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Home > Cats > Why Does My Cat Stalk Me? 5 Possible Reasons

Why Does My Cat Stalk Me? 5 Possible Reasons

Cat welcomes his owner at home

With their unusual behaviors and funny antics, cats often keep their parents entertained. For instance, cat owners may observe their cat behaving as if they are stalking random objects around the house as if they’re stalking prey. Cats may also behave this way towards their own cat parents!

So, what does it mean if your cat stalks you? And why do cats do this?


Cat Stalking: A Predatory Instinct

Cats are obligate carnivores and are predatory in nature. They are hunters, and as such, stalking is simply hard-wired into their system. Although domesticated cats have since evolved for companionship, they still have their predatory instincts intact from their wilder ancestors.

Cat stalking is a behavior specifically for hunting prey—or in this case, us! When cat stalking, they will settle into position by lowering themselves to the ground while advancing slowly towards the desired target before pouncing at the right moment.

While cats clearly have no intention of eating their owners, you may still find your cat stalking you. In this article, we explore five possible reasons why your cat may stalk you!

The 5 Reasons Your Cat Stalks You

1. They Are Bored

When bored, we humans find various ways to entertain ourselves. This same concept also applies to cats. Although you may find your cat simply lounging around the house, cats require appropriate amounts of mental and physical stimulation through exercise and play. If a cat does not receive the necessary stimulation it’s looking for, it may find itself looking for other ways to entertain itself.

This need for stimulation, paired with their natural predatory instinct, may push your cat to stalk you. As a cat parent, you mean a lot to your cat. They may be stalking you simply because you are the most interesting thing in their immediate environment!

mixed breed cute cat lying on its owner's knees
Image By: Prystai, Shutterstock

2. They Want Your Attention

Cats have various ways of showing affection. They love spending time with their owners and love getting their attention. While there are many things a cat can do to catch your attention, such as pawing, meowing, or even knocking off objects from counters, stalking is another one! Your cat may stalk you as a way of telling you that it wants to spend time or even play with you.

As cat owners, it is important to understand if your cat is exhibiting an increased level of attention-seeking behaviors, it may be a sign that they’re experiencing something more serious than boredom, such as neglect or an underlying medical condition. When in doubt, it is recommended to seek veterinary consultation just to rule out anything suspicious!

3. They Are Hungry

In the wild, hunting prey is cats’ primary method of feeding themselves. In our homes, however, cats follow our feeding schedules, which is an unnatural pattern, even for pet cats. Cats have learned how to inform their owners that it is feeding time in a variety of ways. This behavior, paired with their natural hunting instinct, may result in them stalking you as a way of telling you it’s feeding time!

Hungry cat begs for food from tourists in a street restaurant in the old town of Kotor
Image Credit: OlegD, Shutterstock

4. They Are Feeling Anxious or Agitated

Cats can also feel agitated or anxious when experiencing changes in the environment or routine. This feeling that cats can experience can be triggered by situations like introducing a new pet in the house, the presence of strangers, or even loud noises from new appliances. These new things can cause your cat much stress and may attempt to cope by turning to their innate predatory habits.

5. They Are Learning

Cats are intelligent. Among all the previously mentioned reasons why cats stalk, the common denominator is that they’re returning to their natural predatory instincts. Cats have a way of figuring things out on their own through their actions, much like little furry scientists with their experiments of cause and effect.

Through their instinct of stalking, they can learn and observe what you do when they stalk you in order to also learn if this behavior is acceptable in the household.

cat rubbing against owner
Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock


What Should I Do If My Cat Stalks Me?

It is our responsibility as cat parents to identify what is normal for your cat before you can properly identify if a behavior is unusual.

It’s important to first identify why your cat is stalking you. You may ask yourself questions, such as:

  • Are they bored?
  • Are they looking for attention?
  • Is it feeding time?
  • Is there a change in the house that may have caused your cat stress?
  • Is your cat feeling ill?

After identifying a possible reason why they’re exhibiting this behavior, here are a few things you can do to direct your cat’s energy in healthier ways:

  • Distract your cat in the middle of stalking by calling their attention, or redirecting their attention through toys, such as with laser pointers
  • Make sure your cat has sufficient water
  • Following a proper feeding schedule
  • Scheduling daily play time so your cat does not feel neglected
  • Keep their litter boxes clean
  • Ignore them
  • Provide toys to give your cat more mental and physical stimulation, such as scratch posts and mouse toys

If excessive stalking is observed, and you feel that they are exhibiting increased amounts of unusual behaviors, do not hesitate to consult with your veterinarian to receive the appropriate recommendations.



Cats can be unusual creatures at times, with their own unique antics. These little antics we notice, such as stalking and pouncing, stem from their natural predatory instincts passed down from their hunter ancestors. While it may seem harmless, cats may be stalking you as a way to express themselves to you.

Cats may find you as the most interesting subject in their environment. So as cat parents, it is important to understand why they are stalking you so you can help them with what they need!

Featured Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

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