One of the scariest horror movie scenes that I’ve watched was the shower scene in ‘American Psycho’. You know, the part when the woman was showering and you could see Bate’s silhouette slowly forming behind the shower curtain.
Still gives me goosebumps when I think about it.
I can get the same feeling when I am showering and notice my cat watching me at the bathroom door. It is creepy and cute at the same time.
Some cats like to watch their owners shower out of affection. These cats enjoy spending a lot of time being close to their owners even when they are taking a shower. There are cats that enjoy the sound of running water and like being in the bathroom to experience that.
If your newly adopted cat is being a peeping tom at home or this is something that your cat has been doing for years, this article will shed light on such voyeuristic behavior from our lovely feline companions.
Why Does My Cat Like To Watch Me Go To The Bathroom?
Sting sings it perfectly when he says “Every move you make, I’ll be watching you”. Such a catchy tune but the essence of the song is about jealousy, possession and surveillance.
All three traits that our cats possess.
Not many cat owners are aware that our cats are always watching us. Most cats do a great job at studying our every move discreetly, even while they nap.
Your feline friend likes watching you go to the bathroom as it knows what is going to happen next. The sound of running water and many intriguing scents will tickle and toy with its senses.
That being said, it can be somewhat unnerving to have your cat watch you with those cold, emotionless eyes at times.
Here are some possible reasons as to why your cat enjoys watching you shower.
Your Cat Likes Water
This might sound out of this world as a cat parent if your cat turns into a demon with claws during its shower time.
The majority of cats prefer to stay dry. But there are cats out there that actually enjoy playing and being around water. Some cat breeds like the Turkish Van and Maine Coon even enjoy going for swims.
Some signs that your cat enjoys being around water:
- Plays with its water bowl
- Like drinking running water from the tap
- Enjoys its shower time more than you do
- Goes swimming in your backyard pool
If your cat watches you take a shower often, there is a high chance that it is keen to get in there with you.
You definitely should not allow your cat in the shower with you every time. Such frequent showers can dry up your cat’s delicate skin and cause irritation.
Do it when it’s time for your cat’s monthly bath. There’s nothing quite like bonding with your cat than by taking a shower together.
Cat owners can also get a water fountain for cats that enjoy playing with water. These devices simulate a running water source that cats like to drink from.
It also encourages cats to drink more which is good. Many cats don’t have a strong thirst desire and end up getting kidney issues due to the lack of water intake.
Your Cat Is Curious
Yes, I know. You’ve read the phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat’ many times in other pet blogs. But there’s a reason why it is such an appropriate way to describe our cats.
It is meant to be taken fugitively and not literally.
Your cat isn’t being so curious just because it’s a busybody (ok, sometimes they are). This innate sense of curiosity comes from the cat’s natural instinct.
In the wild, this curiosity is what keeps them alive and safe.
Cats in the wild are considered prey to other larger predators. Therefore, they need to investigate their surroundings to ensure there’s no nearby danger.
Cats also have a very strong prey drive which makes them one of the best predators out there. In order to hunt for prey, they have to scan and observe the environment for subtle clues of where their next meal is hiding.
Our cats are definitely a lot safer in our homes than outside but it is still in your cat’s best interest to explore the bathroom.
Your cat loves to investigate something that is new to the environment. It could be the new shower gel that you bought that your cat notices or the bubbles that appear when you soak in the bath.
Cats new to the family can also show more interest in your bathroom if that is unexplored territory.
You can take the cat out from the wild but you can’t take the cat out of a cat.
I know of many cat owners that don’t like their cats entering the bathroom for good reasons, which brings me to the next point.
Your Cat Likes The Bathroom
There was a period of time when my cat found solace in my bathroom. It was his new hang-out place he makes it a point to sleep there for hours.
As much as I give my cat free reign in the house, I’m not a fan of him being in the bathrooms.
Don’t get me wrong, my bathrooms are clean but we do have to do our number ones and twos in there daily. And knowing that my cat’s fur is soaking in all these odors, the same fur that I love smelling, kinda grossed me out.
Your cat’s interest in the bathroom stem from the fact that there are many places for your cat to hide and rest in.
There’s the cool sink which makes a perfect sleeping spot on a warm day. The open cabinets that your cat can snuggle and hide inside. Some cats even like sleeping in the laundry basket which has your smell.
If you are someone that loves taking long hot showers or baths, the increased temperature in the bathroom makes it more enjoyable for your cat.
Cats have a higher body temperature that ranges between 101-102.5 F. This means that they require more external heat to stay warm and cozy.
Your Cat Needs To Use Its Litter Box
I don’t place my cat’s litter box in the bathroom but I know of many cat owners that do.
Here’s a tip.
You should only place your cat’s litter box in your bathroom if it’s well ventilated. Otherwise, the smell that comes from the litter box can make your eyes water.
A cat’s urine tends to smell stronger and nastier after some time. Dr Joe Schwarcz PhD, states that “After a while, bacteria decompose the urea and give off an ammoniacal odor characteristic of stale old urine. The second stage of the decomposition process emits mercaptans, compounds which also give skunk spray its nasty smell.”
