Whether you’re a first-time cat owner or a self-proclaimed crazy cat person, with each cat having their own distinct personality and traits, it can be hard to distinguish whether your cat is bored, or just has unusual habits. Below, we give an in-depth answer to all these questions, and more, in our article below.
Do Cats Get Bored
Cats are intelligent creatures that require plenty of mental and physical stimulation in order to live life to the fullest. If you spend excessive amounts of time doing nothing much, you’d soon start to get a bit restless. This is especially true if you find yourself stuck inside the same four walls – it usually isn’t long before you start craving some activities to get your brain going again! This is especially true if you have an indoor cat. The good news, however, is that there are plenty of things you can do to help cure cat boredom.
How to Tell if Your Cat is Bored
If you aren’t sure whether you have bored cats it can be worth checking the following list to see how many can be ticked-off. Do keep in mind, however, that some behaviors from your cat can also be a sign of health issues, as well as a sign that the cat in question is in need of some variety.
Fighting with Other Pets
While this is usually one of the later signs, it can be the most troublesome. Whether it’s stalking the family guinea pig or jumping at and attacking the dogs, a cat’s sharp claws can often mean big trouble for other family pets. The reason for this could simply be that your cat has become bored and is looking for some interaction from other household members – and other pets are the ideal playmates!
Tearing up the Drapes
As well as running around with the zoomies at all hours of the morning, your kitty can frequently be caught climbing up the curtains or other furniture. While this can be a cause of mild irritation for homeowners, it can be a comfort to know that you’re only a few activity choices away from normality, if you’re suffering with a cat that enjoys being part of the window scenery.
One of the biggest signs your cat is coping with boredom is their new obsession with cleaning themselves. Their go-to activity, grooming and cleaning their paws, back and stomach is a huge sign of self-comfort and is probably when cat parents should raise the car in terms of providing a stimulating environment for their cat.
Another big sign that you have a bored cat is a kitty who is eating more than usual. Providing that their toileting habits remain consistent and there’s no vomiting or diarrhea, then it is likely that cat parents will need to fill up their pet’s food bowl more regularly to keep up with demand, when battling boredom.
One of the most dangerous signs that your cat has become bored of their home environment is repeated escape attempts. Cat’s that are suffering with extreme boredom may look for any new environment at all, purely to keep their minds active. However, if you live somewhere with direct road access then this can lead to accidents – especially if your cat is usually kept indoors and has not built up and road safety awareness during their time outside.
How To Relieve Your Cat’s Boredom
If the above sounds like your cat, then you’ll be pleased to know that there are ample ways to keep your cat happy with boredom busters and interactive cat toys. From utilizing everyday products around the home and playing with your cat regularly, to buying new cat toys to keep your cat’s mind active, keeping your kitty content doesn’t cost a lot! Check out these tips to keep your cat active:
Scratching Posts and Pads
The most common and well-known favorite of our feline friends has to be scratching posts. Perfect for a myriad of reasons, the humble scratching post can work wonders for cats of any activity level. Not only are they great for destructive cats, they’re also perfect for ensuring those claws and paws stay healthy.
Cats need a quality scratching post to really sink their claws into, so investing in the best scratching towers is advised. If you’re low on space, but have some nooks and crannies that can fit slimmer toys, then try opting for the best cat scratching pads instead. These give the same effect but lay flat on the floor instead.
While you might not expect to see your cat running around in the best cat exercise wheel, you’d be surprised just how many unique ways modern technology has incorporated the needs of our furry family members. For example, a good quality cat tree now incorporates additional hiding places, as well as posts for scratching and hanging toys for added stimulation when encouraging those hunting instincts.
While this might sound expensive, fear not – this is all about working with what you’ve got. By using what you already have, such as a well-placed window or even your litter box, you can battle boredom with treasure hunts and ample mental stimulation to keep your cat busy. Even something as simple as a paper bag with some food or their favorite treats can make a huge difference in interest levels from your cat.
For example, adding some steps for older cats to more easily access windows can keep your cat entertained with people-watching for hours, or moving their litter tray on a regular basis can make your furry friend use their scenting capabilities and add in a little interest. Another great option is to use the best cat tunnels to create another hiding spot and add some interest or encourage some hide-and-seek from your pet.
Relieving Cat Boredom While At Work
If you aren’t around the house all day, then you may be concerned that your cat’s boredom will cause them to run riot in your house. However, this doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. Use these tips to utilize a cat’s instinctual behavior and you can be sure that you’ll never come home to a ruined house, again.
Perfect for either hiding food in treat balls or for everyday dinnertime, a puzzle feeder requires a little more effort to yield a reward than standard cat bowls. They also have the added benefit of working to slow down how quickly your cat might go through their food, keeping them entertained for longer.
While chew toys are usually associated with dogs, the best cat chew toys are designed specifically with your cat in mind, so that their natural behavior of kicking can be combined with the right nutrient supplements in mind.
Hopefully, these hints and tips will give you plenty of ideas when it comes to fighting cat boredom. However, it’s worth noting that, if any of the above options don’t have a major effect on your cat behavior, it can be worth booking an appointment with your local vet, to rule out any health problems.
Take a look at our First Time Cat Owner Checklist.
- David Mizejewski, 11 Tips to Keep Your Indoor Cat Happy – National Wildlife Federation