Check For These 9 Signs That Your Cat May Be Bored
When it comes to cat boredom, there are a few different factors at play: cats require certain levels of stimulation in order to feel engaged, and extended periods without stimulation will cause them to get bored.
Its not always easy to know if your cat is bored or just lounging around, but there are some surefire signs that something isnt quite right. Repetitive behaviours, also known as pet obsessive-compulsive behaviours are some of the most common. The list below outlines some of the main reasons cats may be exhibiting these behaviours and what you can do about it.
Ways To Entertain Your Cat
Cats spend 2/3 of their lives sleeping but once they are awake, they love to do something active and fun. Bored cats can get stressed and try to entertain themselves by scratching your furniture, meowing non-stop or grooming too much which can lead to an excessive buildup of cat hair in their stomachs.
Having various ways to keep a cat busy and entertained is essential for keeping indoor cats happy.
If youre wondering how to entertain your cat and want to keep them busy, happy and active, then Im sure youll get plenty of new ideas from my list of 50 ways to entertain a cat. Take a look!
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Hide Toys For Hunting
A basket of toys make look appealing to you, but to your cat its just a stash of already killed prey. Cats like to hunt and you can stimulate this with toys hidden around your house. Try putting a catnip mouse behind a cushion with its tail poking out, or hide a crinkly ball in a paper bag. Tig our farm cat loves to sneak in and fish out her favourite treats that Ive hidden in a jiffy bag on the shelf. She has such a smug look on her face when shes knocked it on the floor and scoffed a few.
Put Boxes Around The Room
Its no secret that cats love boxes and, according to research, boxes reduce stress levels in cats. Boxes not only provide a great hiding place but can make a great playroom. Your cat will enjoy jumping in and out of the box, lurking from the inside and other crazy things cats do with boxes.
You can also put boxes to use and make this simple DIY playhouse.
How To Help Your Bored Cat
Luckily, there are so many things you can do and ways to entertain your bored cat, that you shouldnt have a problem making your cat one happy and active kitty once again.
If none of this works and you kitty still seems uninterested and bored, you can always ask your vet for advice.
Does your cat seem bored from time to time?
Use Suction Cup Items To Allow Your Cats To Navigate The Apartment Quickly
Cat owners know that cats like high places, but theyll actually navigate the room completely off the floor if theyre able to! Therefore, using suction cups perches/hammocks is a great way to let them access and navigate to different areas of the room. Most people think they can only be used on windows, but the suction cups can be stuck onto any glossy surface!
Other than windows, the surfaces that cat suction cup items can stick on include:
- Refridgerators doors
Suction cup items/perches are really great cheap ways for catification and creating spaces that cats want to use. Theyre handy for cat owners that are renting their apartment and cant do any drilling or dont want to do any damage to the walls!
Is Keeping Cats Indoors Cruel
Keeping a cat safe by keeping him indoors without the tools to exercise his instincts would be cruel, indeed. This isnt being suggested. The answer: enrich your cats everyday life by providing the stimulation and the action she both wants and needs. Inside-with an extensively enriched environment.
How Do Cats Like To Play Whats The Play Process
All healthy cats will play. The question is, how do they like to play? In what situation will they go crazy over and be interesting enough for them to get active?
Typically when I see someone playing with a cat or kitten, its a lot of holding out whatever it is in front of them, waving it back and forth. Cats will maybe bat at it but will quickly lose interest. Why is that? Well, it behaves nothing like actual prey would act outside in the wild.
Play Phase: Hunt, Catch, Kill
The first part of a playing phase is the hunt. Cats will chase around the toy or prey like a crazy Tasmanian devil. Depending on how you play and how well you simulate actual hunting through your movements, your cats will respond through their excitement. Its up to you to create that excitement through the proper toys and movements as described above!
Our job is to let them chase it for about 80% of the time, and for the other 20%, you actually let them catch it. Its no fun to chase continuously over a thing that you cannot actually catch.
Youll know if the hunt is a successful one when he starts to carry his prize to his corner of the room . Hell bat it around a bit and maybe give it a couple of small bites. Cats usually like to play and torture their prey before they actually kill it. There are probably many reasons, but some of them might include tiring out their prey or being cautious cause if the prey is not dead, it could fight back in its last moments.
Wind Down Phase: Eat and Groom
Let’s Give Your Bored Cat A Fresh Perspective
If you’ve got a bored cat, they ultimately need one thing: stimulation. And if your cat is bored of their food, it may be time to switch it up.