Cats treasure their privacy and even more so when it is time to use the toilet. Unlike dogs, most cats need their alone time in the litter box.
Some cats can suffer from ‘performance anxiety’ if someone else is close by. My cat charges at me when I try to take a peep when he’s using the litter box.
When your cat stares at you while you take a shower, it might not be doing it out of affection. It could be your cat’s watch way of telling you to “hurry up and get out” of its cat cave.
And if I were you, it is best to do what your cat says.
Your Cat Is Looking For Attention
Here’s some breaking news for you.
All cats love attention from their owners.
However, here’s the caveat.
They only love it on their terms and when they want it.
I love my cat to bits and I know he sorta loves me too. There are times when he can be such a cuddle bug but usually when I’m fully occupied.
He meows like he’s on fire when I’m busy working on my laptop. He won’t take no for an answer and will walk all over my keyboard till I give him strokes.
I have all my word editors on autosave based on previous unrecoverable mishaps.
If your cat is really sticky or has some level of separation anxiety, even taking a shower is too long to be apart.
Dr. Erin Katribe, medical director of Best Friends Animal Society says “A newer understanding of feline behavior tells us that cats are, in fact, very social animals, particularly when it comes to pet cats and their owners.”
It is great to know that our cats are capable of forming close bonds with us despite their aloof behaviors. But a cat with separation anxiety issues can be detrimental to your cat’s well-being over the long run.
I will be covering in a bit more detail below about what you can do if you suspect that your cat has separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety aside, there are some cats that are just naturally sticky with their owners. Certain cat breeds like the Siamese, Bengal, Maine Coons and Bengal are known to require a lot of attention from their owners.
These cats are almost dog-like in nature.
They will greet the owners at the door, follow them all around the house and can even play fetch.
If your cat is now of the above breeds, your cat is watching you shower because it feels a little lonely.
Why Does My Cat Want Attention After I Shower?
If you notice that your cat demands more attention after you shower, they could be a scientific explanation behind this.
The aim of taking a shower is to feel clean and smell good.
There are many types of shampoos and shower gels in the market that contain different types of ingredients.
If your shower products contain ingredients like mint or valerian root, you can expect your cat to get stickier.
Some cats love the smell of mint and valerian root as it gives them a relaxing and euphoric sensation.
In other words, it makes them feel high.
These ingredients are safe for cats and there are cat products that contain cat nip and valerian root that you can purchase from the pet store.
Don’t be surprised to find your cat attacking and licking your hair if your shampoo contains these ingredients.
Another reason why cats want attention after you shower is for them to re-rub their scent all over.
Cats claim their territory and possessions by rubbing their signature scent on the object. It is your cat’s way of telling you that you belong to your cat.
How To Prevent Your Cat From Entering The Bathroom?
I can totally understand that for many of us, taking a nice warm shower or bath is our alone time. And having another pair of eyes watch me shower can border on being creepy.
Here’s what you can do to keep your cat out.
Close The Bathroom Door
I know that it may sound like I’m stating the obvious but many cat owners who live alone don’t close their bathroom doors.
Keep the doors close even when you are not using the toilet.
By keeping the doors open, you are sending a signal to your cat that it is ok for your cat to enter the bathroom as and when it likes.
Keep the bathroom door closed at all times to let your cat know that it is off-limits.
Not all cats take too kindly to being kept out of a room. Many pet owners don’t like their cats entering their bedrooms at night and keep their doors closed, only to suffer sleepless nights from the cat’s incessant scratching and meowing at the door.
If your cat cats too rowdy outside the bathroom door, try to get your cat to focus on something else by using the power of redirection.
Every time your cat starts scratching at the bathroom door, distract it with toys or carry it to a scratching post.
This tells your cat that there are more interesting things to be doing than behaving like a spoilt brat outside the door.
Some cat owners feed their cats a small snack or treat when they want to take a long shower or bath. This method works great if your cat is food motivated.
See The Vet
Seeking veterinary advice is the best form of treatment if your cat has separation anxiety. This condition might be hard to diagnose if you have a needy cat.
Here are other symptoms that your cat might show:
- Excessive meowing
- Eliminating outside the litter box
- Destructive behavior
- Excessive grooming
Some cat owners might feel that having a cat that is so needy is adorable but that isn’t true. Too much anxiety in cats can be harmful. It can lead to health and behavioral problems over time.
Your vet might refer you to a cat behaviorist to try and get to the root of your cat’s anxiety. Most cats do well after going through a few sessions behavioral therapy. In more severe cases, anti-anxiety medication will be prescribed to keep your cat calm.
Should I Let My Cat Watch Me Shower?
Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with letting my cat watch me take shower. It basically boils down to how comfortable you are having your cat staring at you in your birthday suit. There are even some cats that are known to watch their owners pee.
I would think most cat owners would welcome their cat’s presence while they shower.
However, if your cat is being sticky due to separation anxiety, remember to seek veterinary guidance and get the issue sorted out.