First things first: If a stray kitten follows you, it wants something from you. It’s completely up to you to figure out what it is that the kitten wants, although it can be challenging for someone who is not well-versed with the behavior of felines. Cats are known to be aloof and independent four-legged creatures alright, but why do stray kittens follow you?
Community cats are responsible for about 80% of all kittens born in the US each year.
As a general rule, most stray kittens follow humans for five main reasons. Some of them are begging for food, asking for protection, wanting a home, getting some fun and exciting playtime, and choosing their cat parents.
It’s cute when a stray kitten follows you like you are its mom or the leader of the gang.
But if you fail to take the right steps, you might put its life in danger by causing it to stray far from its mother or lead it to a busy street or a pack of vicious dogs ready for some action!
Stray kittens are some of the most curious furry creatures on the face of the planet.
And if you are too curious to find out the answer to the question “why do stray kittens follow you?” read on.
1. To Ask for Some Food
Most stray kittens are fully weaned at six to eight weeks old — they are ready to try other things than just their mommy cat’s milk for sustenance.
In other words, they are all set to enjoy foods that they can get their little paws on.
Unlike feral kittens, stray kittens are not afraid of humans.
This is why it’s not unlikely for them to approach humans to beg for some food from them. Especially if you are holding something that looks delectable and smells fantastic, too, such as a clubhouse sandwich or corn dog, it’s very much likely for a hungry stray kitten to follow you.
The good news is that there are many human foods that stray kittens can eat.
However, refrain from assuming that anything you can put in your mouth can be put in the meowing mouth of a stray baby cat.
Chocolate, onion, garlic, grapes, raisins, raw eggs, milk, dairy products — ensure that you do not offer any of these to stray kittens or cats and kittens in general.
2. To Seek Protection
Stray kittens know that they are several times smaller than predatory animals, including especially those that can devour little cats without much trouble, such as street dogs, sewer rats, snakes, eagles, hawks, and owls.
On the other hand, stray kittens know that humans are several times bigger than them and many predatory animals, too, which is why they won’t hesitate to approach them each time they feel like they could use some protection.
If a stray kitten is chasing after you, it’s possible that something is chasing after it, too.
Unlike house or indoor kittens, the majority of stray kittens have much shorter lifespans.
As a matter of fact, if they live on their own, stray kittens tend to live for less than two years only. It doesn’t come as a surprise since they are living outdoors where they are unprotected from the elements, perilous urban landscapes, speeding cars, vicious predatory animals, and cruel people.
3. To Look for a Home
One of the things that separate stray cats from feral cats is that stray cats used to have homes and feral cats never had homes, which is why they find being adopted highly uncomfortable and stressful.
It’s because of this why it’s not unlikely for stray cats to look for replacements for their former homes by approaching people they feel they could trust or frequently visiting properties they feel they could be welcome in.
In some instances, stray kittens that are sick and tired of living outdoors may approach people to ask for a home.
When a stray kitten looking for a home follows you, it feels that you could be its owner.
A stray kitty cat may also sense if you love cats — if you have purring pets at home, it can smell your cats on you.
It’s very much possible for a stray cat to chase you around, especially if it can smell that your purring pets are some of the friendliest felines on the planet and will be more than willing to accept it as a new member of the gang.
4. To Have Some Fun
Playtime is one of the most important times in the lives of stray kittens. Besides allowing them to have some fun and excitement, it also hones their hunting skills that they will need to survive as adult cats.
Stray kittens love to play with their siblings and mommy cat, too.
However, from time to time, they also love to play alone and with the help of objects around them, such as pebbles, fallen leaves, crumpled up sheets of paper, and bottle caps.
There are also instances in which stray kittens love to play with humans, especially friendly-looking ones.
A stray kitten may become enchanted with a possession of yours, too, like your apartment keys, purse or anklet.
If you tend to spend a few minutes every day playing with a stray kitten, be warned: the furry fellow may get attached to you.
You may get attached to it, too. In so many instances, the attachment of humans and stray kitty cats to each other leads to one thing. And it’s none other than humans adopting the stray kittens they have grown to love.
5. To Have a Cat Parent
It’s not just playtime that stray kittens want from humans that they chase around. There are times, too, when what they want from humans is to become their cat parents.
Sooner or later, stray kittens and their mommy cat will have to part ways.
In some instances, they get separated from one another sooner than expected, such as when the mother gets lost, hit by a car, or attacked by a vicious dog while looking for food to eat. This can leave its whiskered babies alone and in great need of a parent.
A stray cat following you may be on the hunt for a replacement for its mother cat.
Not all humans can be cat parents. If a stray cat chooses you to be its cat parent, it only means that it sees something special in you.
It’s completely up to you to decide how to respond to it. Just in case you cannot welcome the stray cat into your home, you could at least look for someone who would be more than happy to be its cat parent.
Just Before You Try to Evade a Stray Kitten
Stray kittens may follow people randomly alright, especially those that are extremely curious. However, more often than not, homeless baby cats chase people around for a particular reason. Adult cats are notorious for being independent animals, but some of them can be really clingy — kittens, stray or otherwise, even more so!
Above, we talked about some of the main reasons why stray kittens follow you.
Since there are a handful of different ones, it’s completely up to you to figure out what a little kitty cat wants from you. Worry not because, by getting to know its personality, which can vastly differ from other baby felines, telling what it wants for following you around should be easy.
Do stray kittens recognize your face?
Stray kittens recognize faces alright, but not in the same way humans do. Besides the face, stray kittens also recognize humans by their smell, the sound of their voice, and even their body language and behavioral patterns. According to a Japanese study, stray kittens can recognize the voice of their owners.
Can stray kittens sense if you are a good person?
Stray kittens can tell apart good people from bad people. They can do so by carefully observing the body language and analyzing the sound of the voice of humans. Stray kittens can also distinguish between good people and bad people through their past experiences with them.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of The Pet Rescue.