Our idea is simple: cats deserve food made with the same love and care your mom would put into your favorite meal. After all, they’re a member of your family, and you want to shower them with all the love they deserve. It all starts with great food. So if you’re looking for a fresh take on cat food that will keep your cat happy, check out our recipes tailor-made for cats of all shapes and sizes.
Wet Food Recipes for Cats
We offer a variety of delicious pâtés, stews and shredded wet foods your cat is sure to love.
Take Them Out For Walk
Believe it or not, you can take cats out for a walk. You may need to harness train your cat first, but a cost-effective way to give your cats some outdoor time is to grab them a harness . To help harness train them, put the harness on your cat while they’re in the house and let them walk around with it on. Give them lots of treats and try and stay persistent with it, as they may be a bit dramatic and refuse to move around it in it.
After you’ve trained them, try and take them outside, but make sure the harness is labelled with a name or address in case they get away from you . Not all cats like going outdoors, but for those who do, the fresh air will do them a world of good.
This harness fits comfortably around the neck and chest, and should be secure for even the most Houdini-esque of cats. Comes with two D-rings to keep you and your cat together.
Is Your Indoor Cat Bored: 12 Ways To Prevent Boredom
Keeping a cat indoors has benefits â such as it minimizes the chances for trauma from being hit by an automobile, bite wounds from cat fights or attacks by dogs, common infectious diseases, and exposure to toxins just to name a few. Indoor only cats may live twice as long on average over indoor/outdoor cats. Outdoor cats have a life span estimated to be a fraction of those that live indoors only. For more information on the lifespan of cats, check outÂ How Long Do Cats Live?
A risk of keeping your cat indoors is that they may become bored. Boredom can lead to a variety of problems such as inappropriate urination, scratching, aggression, depression, lethargy, over-vocalization/crying, increased or decreased appetite, and excessive sleeping.
Consider your home environment. Is it cat friendly? Are there lots of things for your cat to do, play with, and watch? Consider the things cats enjoy and if you have them in your home. Evaluate your cats environment.
Enjoy The Outdoors Safely
Inside is by far the safest place for cats. However, you may be able to provide your cat with safe, supervised time outdoors that your kitty may love.
Enclosed Porch If youre lucky enough to have a screened-in porch, this is the perfect space to allow your cat to enjoy the sunshine, breeze, and birds in safety. Even if you dont have one already, there are many ideas on the Internet on how to build a dedicated outdoor space, or , for your cat. Of course, cats should be supervised in any type of enclosure, and shouldnt be left alone for too long.
Go For Walks Taking your cat for a walk is one way to allow her to enjoy outside stimulation without exposing her to the dangers of roaming free outdoors. Some cats will walk on a lead with a harness. Others do better in a . These strollers are designed with small pets in mind and feature enclosures to keep your cat safe, but allow her to take in the sights along the way.
Why Play Is Essential
Play is an important way for cats and kittens to stay physically fit and mentally alert. When kittens play, they are also practising the hunting behaviour they would naturally use in the wild. Very young kittens spend the first few weeks of their lives wrestling with the other kittens in their litter, and learning basic eye-to-paw coordination.
Never use fingers or toes as toys, it can develop into a painful habit when your cat grows up
This social play peaks at around 12 to 14 weeks when it changes to prey-oriented play, so youll probably bring your kitten home just as she starts to identify objects to chase and pounce upon.
Is It Cruel To Keep A Cat In An Apartment
It is not cruel to keep a cat in an apartment as long as you provide enrichment and mental stimulation. Cats can live happily in any space with the right care. Play with your cat daily and spend quality time together. Cats prefer human interaction to other stimuli. Additionally, provide fresh food and water and a clean litter box daily.
Plant An Indoor Cat Garden
Cats love to chew cat grass but if they live indoors only, they dont get that chance. Even though cats throw up after eating a lot of grass, it is actually really good for them. When they throw up, they also clear their digestive tract from any indigestible matter and also their own fur.
Growing cat grass in your house is really easy you can see how to do it at Balcony Garden. But dont confuse cat grass with other houseplants because many houseplants can be toxic to cats.
#1 Messing Up The House And Picking Fights
This is one of the most notorious cat behaviors out there. You know how it goes:
- scattering shredded toilet paper everywhere,
- scratching furniture ,
- knocking stuff down from shelves,
- pouncing on lamps,
- chasing other pets around and fighting with them.
Most of the time, this is just your kittys way of showing that they need some stimulating activity and probably some company too.
When you go around cleaning up their mess, the cats actually see that as spending time together, and in their heads, that makes all the damage worthwhile. A lot of cat owners just get angry, without ever realizing that the pet is just asking their human to give them some loving attention.
