Of course we all love our cat to show affection, but it can be both irritating and worrying when it follows you everywhere, tripping you up, jumping on your lap the minute you sit down and working itself into a frenzy every time you go shopping.
Cats sometimes become too dependent on their owners if they are kept indoors and then depend on their owners for interest and company.
The eventual answer may be a feline companion but before you introduce another cat make sure you have weaned your cat from its over dependence, or it will feel jealous and resentful and you will be no further on.
You must school your cat to do without you, so don,t let it follow you from room to room. Shut it out of the kitchen when you are preparing meals and out of the study when you are working.. it will probably stand outside the door mewing piteously but you will have to steel yourself.
Don t let it settle on your lap for the evening so that you are pinned to one place.. After a few minutes put it on the floor give it a quick stroke then go and do something else.. the cat should not be made to feel like it is being punished only that it has to get used to periods of separation.
Set aside times when you give the cat a short intense period of cuddling and petting, so that these replace the over -dependence .
Some cats seem to be born with a great need for human contact and others are more independent and require far less petting.
Given this basic difference in temperament ,what happens to the kitten in the first few weeks of like is essential to the cats later development.
If it is not handled frequently by humans or if it is treated roughly then it may grow up wary and anti-social, avoiding a stroking hand or stiffening up when held.
You will need to be patient in building up the relationship and let the cat come to you in its own good time.
Feed the cat little and often, holding out the dish and encouraging it to follow you. Either squat down beside the cat when it eats stroking it occasionally and talking to it gently or put the food bowl on a table and sit alongside.
Don t put the cat on your lap but put the catnip mouse there so that it has to climb over you to seize it.
If the cat has a favorite chair make a habit of sitting in it and when the cat decides to join you let it settle with no fuss beyond a quiet word and gentle stroke.
If you cat usually spreads itself out in front of the fire or next to the radiator, try lying down there yourself.
Once you are right down to their level most cats overcome their timidity and begin to give an interested sniff, which invites a friendly overture.
Slowly attachment will grow.
Kathy lectures in Animal Health and Behavior in a college in the UK