Last Updated: 3 months ago

When this happened to me, I spoke to my vet and did some research to find out why my cat was so affectionate out of the blue.

I experienced this when my cat suddenly became clingy and obsessed, but it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and worried.

Before looking closely at the reasons, let’s first get a baseline for what a normal level of cat affection is, as cats communicate emotions differently than dogs, and their body language is easy to misinterpret.

What Is a Normal Level of Feline Affection?

A normal level of feline affection is highly variable and will depend on each cat’s unique personality, temperament, and the bond you have with each other.

In essence, there’s no “normal” feline affection level. It’s all up to your cat.

However, don’t mistake your cat’s low-key affection for a lack of attachment. Studies have found that cats form a secure attachment to their owners and share similar traits with dogs and humans.

Some cats are more affectionate by nature or bond so strongly that they exhibit cat imprinting behavior. Other felines are reserved, and every sign of affection from them is a treasure. 

As long as your cat’s affectionate behavior doesn’t change significantly (over-affection or under-affection), there’s nothing to worry about.

And as Mike Delgado, a cat expert, says, “Some cats are more affectionate than others, or they’re more obvious with their affection.”

With that in mind and knowing what is ‘normal’ for your kitty, let’s look at what the cause can be if you notice a sudden change in your cat’s affection level.

12 Reasons Why Cats Become Affectionate All of a Sudden

Why is my cat so attached to me lately?

When it comes to cats, it’s a struggle to understand what goes through their minds. One moment you’re petting your kitty, and the next you’re nursing a bleeding scratch.

So, let’s talk about 12 reasons and how you can learn to interpret your cat’s body language. 

#1 Your Cat Has Warmed Up to You

sick lady hugging a cat

When you bring a new cat home, the kitty needs a little time to show its affectionate nature. After all, it’s all new and scary for your pet, and they feel too insecure about being affectionate. 

For some cats, the adjustment period can be as short as a couple of days. But other felines take weeks and months to get comfortable with their new owners.

So, if your cat becomes affectionate, your feline has warmed up to your presence and wants to be your friend.

And cats with previous abusive owners will also take their time to get comfortable with you and trust you enough to show affection.

#2 Your Cat Is Hungry

cat being affectionate with his owner

Usually, when cats become extra affectionate in the morning or around mealtimes, they’re saying, “Don’t you see I’m hungry? Hurry up and fill the food bowl!” 

Cats quickly learn that they can get away with almost anything if they act affectionate. So, they use this tactic to manipulate you or appease you after waking you up early in the morning.

Moreover, many cats figure out that you won’t be able to resist sharing your meal with them if they’re extra clingy and cute. I’m ashamed to admit that this tactic works very well with my cat.

#3 Your Cat Wants Attention

Make your cat love you

Despite popular belief, cats are social animals, and they don’t do very well when there’s no one around to play with them or pay them attention. 

So, your kitty may be bored out of its mind and want your undivided attention. Being affectionate all of a sudden or running around like crazy is how your cat communicates its boredom and unhappiness.

As studies say, indoor cats need environmental enrichment to satisfy their natural instincts, such as toys, cat trees, puzzles, and plenty of social contacts.

Otherwise, cats may exhibit destructive behavior, become clingy, or develop health issues.

#4 Cat Is Getting Old

old cat lying around

Some cats are aloof and reserved when young but mellow out with age. And that’s not so surprising because older cats have weaker senses and don’t feel as secure as before.

According to the ASPCA, feline cognitive decline is very common in cats over 16 years old, and over half of cats between 11 and 15 years old are likely to have cognitive problems.

Since these older cats have problems with their sight and sense of smell, they prefer to stick with someone they trust. And sudden affection is also how older cats communicate their insecurity.

However, you should talk to your vet if your elderly cat exhibits clingy behavior to rule out any serious medical conditions.

Older cats often develop hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, and other medical problems that can lead to personality changes.

#5 Cat Is in Heat

Do Cats Have Periods -Understanding Your Cat’s Heat Cycle

If your cat is suddenly affectionate and you haven’t fixed them yet, your kitty may be in heat.

In general, only female cats have a heat cycle and can go into heat as early as four months old. Male cats react to female hormones and are always ready to mate.

During their heat cycle, some female cats become extra affectionate; they roll around the floor, rub against your legs, and can’t get enough of your attention.

Other less subtle signs that your female kitty is in heat include yowling, marking, trying to escape, restlessness, and changes in appetite.

Since cats in heat can be very clingy and obnoxious, it’s best to fix your kitty before its first heat to prevent unwanted complications.

But what about male cats? Intact tomcats may also exhibit attention-seeking behavior and be extra affectionate, even if they’re usually reserved.

#6 Pregnancy

pregnant cat

If you haven’t spayed your pet, your cat may be expecting.

It’s common for pregnant queens to have mood swings and become extra affectionate towards their human owners.

