Why Is My Cat Walking In Circles – A Mysterious Tale?

Have you ever witnessed your cat strolling in circles near you? It’s a common occurrence that nearly every cat owner notices and finds endearing. They typically wander around you while meowing, which is quite captivating for cat enthusiasts. You might assume that your cat is seeking attention through this behavior. However, is that really the case? This leaves numerous pet owners pondering: why is my cat walking in circles?

Cats walk in circles to get their owner’s attention. Walking in circles can also be a sign of various health issues such as vestibular disease, ear infections, head injuries, or showing dominance.

In this article, we will explain why your cat walks in circles around you. We will also answer some common questions from cat owners about why cats walk in circles.

Reasons Your Cat Walks In Circles

There are many reasons why a cat might walk in circles around its owner. Cats do this to say hello or get their owner’s attention. They may also do it if they’re in pain, trying to show dominance, or very sick.

Occasionally, cats may exhibit a sense of confusion prior to and following their circular movements. Certain cats may display assertive behavior by engaging in circling, which can escalate into aggression. Here are six typical explanations for why your cats walk in circles around you.

Your Cat Is Greeting You

One of the primary reasons your cat walks in circles around you is because they are excited. You might notice their excitement when you return home and call them by their name.

Normally, when a cat wants to greet you, it shows it by doing certain things like raising its tail and facing towards you. Your cat might also take a moment to rub its head against your legs and roll onto its back while meowing. This vocalization is the main way for your cat to let you know that it enjoys your company and desires your attention.

Most cats crave attention and affection from their owners, often seeking it through gentle petting. This behavior of walking in circles will cease once the cat receives the attention or reward it desires.

Vestibular Disease

One more reason why your cat is walking in circles around you is because of vestibular disease. This disease is common in older cats and affects the vestibular system in their inner ear. Normally, the inner ear is responsible for maintaining balance and coordination in all animals.

If your cat’s head gets inflamed, it may start walking in circles instead of walking straight and may also lean to one side. During this time, your cat may display unusual behaviors that are not typical for a normal cat. The causes of this condition can differ among cats.

Some cat breeds, such as Burmese and Siamese cats, have a genetic predisposition to develop this condition. If not treated, it can potentially cause deafness in your cat.

Ear Infections

If your cat has an infection in its outer ear, it may start walking in circles. These infections are typically caused by various bacteria or ear mites. Signs of an ear infection include redness, constant scratching, itchiness, swelling, and discharge of pus or blood from the ear.

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This ultimately impacts your cat’s balance. If not treated, this infection can spread to the inner ear and cause serious problems called otitis interna. Signs of otitis interna may include dry eyes, drooling, lack of coordination, vomiting, and unequal pupil size.

These bacteria have the potential to cause long-lasting harm, which could result in your cat losing its hearing. It is crucial to seek immediate advice from your vet upon noticing these issues.


When a cat has hypertension, it means there is too much blood flowing to its brain, which can make it confused and cause it to walk in circles. This happens because the cat’s posture and coordination are affected.

They become dull and clumsy to show their usual behavior. This situation is strongly linked to kidney failure and primarily impacts older cats.

Both of these conditions can cause permanent harm to your cat. Cats are highly prone to developing hypertension, so it’s important to bring your cat to the vet for a check-up twice a year.

Head Injury

If your cat is walking in circles, it could be because of a head injury or trauma.

A cat typically suffers a head injury when it gets hit on the head forcefully, either from a car accident, falling from a high place, bumping into walls, or getting into a fight with other animals.

Just like people, cats can experience concussions from head injuries, which can cause them to feel a lot of pain or become disoriented. When this happens, your cat might start walking in circles and even lose control on one side of their body.

Many cats have difficulty standing and communicating effectively. Vets suggest getting X-rays to check for any head injuries after an accident.

Cognitive dysfunction

Typically, this condition causes your cat to walk in circles around you. Cognitive issues are commonly observed in cats who are 15 years or older. Similar to older people, cognitive problems or cat senility result in a constant state of confusion and slower responses.

Cats often become confused and hesitant to move around. You might notice them lying on top of their litter tray. Basically, their older age makes it difficult for them to remember things, leading to a lot of confusion in their minds. As a result, they tend to walk in circles around you in order to find their way.

Expressing Dominance

Walking in circles is a typical behavior that cats use to show their dominance. Cats often try to assert their dominance over their owners and believe they are on the same level as humans.

Due to their bossy nature, cats often display dominant behavior towards those around them. The cat that is dominant enjoys walking ahead of its owner, giving the impression that the owner is following the cat. Occasionally, they may walk in circles to prevent you from moving from one location to another, indicating their readiness to engage in play.

