“Why does my cat guard me when I pee?”
You’re getting ready for the day, going about your business before you go to work when you notice your four-legged friend throwing glances at you.
You get up to go to the bathroom but stop midway because you can sense her following you. You open the bathroom door, make your way onto the toilet seat, and shake your thoughts off. “Meow,” you hear from behind the door.
“Why does she do that? What does she want??”
You might be confused about your fluffy friend’s behavior, but we’re here to reassure you – you’re not the only one. You’ve probably witnessed your cat showcasing a whole bunch of odd behaviors, but you’ve decided to keep her, nonetheless. You’ve made a commitment to her.
What are you supposed to do when you catch your cat watching over you or guarding you when you pee, though? Whether or not you’re okay with your cat blurring the lines and crossing the boundaries, we suggest you take the time to understand why she’s doing this.
Rather than making the entire thing even more awkward, you can make the best decision for you and your cat. Read more down below!
What does “guarding” mean?
We tend to talk about our furry friends like they’re our family, but the naysayers (a.k.a. dog people) argue that cats are detached and reserved. Whether that’s because cats are creatures of consent or because they’re mean to people who don’t treat them the right way, they’ve ended up with quite the reputation.
More often than not, though, cats are affectionate, appreciative, and warm toward humans – not to mention that they’re protective of the humans that take care of them.
“Guarding” refers to the type of behavior cats showcase when they’re trying to protect us – sitting close to us, following us, staring at us, and waiting for us at the bathroom door.
When you leave your bathroom door open, you might notice your cat sitting close to the toilet and staring at you. We’d argue she’s probably protecting you from something, but there are a few other factors that determine her behavior.
Why does my cat guard me when I pee?
1. She’s protecting you
Well, one of the reasons why your cat guards you when you pee is because she’s protecting you!
Oftentimes, cats think they’re responsible for your safety. When you’re sitting on the edge of the sofa, your cat might approach you and start pushing you with her head to warn you. When you’re working on something outside, she might start meowing at you to remind you to be careful.
Of course, when you’re sitting on the toilet, she might sit close to you to ensure you’re safe. Cats sometimes aren’t sure whether or not we’re capable of protecting ourselves – they see that we don’t hunt and don’t have the same urges, and so assume we’re a little dumb.
If your cat approaches you when you’re doing your business, show her there’s nothing to be afraid of. Reassure her and move on with your day.
2. She’s curious
Cats are curious creatures, we’re well aware of that. When your cat catches a glimpse of you going to a strange room with slippery tiles and wet towels, she might think you’ve gone off the deep end. When you close the door, she might think you’re hiding something from her.
Whatever the case, she might get curious and start sneaking around to check what you’re doing. Maybe she starts waiting at the bathroom door. Perhaps she starts mimicking what you’re doing and going to the bathroom when you’re not there.
We’d go as far as to argue that she might find the bathroom a fascinating space with numerous sounds and smells she’s never experienced before. She might not be Sherlock Holmes, but she’s going to inspect every inch of your bathroom to make sure you aren’t hiding anything from her.
3. She’s showing you how much she loves you
You’d be surprised at how strange cats can be when they’re trying to communicate something.
You might notice your furriend looking at you, blinking slowly, and snuggling close to you. You might wake up to her “making muffins” on your chest or purring next to your ear. She may even headbutt you, groom your mustache, or rub her teeth on you.
Why? Because she freakin’ adores you!
When your cat wants to show her affection toward you, she might become clingy and needy. She might start following you everywhere you go, looking at you when you pee, and even sitting on your lap when you poop.
Cats are strange, what can we say?
4. She’s marking her territory
Cats are adamant about marking every nook and cranny of the apartment to ensure everybody knows “they’re the boss.”
Whether they’re surrounded by a bunch of cats or living alone, they’re more than likely to spend quite some time marking their territory. Headbutting, rubbing their teeth on furniture, “making muffins,” and peeing on the floor are a few of the things you might notice your cat doing.
What does your bathroom have to do with that, you might be wondering?
Well, she’s trying to mark your bathroom, too. Pay attention to what she’s doing when she’s in there. Once you figure out she’s rubbing onto your toilet seat, sneaking a pee under the sink, or scratching the rug, you’ll get your answer.
5. She’s suffering from separation anxiety
Cats can suffer from separation anxiety, too. Contrary to popular belief, cats can get stressed out when you leave them alone for hours and hours, don’t spend quality time with them, or don’t show them enough affection and attention.
Cats need to know you’re there for them no matter what. And especially if your furry friend has been abandoned before you adopted her or she’s gone through a traumatic event, she might not appreciate you spending too much time on your phone when you’re on the porcelain throne.
Because of that, she might start following you to the bathroom and waiting for you to be done. But that’s not something you’d want to encourage because separation anxiety can cause other problems, too.
6. She’s asking for attention
Cats adore attention, even though they’re known to scratch your eyes out when you give them too much attention without consent. We’d prefer our cats to communicate that they’re ready for belly rubs, but that’s not something that happens – ever.
Because of that, we’re scared to make the wrong move and we give attention to our cats when they start pawing at us, nudging us, or meowing at us. But there’s a chance your cat might be thinking “Wow, maybe we can bond over bathroom time!”
When she starts going to the bathroom with you, you might want to check whether you’ve been neglecting her for the past while. Give her what she wants outside of the bathroom and she might stop – or make the bathroom your special spot where you can play with each other, cuddle, or chat.
7. She’s thirsty
Cats are known to prefer flowing water and that’s why your cat might be adamant about following you when you go to the bathroom.
If you’re done washing your hands, and she tries to paw at the water or take a little sip, there’s your answer. Cats don’t like drinking water out of the water bowl because they don’t like the taste and they don’t like the fact that the water isn’t flowing.
Flowing water appeals to cats because it’s more likely to be clean. Furthermore, cats see flowing water better than still water, which makes them more likely to drink it. We know you wouldn’t give your cat unclean water, but your cat doesn’t know that (or doesn’t want to!)
8. She’s trying to cool off
Cats can thermoregulate, for the most part.
When your cat gets hot, she might drink more water, search for shade, or nap on the coolest part of the pavement. When she’s running around the apartment, she might search for cooler surfaces to nap on, too – so she might end up napping on the bathroom floor.
When she starts following you to the bathroom, check whether she’s overheating. Offer her water, something cold to play with, and check whether she goes to nap on the bathroom floor.
What do I do if my cat guards me when I pee?
We’ve answered your question, but you might be wondering what you’re supposed to do when your cat continues to guard you when you pee. Before you freak out because you’re struggling to get privacy, make sure you determine the reason she’s following you.
Once you do that, you can address the cause rather than the outcome. On top of that, you can decide whether you are okay with her following you to the bathroom or better off keeping your bathroom door closed. Whatever you decide to do, good luck!