Is Your Cat Bored? Common Feline Boredom Signs & How To Prevent It
Do cats get bored? Cats are by nature not the most active creatures. They can sleep upwards of sixteen hours a day; no wonder there are bored kittens in the world. At other times, they seem to be happy to sit and stare into space for hours. It might make you wonder, “Do cats get bored?”
The answer to that question is, “Yes.” The signs that you have a bored cat or bored kitten might not be as easy to pick up as it would be with dogs, but they are there. In this post, we’ll help you answer the question, "is my cat bored?"
If you're thinking "what kind of cat do I have?" will have an effect on your cat's boredom, it might; some cat breeds are more predisposed to this behavior, but that doesn't mean they can't be entertained.
We’ll also tell you what to do about a frustrated cat, and how to keep your cat entertained while at work. Now, here's how to tell if your cat is bored:
Signs Of Cat Boredom
Before we get to the actual remedies, though, let’s determine whether you have a frustrated feline or not. Nine times out of ten, problem behavior is a result of boredom or insecurity. Here’s how to know if it’s the former.
If your cat is displaying a few of these signs, she’s likely bored.
Clawing is a natural behavior in nature. It helps to keep kitty’s nails nicely trimmed, but it’s also a way to mark territory. If your cat is clawing excessively, it’s also a good indication that she’s bored out of her mind.
Check when the behavior is most prevalent. Most of the time, it will be when the cat is home alone with nothing else to keep her occupied.
Here we must distinguish between a cat being a cat and a cat being a bully. If your feline gets up occasionally to swat the dogs, that’s normal behavior. She’s just making sure that they understand who’s in charge.
When she’s continually terrorizing the other dogs or cats in the home, that’s different. It’s normal for dogs to adopt a terrified stance in front of the kitty. Our two schnauzers won’t even look at the cat if she’s looking their way.
That’s their way of telling Tiddles that they are not a threat to her. And yes, Tiddles does claw them occasionally for no reason. The difference between this and how a bored cat would behave is like chalk and cheese.
A bored kitty would chase the dogs and attack them on a regular basis.
Cats are very fastidious when it comes to cleaning. If your cat is grooming herself until bald spots develop, though, there’s a problem. You need to find ways to keep her occupied.
In this respect, a cat can be just like a human. They can overeat when they’re bored. Check the quantities that your cat is eating. Gauge how she is behaving – does she seem to pick at her food all day? Or does she only really go to it when she’s hungry?
Litter Box Issues
If your feline goes to the toilet wherever she likes, there could be a few different reasons. An insecure cat might go out of the litter box. If your kitty is sick, she might do the same. If you’re having issues like this, take her to the vet to rule out health issues.
It might also be a bad habit that the cat has learned. If she was previously house trained and has suddenly started having “accidents,” there is a problem. There’s also the possibility that you’re not cleaning it as often as your kitty would like; if this is the case, check out the top automatic litter boxes—a well-researched guide of the best litter boxes that clean themselves.
It could also be boredom, particularly when coupled with one of the other signs we’ve mentioned.
Some cats are adorable dopes. Sometimes they seem to act out of pure malice. This could be in the form of pushing a glass off a table or shredding the toilet paper. These are both signs that your kitty needs something more stimulating to do.
You want your cat to see you as their world. A healthy, well-stimulated cat will have other interests though. If your cat wants to be with you all the time, and can’t leave you alone for a second, she needs a new hobby.
Sleeping sixteen hours a day is typical for a feline. In the wild, that’s necessary because they need the energy to hunt and stay active. Older cats are naturally a lot less active than a kitten. If your cat doesn’t seem to want to do anything much, though, you might have a problem.
Lack Of Appetite
Again, cats are a lot like humans in this respect. Their moods can influence how they eat. Another sign of boredom might be that your furry friend is no longer interested in eating.
Helping Prevent Cat Boredom
Fortunately, kitties are pretty easy to keep entertained. Here’s what you can do for yours:
Cats Are Hunters
Tap into their natural hunting instincts to give them something to do. No, that doesn’t mean letting the hamster out the cage and letting it run the gauntlet. You can simulate hunting in a much healthier way by using puzzle feeders and other kinds of toys.
A Kitty Watching Post
If you’re heading out, make sure that kitty has access to a window so that they can watch the world. Alternatively, leave the TV on for her during the day. When cat's are home alone, it can be hard for them to keep themselves occupied. Giving your kitty something to keep their attention can help them stay out of boredom when you're not home.
Build An Obstacle Course
Create an obstacle course for your cat to play on. Incorporate platforms at different levels, walkways, and so on so she has something to do while you’re away. Think about putting in some boxes for the cat to explore as well.
Encourage them to use the course by hiding treats in different locations every day.
Give A Variety Of Toys
Imagine if your child only had one toy to play with. How soon would it be before they got bored? Your cat’s the same. She might prefer one toy over the others, but she still wants a variety to keep her stimulated.
Spend Quality Time With Your Pet
This is particularly important if it’s just you and your pet. Think how you’d feel if you never got to see anyone else or talk to anyone else. Spend time petting her, grooming her, and playing with her every day.
Final Notes On Bored Kittens
Your feline likes stimulation. She has a sharp mind, and she likes to use it. Help her out, and you can stave off boredom and have a healthy and happy pet.
Jackie Johnston is the founder of Cat Word – a community of cat enthusiasts with a mission to spread as much knowledge as they can throughout the world on every aspect of raising and nurturing cats! In her spare time, Jackie loves reading and spending time with her two sons Logan and Christopher, and of course with their furry felines Simba and Max.