It is a common misconception that cats cannot possibly be bored, after all, they often lead a leisurely life. However, they do experience boredom from time to time.
Much like dogs, cats tend to develop bad habits if they become bored and they can express their boredom in rather destructive ways. So, carry on reading to find out more about cat boredom and whether you are the owner of a bored cat.
Do cats get bored?
Yes, surprisingly cats do get bored. If a cat is left at home alone for hours, with no interaction or stimulation, then the chances are they will get bored. Cats are highly intelligent animals, thus needing a certain level of stimulation. If they go too long without stimulation, boredom occurs.
If they aren’t active enough or are unable to scratch their itch for exploration and adventure, then they can become bored. Boredom may be more common in indoor cats who are unable to engage their hunting instincts very often. Reasons for a cat becoming bored include:
- Not enough social interaction
- Not enough exercise
- Little to no opportunity to use their hunting instincts
- Restriction on opportunities to explore
How to tell if your cat is bored?
Cat boredom is a real thing, but it isn’t always easy to spot. Cats are notorious for hiding how they feel, so below are a few signs of your cat being bored.
Cat boredom can lead to anxious behaviour in your cat. Of course, there are other reasons why your cat may be anxious, scared or stressed and these should be ruled out, seeking veterinary or expert behavioural advice if necessary. However, anxious behaviour can sometimes be a sign that your cat is bored.
Overeating can be a sign of cat boredom. However, if your cat has any significant or sudden changes in appetite, you should get them checked by a vet to make sure that there is no medical reason for its altered behaviour.
Aggression towards other pets
A common sign of boredom can be cat aggression towards other animals. This can be in the form of fighting, chasing, or getting into trouble with other animals, whether they are feline, or canine. It may be that your cat is trying to find engagement and stimulation wherever possible.
Much like humans, when we get bored, we tend to pick up bad behaviours. Cats may get themselves into trouble such as scratching up furniture or being a bit more mischievous than usual. This is because they are trying to find ways to entertain themselves to combat their boredom.
Cats, on average, will spend up to 15 hours a day napping, so catching your cat mid-nap is not uncommon. But if you notice that your cat’s natural instinct to be adventurous isn’t as high as it usually is then this could be a sign that they are bored. However, as with any changes in behaviour or habits, it is advisable to get your cat checked by a vet to make sure that they are fit and healthy.
Battling cat boredom
There are many things you can do to help combat cat boredom and keep your furniture in one piece.
Here are a few ways to keep your feline friend engaged and to keep their boredom at bay:
Give them attention, and affection, and play with them. Spending a good amount of time with your cat will help to stop them from feeling as bored.
Give them plenty of toys
Cats are very playful animals, and if they don’t have anything to stimulate their play instincts, they can become bored. Investing in a mix of interactive toys or cat games, for your cat to play with on its own and with you, is the perfect way to keep them distracted, and keep cat boredom at bay.
Hide treats around the house
Creating an indoor foraging experience is another great way to combat cat boredom. Leave cat treats, or toys around the house for your cat to find. It is a good way to keep them stimulated, and active. This kind of activity stimulates your cat’s hunting instincts and can keep them occupied for a while.
Having a cat that is bored isn’t fun for the owner or feline. However, there are a few simple steps that you can take to help keep your cat stimulated, and avoid them getting bored.
Now that you know all about cat boredom and how to keep it at bay, why not find out more about cat behaviour by reading our article on why cats bring you dead animals, next?