Even cats that hate it when you touch them may become extra clingy and affectionate. That’s due to the hormonal changes the cat is going through. 

Other common signs of pregnancy include increased appetite, morning sickness, swollen nipples, decreased activity levels, and nest building.

Moreover, some pregnant cats suddenly become affectionate because they’re about to give birth and seek reassurance from their owners.

#7 Separation Anxiety

Read on to find out how to prevent separation anxiety in cats. Plus, learn how to treat it if your prevention efforts don't work out.

Dogs aren’t the only animals with separation anxiety. A study shows that most cats form a secure attachment to their owner, and 35% develop an insecure attachment.

Cats with insecure attachment exhibit signs of stress when their owner is away, even for a couple of minutes. Upon the owner’s return, the cat will either avoid or cling to its human. 

So, insecure cats can develop separation anxiety because they’ve become too attached to their owner and don’t feel safe without the owner’s presence. 

Such cats also panic because they don’t know if you will be back when you leave the house. They are affectionate in an attempt to manipulate you to stay and not abandon them. 

Some of the most affectionate cat breeds are Ragdoll, Siamese, Bombay, Ragamuffin, and Burmese, just to name a few.

These cats don’t like to be alone and are more likely to have separation anxiety or become destructive if you leave them without company for too long. 

#8 You or Your Partner are Pregnant

pregnant woman carrying her black cat

Why is my cat lying to me all of a sudden? Well, you may be expecting a new addition to the family! Don’t be surprised—cats can detect you’re pregnant before you know it!

Your body temperature rises slightly during pregnancy, and your hormones also fluctuate. Cats can sense these changes and may react by becoming extra affectionate because they’re curious.

Moreover, cats can likely hear the baby’s heartbeat when they’re lying close to you and may find the sound comforting.

Besides pregnancy, some cats are affectionate when you’re sick or feeling blue because they’re worried about you.

And any sickness likely disturbs your feline friend’s routine because you’re far too tired to get up and play with them. That stresses cats and makes them more likely to become clingy.

#9 Cat Is Sick

adult cat hiding under the bed

Usually, sick cats hide under beds, inside wardrobes, or in any tight nook. It’s part of their natural instinct to protect themselves and hide their pain from potential predators.

However, some cats are the opposite. They cling to your side because you make them feel secure when they are vulnerable. These cats know they don’t have to pretend to be healthy and can let their guard down.

While it’s very rare for cats to become more affectionate when sick, it’s something you should keep in mind because felines have strange ways of asking for help.

And sometimes, a sick cat’s only option to attract your attention and try to tell you that something is wrong is by sticking to your side like glue.

A sick cat will also exhibit other obvious signs of discomfort, such as growling, hissing, aggression, changes in appetite, lethargy, etc. 

#10 Traumatic Experience

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Why is my cat more affectionate than usual? The answer can be a traumatic experience or sudden changes in your furry friend’s routine. 

It doesn’t take much to scare a cat out of its wits – sudden noises, new objects in the house, accidentally getting its head stuck in the door, etc.

When something traumatic happens, cats react in different ways. Some become aggressive, while others turn clingy and affectionate.

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to determine if your cat’s sudden affection is due to trauma because these things usually happen when you’re not around to observe.

#11 Competition

Thinking about getting a third cat? Check out our guide to everything you need to know before expanding your feline family!

One of my cats wasn’t affectionate at all until I got a second one. And that quickly made Kitty one of the most affectionate cats in the world.

While some cats are aloof, that doesn’t mean they don’t care about you. And when they suddenly get another cat to compete with, these cats become affectionate because they’re claiming ownership.

Your cat leaves its scent all over you whenever it rubs against your legs, cuddles with you at night, or lays on your lap.

So, it makes sense that some cats turn more affectionate when they’re not the only cat because they’re trying to erase the competitor’s scent from your body. 

#12 Your Cat Is Dying

What do you do when your cat is dying? How do you cope or help your other cats? Read on for answers to these tough questions and more.

Unfortunately, some cats suddenly become so affectionate because they’re nearing the end of their lives.

Dying cats don’t know what’s happening to them, but they’re scared and vulnerable. Some prefer to stick by your side because you’re a source of comfort and protection. 

However, many affectionate cats become reserved, withdrawn, and aggressive in their last few days. Such drastic personality changes can be a warning sign that your cat is dying. 

Wrap-Up

lady hugging her orange cat

Sudden cat affection isn’t a big red warning flag for your cat’s health, but it’s not something to ignore, especially if you have an intact kitty. 

So, remember to mention any small feline behavior changes to your vet to ensure your cat is healthy, happy, and thriving. 

What do you think about these reasons why is my cat so affectionate? Has your cat ever shown signs of clinginess? Share your experience in the comment section.

Resources:

lady cuddling with her cat
Olfa T
Olfa T

Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration.