Sometimes you leave for a little ‘you’ time and close the door, only to see tiny toe beans scratching beneath the door a minute later. If you have ever owned a cat, you’ve probably experienced this at least once and maybe every time you shut your cat out of a room. So, why are cats so obsessed with closed doors?

The answer isn’t always straight forward, but here are a few main reasons why your cat just wants you to open up.


1. Territorial Instincts

In the wild, cats mark and patrol territory that they claim as their own. While this behavior is normal, it can show up in ways that include trying to get through a closed door, with or without you behind it.

Cats are more protective of their territory than dogs are. Without being able to patrol an area of a space they’ve claimed as their own, such as a door, they may be tempted to meow, scratch, or just be near it as much as possible until they can get through.


2. Natural Curiosity

Instinctually, cats are curious animals. Despite risks certain areas to explore might pose, cats love to get into everything and everywhere they possibly can. When a place is even harder to get to, it becomes that much more tempting.

When you close the door to a room, you’re essentially sparking that internal drive for your cat to investigate. Suddenly, they may find themselves missing out on whatever might be happening, and they simply can’t stand it!


3. Surprisingly Social

Many people think of cats as solitary beings and in a lot of ways, they are. However, cats are surprisingly social animals that enjoy the company of other creatures, whether it’s another animal or human. In fact, meowing is a trait that cats developed as a way of communicating specifically with humans because of domestication.

If you notice that your cat is scratching at the door to the room you’re in, they may just want to be near you, no matter what you’re doing. It may even be due to separation anxiety from being a part from you. Having separation anxiety means they become stressed or fearful that they can no longer see you, which is why they may begin to claw, meow, or paw underneath the door.


The next time your kitty gets upset by a door being closed, try to help them understand that it’s okay for them to not always have access to every part of the house. Make spaces they frequent more exciting with toys or comfy places they can sleep. Have distractions ready like treats that you can use to get your cat’s mind off a door that is about to be shut. Your cat will forgive you if you must shut a door every now and again!

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