What Does It Mean When A Stray Cat Follows You?

If you are the owner of a stray cat, it’s essential to keep your target animal in sight at all times.

You are here for it, and so it’s your responsibility to keep track of it. If your cat constantly follows you, it’s a sign that it’s eager to be by your side.

So, why does it mean when a stray cat follows you?

Cats are naturally curious animals. They like to explore their surroundings and learn about their new surroundings. Stray cats are no different.

They look around, see how things are done, and try to understand the world around them. This curiosity usually keeps them away from human contact.

However, sometimes a feral cat gets close to humans by accident or gets stuck outside due to unfavorable weather conditions and winds up in an unfamiliar place.

This sudden proximity to humans might arouse its curiosity and lead it to follow you home in the hope of discovering what the outside world is like.

What Does It Mean When A Stray Cat Follows You?

Cry for Help

Cats are instinctively drawn towards human contact and affection.

They know we love them and also know we provide a safe and secure home where they can thrive and find everything they need to survive and flourish.

It could be that they’ve become scared, lost their owner or have been abandoned as a result of a change in their surrounding environment such as moving house or divorce and are looking for familiarity and structure which you can provide them.

They Need Shelter

Cats also know that they need shelter and warmth to survive and thrive so if you notice your next door neighbor’s cat following you and curling up on your bed.

Stray cats will remember that they want shelter. This is one of the reasons why you’re more likely to find stray cats in cold weather than in warmer weather.

As the temperature drops, stray cats will find themselves without shelter somewhere warm to curl up in and die of hypothermia.

Observe Everything

Another purpose a cat would start watching you is that they’ve suddenly found themselves in an environment that’s completely different to what they’re used to.

Cats are curious by nature and so may simply be observing you to see how you fit in this new environment.

Whether you make a noise that accidentally scares them, or whether you sit down in the same spot or start to eat your favorite food, their curiosity may draw them.

Eye contact and non-threateningness are the key to making them feel more comfortable with you.

They’re Hungry

Stubborn felines are well-known for their selfishness and lack of empathy, so it’s no surprise that they might be following you for food.

If a cat is hungry, this trait will override their sense of self-preservation.

Cats are extremely intelligent animals and they know how to accurately assess a situation and respond accordingly to scent and body language.

They can smell when their meal’s ready and will take the risk of approaching you to get it.

Even though stray cats have become accustomed to living outside in the wild, they’ll always prefer to be close to a human they trust as it makes them feel safe.

Stray cats will generally follow someone who shows them affection and tends to their needs.

Cry For Attention

Another major reason why a hungry stray cat may follow you is the quest for attention.

Stray cats are somewhat similar to pet cats in some ways, one of which is their need to receive attention.

A stray cat’s tendency to follow you might be an instinctive behavior passed down over thousands of years of evolution.

What to Do if a Stray Cat Follows You?

Be A Careful Parent

When a cat starts chasing you, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction.

If you can help it, don’t interact with a stray cat and keep a safe distance form it.

If you can’t, at least you’ll have some warning and can usually easily avoid the cat as they won’t chase you if they can’t see you.

Don’t give in to their charms and pick up a stray cat.

They won’t thank you for it and can cause you lots of trouble by biting, scratching or biting you before you have a chance to escape.

Track The Owner

While many cats remain with their owner for a long time, it’s not always the case and some stray cats end up lost or as strays.

If your cat is not wearing a collar and tags, ask around your neighborhood to try and track down the owner.

If there’s a collar with tags on it but the tags have lost their information, ask neighbors or friends if they know your cat.

You should contact their parents or guardian to learn where the cat lives.

If you don’t, take a close look at the phone number on the tag and contact the local animal shelter to report your findings.

This will give you a clear understanding of what needs to be done should you encounter this animal again and can provide you with the latest advice on care and ownership.

Ignore the Cat

If you don’t like cats and don’t want to have to interact with the stray cat in any way, you should ignore and stay away from it.

If the stray cat appears hungry and malnourished, you should report it to animal control.

But if you’re almost reaching home and don’t want the cat to follow you, avoid eye contact and keep moving.

Ignoring the cat is the best idea especially if you don’t know its background and also don’t know about its vaccination records.

Don’t make any sudden movements that may frighten the cat or give the cat a reason to chase you and hurt you. If you meet a hungry stray cat and don’t want to give it food, the best thing to do is avoid eye contact and walk away.

Vaccination Time

With the assistance of your vet, you can resolve the situation by inoculating the stray cat if the cat appears healthy and vaccinated.

However, if none of these options are feasible and you decide not to take any risk, the best option is to leave the animal alone.

Also See: Why Is My Cat’s Poop Yellow?


So, if you have a stray cat that constantly follows you around the house or yard, it’s a sign that the animal is curious and open-minded and wants to explore its surroundings.

However, you will always need to keep it in sight or keep it on a leash whenever you’re outside your house or yard to ensure that it doesn’t wander off or get into any trouble.

All you need to do is ignore their calls when they approach you and walk away.

Either way, trying to chase or kill the animal is strictly forbidden and is considered inhumane almost everywhere.