Is It Normal For Cats To Walk In Circles

When a cat walks in circles, it can be either normal or abnormal, depending on the underlying condition. As a responsible cat owner, it is important to determine the actual cause of this behavior.

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Cats walk in circles for various reasons, including showing their curiosity about you, illnesses like vestibular infection, ear infections, high blood pressure, low blood sugar, cognitive issues, and more.

If your cat is walking in circles and showing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s safe to say that this is not normal. Normally, cats behave in a regular and happy manner, showing their interest in you.

What Does It Mean If A Cat Walks In Circles

When a cat walks in circles around you, it can mean various things. One common reason is that they are expressing greetings by circling you and softly meowing. However, sometimes circling can indicate aggression, suggesting that your cat wants to assert dominance over you.

If you notice a cat walking in circles and showing signs of injury or infection, it’s important to bring them to a vet right away.

Why Is My Senior Cat Walking In Circles

Older cats are primarily impacted by vestibular disease and display other peculiar physical symptoms such as walking in circles around individuals. This ailment primarily affects the vestibule of the inner ear and results in lack of coordination, falling to one side, involuntary eye movement, nausea, and so on.

Typically, these indications and manifestations show up within one hour. Older dogs are also prone to various bacterial infections that result in irritation and enlargement in the external ear.

When cats scratch their ears too much, it can cause pus and blood to come out. This can be really painful and uncomfortable for the cat, so they need to see a vet right away.

Why Is My Cat Walking In Circles And Meowing

There are many reasons why your cat might walk in circles and meow nonstop. Besides health issues, when your cat wants to hang out with you, they might walk in a circle around you and meow.

If you notice that your cat is able to do this and appears to be acting normally, you can interpret it as a sign that they enjoy your company and want to get your attention. Cats are known for being playful and enjoy spending quality time with their owners.

Cats typically communicate with each other and their owners by making sounds such as meowing, yowling, hissing, and growling.

Why Do Cats Walk In Circles Before They Lay Down

When your cat is about to lie down, it might walk in circles. This behavior is normal and has to do with their comfort and instincts. Cats have a natural instinct to hunt, and circling before lying down is a way for them to position themselves in the most advantageous way.

This allows cats to observe their surroundings and become familiar with their territory. It also helps them spot any unwelcome visitors before they settle down to sleep.

Why Is My Cat Walking In Circles Around Me

Cats typically walk in circles around you to grab your attention. This behavior is seen as a normal way for cats to greet you, and they may also roll on the floor afterwards. Additionally, there are certain health problems that can cause your cat to walk in circles around you.

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As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to take care of your cat and be familiar with their usual and unusual positions. Normally, they might circle around you to get your attention and play with them.

At times, cats may meow and walk around you persistently to express their desire for treats or food.

What Does It Mean When A Cat Circles You And Rubs Its Body Against You

Normally, when a cat rubs against you and walks in circles around you, it’s a way for them to show their affection. Just like their wild cousins, cats use their scent to mark their territory, so when they rub against you, they’re essentially claiming you as their own and transferring their scent onto you.

This means that you are considered one of their possessions. Sounds funny, doesn’t it? But it’s actually true. Many experts on cat behavior believe that this behavior is common in domestic cats as a way to show their love for their owner. So, from now on, whenever your cat does this, you can reward it with a treat to show your love and affection.

Things To Consider

After going through all of this, we expect that you have found the solution to your query, “Why is my cat walking in circles?”.

Now, you can easily identify a few possible reasons why your cat is walking in circles. It’s crucial for cat owners to analyze their cat’s behavior to spot any unusual signs. Before jumping to conclusions, take the time to observe your cats and keep an open mind to any potential issues.

It’s important to understand the different sounds your cat makes when it’s happy or angry. Sometimes, when your cat doesn’t want you to move, it will walk in circles around you and display aggressive behavior. In this situation, you should try to calm your cat and check for any potential threats that could harm it.

As someone who cares about cats, it’s important to remember that certain illnesses such as issues with balance, infections in the ears, high blood pressure, low blood sugar, head injuries, brain tumors, or other injuries can be harmful to your cat. If not treated, these conditions can be life-threatening and even result in death.

If you notice your cat walking in circles around you, it’s important to seek immediate help from a vet. It’s crucial to understand the unusual behaviors that can cause this.

From now on, when your friends or family ask about why their cat walks in circles and rubs against them, you can share your thoughts. Remember to consult with a veterinarian for any additional information.

You can also check this YouTube video about this topic:

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