Which Hand Has The Food Game
Youre probably familiar with this game, but when youre playing with a feline, its best to use a treat instead of a penny or other things we usually play this with.
Put your hands in front of the cat so they can see which hand the treat is in. Then, place your hands behind your back and put your treat in another hand or leave it where it is. At this point, let your cat decide which hand has the treat. Its a pretty simple and fun game for both of you.
Diy Cat Enrichment Toys
Its amazing what you can find in your home that can either be used as a toy or be made into something interactive. Cats are curious by nature, so its not uncommon to see them playing with something small that has fallen to the floor. In most cases, it doesnt even need to be on the floor to be enticing.
“My cats LOVE packing paper! Just toss a crumpled length of paper on the ground and cats will dive into and under it, rip it up, and roll around in it ,” says Koski.
Here are some of our favorite DIY cat enrichment toys:
How To Entertain A Bored Cat
Okay, reading the above has made you realize you have one bored cat on your hands, but what do you do now
Well, for starters, let us reassure you that you dont have to let your cat go outdoors. Keeping your cat indoors does make her a little more vulnerable to cat boredom, but it also comes with massive benefits like keeping her safe from potential cat fights, infectious diseases and even exposure to poisons.
Ill never forget the reader who wrote in with a heart-breaking story about losing her cat to some poison he ingested while being out for a few days. Keep in mind that outdoor cats have a lifespan thats only a fraction of those that live indoors.
The best news? Your cat doesnt have to live her long, safe years being bored. Heres a list of furr-tastic ways of keeping your cat entertained and happy!
Create A Treasure Hunt With Toys
Stash cat toys around the house to pique your cats interest throughout the day, and rotate the selection to maintain interest. Shojai recommends cat interactive toys and jingle balls for younger cats, but Amelia, whos 5 years old, seems to take a kitten-ish delight in these, too.
Or for a method you can try at home: Try dropping a ping pong ball or other toy inside the empty bathtub for them to bat aroundit keeps the cat from losing/hiding toys under the refrigerator, Shojai says. For cats that are no longer kittens, catnip toys usually do the trick, she adds.
Ways To Entertain A Bored Cat
Sometimes a bored cat will spend extra time sleeping, but a wide-awake cat who is bored can do some real damage. Aside from the collateral damage to your home, boredom left untreated can also lead to an overweight or unhealthy cat.
Your cat needs some exercise and stimulation, including playtime with you. Intriguing also help keep your kitty entertained while you are away. Here are some suggestions on how to enrich your cats home life.
Leave Out Some Cardboard Boxes Paper Bags And The Like
Cats really do love their cardboard boxes. All boxes for that matter, but cardboard ones do seem to have slightly more allure.
Get a lot of packages from Amazon? Visit supermarkets that have cardboard boxes for you to take free often? Grab a box or two for kitty.
Try to get different sizes, with different shapes , some without holes and some with .
Grab a diverse bunch if you have any control over the matter. Once kitty is bored of a cardboard box or bag, move it to a different location.
Turn it on its side, put two together that werent stacked next to each other before move some back to back.
Cat still bored? Throw out the cardboard boxes kittys no longer interested in and replace them with other ones if you can.
Just keep a steady stream of these different sizes and shapes coming if theyre free for you to grab anyway.
If your cat likes paper bags or re-usable shopping bags try leaving those out for kitty, too.
Again, relocate and put away if your cats gotten bored of the original location, but simple things like these can really help cats entertain themselves.
Engage With Your Kitty
All the tips on this list can surely be a great help for anyone with a cat that has a hard time being alone. However, it is our responsibility as cat owners to take care of them in all aspects.
The best way to keep them entertained is when you engage with them. Take some time out of your busy schedule to play with your furry friend. It will show them that you care about them and will strengthen the bond that you have with your kitty.
Get cat toys that will allow you to play with your cat and enjoy your time with them. Everyone loves a lazy cat, but of course, there are responsibilities that we cannot forgo just because they are lazy. Engaging with them will keep them active physically and mentally. This will allow your cat to be with you longer. Therefore, when figuring out how to entertain a bored cat, be sure to find what works best for your kitty.
They Hide And Dont Want To Interact Anymore
Cats hide when they are feeling scared, sick, or upset so we tend to think of this action as something negative. In a sense it is, when they hide inside a closet or under the bed because they are feeling bored. They arent hiding to feel better about their situation instead they are hiding for no reason at all.
Make Everyday Meals & Snacks More Engaging Using Food Puzzles
One thing that cats do multiple times a day thats a pretty mindless act is eating. Putting their face in a bowl of food isnt exactly how cats obtain their food in the wild. Cats are quite adept foragers, and unfortunately, they dont really get a chance to do this in apartments as they are usually spoiled with their food on a plate or bowl .
