Why Your Pets Follow You to the Bathroom
The bathroom is arguably the most private room in your household, but if you live with pets, you may be used to having that privacy interrupted by them following you into it. Not all pets do this, as it is dependent on the species, breed, and individual behavior of the animal, but it is still a common occurrence among pet owners. More importantly, this is completely normal for both dogs and cats.
5-Minute Crafts will tell you about the reasons why both dogs and cats like following their owners to the bathroom.
1. It’s part of their social structure.
One of the main reasons why your pet follows you into the bathroom is because of the way they socialize. In the case of dogs, they are pack animals, so they are used to doing things together. Since you provide for them, they also probably see you as the pack leader, so they will want to go wherever you are. Your dog might also think you are in a vulnerable position there, so they want to be around in order to protect someone from their pack.
Cats are different because they don’t have a pack mentality; they are more used to being alone. However, they are still capable of coexisting with humans and functioning within social groups, which explains why they can follow you despite their lack of pack mentality.
2. They have a special bond with you.
More importantly, both cats and dogs are capable of imprinting on you if you lived with them when they were young. Imprinting is the process where a young animal will see you as a parent and are likely to follow you where you go as a result.
Even if you adopted your pet once they were an adult, chances are your pet has developed a special bond with you. Maybe they miss you, or maybe it’s better for them to follow you and spend some more time with you.
3. Your pet is a curious animal.
Dogs are inherently curious creatures, especially if their owner is involved. When we go to the bathroom, we usually close the door, which only heightens the intrigue for your dog. In addition to this, they might feel curiosity about patrolling the area where someone from their pack is sitting.
Cats experience a similar issue with curiosity — particularly with closed doors. This curiosity increases if you’re on the other side of the door. Your cat may even learn that you tend to close the bathroom door, which makes them want to follow you even more.
4. They’re bored.
Your pets might follow you into the bathroom simply because they are bored. They usually don’t have many urgent matters to attend to, so you going to the bathroom is an opportunity to do something exciting.
5. You have reinforced this behavior.
It is likely that you are at least partially responsible for your pets following you to the bathroom, as it is very easy to actually reinforce this kind of behavior. Your pets know that this is the perfect time to get your undivided attention, so by giving them affection, cuddles, or any sort of attention, you are rewarding them for following you. You can train them not to follow you if you give them these same rewards when they behave in the way that you desire.
Pets are creatures of habit, which means that they enjoy taking part in routines. If you’ve let them follow you into the bathroom, it is likely that they see it as a routine as well.
6. They suffer from separation anxiety.
Another reason why your pets may follow you into the bathroom is that they may be experiencing separation anxiety when they’re away from you. This can often be seen in dogs who follow their owners around excessively, panicking when they are left alone. Separation anxiety is a less common occurrence in cats, but it can still happen.
If your pet starts crying or engages in destructive behavior when you close the bathroom door, it might be an indication that they suffer from separation anxiety.
7. Certain breeds are more likely to stay next to you.
It might also be possible that your pet does this simply because their breed is genetically hardwired to remain close to you at all times. Herder dogs, like golden retrievers and border collies; toy breeds, such as pugs and chihuahuas; and guard dogs, like German shepherds or Dobermanns, are some examples of dog breeds that tend to stay close to their owner.
There are also different cat breeds that are known for being friendly and for wanting to be near their owner. Some of these breeds include ragdoll, Persian, Scottish Fold, and Maine coon cats.
8. Bathrooms are a fascinating place for them.
At the end of the day, a bathroom is a place full of wonder for your pets to explore. For dogs, one of the most enticing things about bathrooms is the array of different smells that they can find inside. While this doesn’t sound appealing for humans, it can be intriguing for your dog.
Cats have even more motivation to visit the bathroom, as it’s a sort of playground for them. Inside the bathroom, your cat can find many items that are interesting to them — the tub, toilet paper rolls, and a bath rug, among many other things. In addition to this, cats also like bathrooms because your sink can double as a cold cat bed and because they can easily find fresh running water.