Caring for Clingy Cats: Olga’s Need for Attention (and What I Do About It)

Russian Blues are not generally considered clingy cats, and during her teenage years Olga enjoyed her alone time more. However, even when she was a kitten, she didn’t like me going to work. I made the mistake of saying goodbye to her and rubbing her head, which would have caused her to latch onto my arm and bite me. I found it funny and endearing, but stopped the practice when I noticed several small holes in the sleeves of my winter jacket.

Now I say goodbye from a distance, but sometimes she chases me to the door and tries to hit me in the leg. Since I Work at home now Olga is even more upset when I leave. In the morning, after eating breakfast, she wanders into the guest room (her bedroom) and sleeps under the couch. After two hours, she comes into my office, meows and jumps on my lap to take a nap.

She naps for a few minutes then sleeps on the windowsill or in a chair near my desk. She likes to be in the same room but doesn’t need to touch me constantly like my old cat. Leaving her alone for short periods of time isn’t a problem, but she gets stressed when she knows I’m planning a trip.

Prepare for vacation

A big scare, Olga feels uncomfortable with this new object in the room
A great ghost! Olga feels uncomfortable with this new object in the room.

Besides the vacuum cleaner, the suitcase is one of the most despised objects for felines. In the past, when I took out my suitcase, Olga would run under the bed and hide. I learned that it helps to keep my suitcase in the living room for several days before my trip. As you can see in one of the photos, Olga kept her distance when she first saw the suitcase.

After placing her favorite toys near the suitcase, she relaxed and ended up rubbing her head against it. She didn’t seem stressed when I was packing the suitcase a few days before my trip, but she got upset when I was packing it the day before I left.

Olga inspecting my suitcase
Okay, Dad, it’s not so bad!

Take time for Olga

If I don’t pay enough attention to Olga, she has several ways to let me know. She spends most of her day napping, but when she’s ready to play, Olga attacks inanimate objects (or me) if I ignore her. She will run to a window and grab the strings from the blinds or pull one of the paper balls from under the couch and kick it at me.

Several months ago, while I was reading a book and ignoring her, she hit me in the head with a ball of paper. Usually she’s not very accurate when dribbling the ball on the ground, but I guess it was a lucky shot. You can’t always stop what you’re doing and play with your cat, but I try to play with him daily, especially when he has a burst of energy.

This makes her happy and prevents my blinds and other belongings from being destroyed. Although she is not clingy like a Siamese cat, she has become more affectionate and needy since I have been spending more time at home. By setting aside time each day to play with her and being more strategic about my vacation preparations, Olga isn’t as stressed and doesn’t attack me as often.


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