Therefore, using cat puzzles is a great way to enrich something that they do every day. There are many different types of food puzzles, of course. For me, I recommend using food puzzles that are large for your cats regular meals and smaller food puzzles for snacktimes. Other than being a much more interesting way to obtain and eat their food, food puzzles also have various health and behavioral benefits!
In a 2016 study: Food Puzzles for Cats: Feeding for Physical and Emotional Wellbeing, the use of food puzzles was monitored with a select group of indoor cats from different home environments. The study highlighted that the use of food puzzles was great for:
- Weight loss and maintaining a good weight!
- Decreasing general negative or unwanted behaviors!
- Decreasing in attention seeking and stress related behaviors!
Building The Fun Zone
When your cat is ready to play, a special space that has been set up just for that purpose is important. Even if you dont have an extra room to devote as a cat haven, a corner of a room or a window will suffice. Set up a nice cat tree and/or cat scratchers that is specially made for climbing and claw exercises. A cat perch that overlooks the yard will also give her hours of free, albeit mundane, entertainment. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you can build a sitting shelf that sits on the inside ledge of the windowsill using just a shelf, brackets and fabric, or you can buy one from a pet supply store. A bird feeder placed outside the window will provide hours of entertainment .
There are also ways to make it so that your cat can go outside while staying inside, with an enclosure that juts from the open window, allowing your cat the best view of all. This is another project that you can either take on yourself, or buy pre-assembled. Start simple: You can begin by hanging toys from different spots so your cat has something to bat around, and place little jingly balls and furry mice on the floor for your cat to bat across the room and play a game of make-believe chase.
Give A Bored Cat Something To Look At
If you havent already, make a place for your kitty to get a new view of life outside of your house. This could be anything from a cat tree placed in a window with a great view of outdoor goings on to a kitty hammock in a window with tree branches outside. Watching birds, people, other cats, and even dogs, going about their business can be a great antidote to boredom. If possible make this space where there is a window that can be opened, with a screen for security, so that your cat can smell the outdoors. Cats actually have better scent receptors than most dogs so if you have a safe place for them to smell from, it could go a long way toward providing hours of kitty entertainment.
Create A Comfortable Environment For Your Cat
An important factor in keeping your cat happy is making sure their environment is stimulating, and they have lots of things to do.
Provide window perches and viewing areas
Cats love to keep tabs on the neighborhood. Set up their scratchpad, bed, or a designated area beside a window where you’re comfortable with them spending their time. Outside the window, you can hang bird or squirrel feeders for your cat’s entertainment .
Provide a scratching post
Scratching posts will become your new best friend! Scratching posts are a great way to keep your cat entertained as they provide something for your cat to climb, sleep on, and scratch their paws on The scratching post should be tall enough for your kitty to get in a good stretch. Some scratching posts also have different levels of platforms to perch on, which is great.
Grow some cat grass for kitty snacks
Cat grass is a tasty and great way for your cat to nibble while also keeping them occupied. Cat grass isn’t like the grass you find on your front lawn – but is made specifically for your kitty from seeds such as wheat, rye and oat. Although cats are known for being carnivorous eaters, cats do love to nibble on the greens too! There are many ways to create cat grass for your furry feline in your own home, from online resources to do it yourself hacks.
Catnip & Catnip Alternatives
Catnip toys can be very captivating and are great for bringing out at regular intervals so your cat doesnt tire of them. Really, any delivery system that doesnt fall apart right away will do for catnip, including a clean sock tied up at one end. Some of the best catnip toys are the ones that dispense a little catnip at a time so your cat doesnt just eat it all right away because then the game is over pretty quickly. If your cat doesnt respond to catnip, try honeysuckle or valerian toys.
Interactive Play Is Critical For Indoor Cats
Playtime is crucial for keeping an indoor cat mentally happy, physically healthy, and content to be inside. Make a habit of playing with your cat for at least 10 minutes a day. Kittens and some rambunctious cats require more than that.
The best type of play for keeping a cat happy is interactive, where you use a toy to mimic the behavior of a cat’s prey animals, either birds or rodents. Wand toys are exceptionally good for this. Make the toy on the end of the wand act like scared prey, darting away from your cat, hiding, and freezing in fear. Don’t make the game too easy, but do let your cat catch the “prey” sometimes, especially at the end of the game, after which you should reward your cat with a treat or meal. That is, after all, what would happen after a successful hunt in nature. Learn more here: “Can Special Playtime Decrease Problem Scratching?“