmers themselves, they do enjoy the water. Many cats like the sounds and sights that water creates as it splashes and trickles away. They probably also quite enjoy the warmth that the shower is creating in the room and the associated humidity. To be fair, watching you in the shower is probably more exciting than anything else going on in the rest of the house at this time too!

Don’t forget they may also just simply be waiting for you to finish up so that you can feed them again!3 cat face divider

Should I keep my cat’s food and water bowls in the bathroom? What about their litter box?

For some households, this may end up being the best place they can think of to position their cat’s food, water, and litter box. It seems like a good place to keep these things, as it is out of sight and tucked away from the main part of the house. In many cases, this is fine and works OK.

Some cats however may not get on well with this arrangement, especially if the bathroom is quite a busy place in your house. Cats usually like to eat, drink, and toilet in relative peace, so if there are a lot of comings and goings it can be quite off-putting to them.

If the door keeps getting shut and your cat can’t access his amenities, then this can be problematic too. Consider too that it’s not hygienic to have your cat’s water and food positioned near the toilet, the flush can create small droplets of water containing bacteria which could end up in your cat’s bowls.

Can my cat be trained to use our toilet?

Yes! Some cats can be trained to use a human toilet! There are kits you can buy to help with this process, getting them used to first using a litter tray suspended on the toilet seat, then removing this so that they balance on the seat and toilet straight into the toilet pan itself. You can then come along and flush things away for them!

Some owners may feel a bit squeamish about their cat sharing their ‘throne’ in this way!

Do I need to be worried if my cat is hanging out in the bathroom more than usual?

Changes in your cat’s behavior could indicate that there is something underlying is going on. For example, if you have recently acquired another pet such as a dog or an additional cat, your pet may be feeling slightly stressed or put out. They might be retreating to a ‘safe space’ in the house where they can put some distance between themselves and the new animal. Try and ensure your cat still gets plenty of fuss and attention from you and consider using things like feline pheromone products. These act as a natural calming agent and can take the edge off their anxieties.

Some cats may be going into the bathroom more than usual if they have an increase in their thirst. They may be seeking out more water in the form of a dripping tap, the shower walls, or even from the toilet itself. Increased thirst can be seen in several different health complaints including diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, and liver issues. If you are concerned that this is the case for your cat, then make sure you contact your veterinarian for advice.

Cats with cystitis may also urinate in inappropriate places in the house, with many owners reporting things like their cat has done a pee in the bath or the sink. If your cat is urinating in unusual places or if there is any blood in their urine, then again you should book an appointment with your veterinarian.3 cat divider

Conclusion

We may never fully understand our furry friend’s behavior, but it’s important to realize that they just don’t understand our normal social rules and behaviors. What might seem a bit odd to us is perfectly acceptable to them as they don’t understand things like privacy.

So, whilst it can be a bit off-putting having your cat watch you on the toilet or in the shower, just try to take it as a compliment that they want to spend lots of time in your company!

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Featured image credit: Mathilde Langevin, Unsplash