We may wonder how our feline friend could possibly be bored, after all, we’ve purchased every cat toy on the market (and made up a few of our own). However, the curiosity of cats goes well beyond the jingle balls and feathery tails of those retail finds. Cats need to be mentally and physically stimulated because it is hardwired into their DNA; remember, they are predators by nature. So when Fluffy has conquered her toys and explored every square inch of her living space, it probably won’t take long for her to become bored. How do you know if your cat is suffering from boredom and if so, what can you do to help? We’ve compiled a list of complacency signs to look for in your cat and what to do to help get Kitty up and movin’ again.
Signs Your Cat May Be Bored
According to Pets360, here are six signs that your cat may be bored.
1. Repetitive behaviors. This can manifest itself in overgrooming or chewing on the skin, which can result in matting of the coat, bald spots, and continuous, severe skin irritation.
2. Fighting with fellow housemates. Is your cat making the family dog’s life miserable by constantly cornering him or chasing him around the house? Cats will exhibit over-exuberant behavior when experiencing boredom.
3. Sleeping too much. Yes, cats do tend to sleep the majority of the day away; however, if your kitty isn’t showing any signs of curiosity or wanting to play, it could be boring. Make sure your cat is healthy before you make this assumption as inactivity could also be a sign of illness.
4. Moping around. A bored cat can also equal a moping cat. This can include a disinterest in engaging in play or even in eating. But again, be sure to rule out any sickness.
5. Creating own stimulation. If you find your cat is suddenly climbing the curtains or scratching at the furniture, it could be trying to create its own stimulation, which is another sign of boredom in felines.
6. Overeating. Just like humans eat out of boredom so do our feline friends. If the kitty’s face is in the food dish too much, it’s time for some fun-time activities.
How to help your cat?
Once you have established the above symptoms are definitely caused by boredom and not an underlying illness, then it’s time to help get your cat out of the boredom blues. Check out these fabulous tips by Web MD that are sure to get your feline excited to be alive again.
1. Window Views
Although we want to keep our cats safe inside, that doesn’t mean they can’t have a “room with a view” at their disposal. There are several different types of perches that can be installed right onto your window ledge that will give Kitty her own personal view of the outside. This not only allows your cat to have a different perspective of the room and outdoors but is also a great place to catch some rays.
If you really want to ignite your cat’s interest, place a suction-cup bird feeder in her window and allow nature to come to her; my cats spend hours watching the birds come and go at our feeder.
2. Cat Trees
Providing plenty of cat trees and cat scratching posts is not only a must-have for indoor cat scratching pleasure, but it also enables you to create different living spaces for your feline friend. Tall pots can be placed in front of windows for views of the outside and also allow your cat to get some much-needed fresh air. In addition, they can be scattered around the living space to create different levels for your cat to enjoy viewing its world from different perspectives.
3. Cat-Friendly Greenery
Bring some green to your cat by planting catnip and cat grass in pots around your home. If you are feeling really ambitious, cats love to play among tall house plants and greenery but are sure to get only cat-friendly plants (many live plants can be toxic to cats). If you don’t want the dangers of live plants, there are many artificial trees that add a nice touch to your decor, while still adding superb hiding places for kitty.
4. Outdoor Enclosure
One of the best ways to bring nature to your cat is to provide it with an outdoor enclosure. These can be an already existing one like a screened-in porch or you can make one of your own, just be sure it has secure walls and a roof to keep the wildlife out and your kitty in. Cats of Australia and the World have some wonderful examples of outdoor cat-cubbies and runs. Another option would be to take the feline out using a cat harness.
5. Solo Diversions
Providing your feline with plenty of toys, cardboard boxes, a scratching post, and even paper bags is a great way to stimulate its fun-gene. When your cat becomes bored of certain toys put them away and bring out new ones. By keeping the toys on a rotation schedule, your cat will feel like it has new things to play with all the time. Add some catnip for added playtime fun.
With the invention of HD televisions, some cat parents are now investing in cat videos. These feature birds and rodents in motion that will stimulate your feline’s hunting instincts and will definitely get even the laziest of cats interested.
6. Engage Your Cat
Cats love to be engaged in play so be sure to take some time each day to play with your feline friend. Pull a string along the floor and let your cat chase behind it, use a laser pointer to get your cat running and jumping, bounce ping-pong balls off the walls or use a remote control mouse to get your cat interested in play. If you really want to make the kitty happy, try catnip bubbles; they’re fun for him to pop and sniff.
7. A Playmate
Sometimes all boring cat needs is a playmate to help it become more active. However, bringing another feline into the home must be done through a slow transition that involves keeping the new cat separated from the current feline). Although there will most likely be hissing and snarling at first, once your cats have established the “rules of their relationship” it can be a very rewarding experience for both pets.
Chase Away Those Boredom Blues
There’s no reason for your kitty to be bored. Follow these helpful tips to get your furry friend back into the movin’ groove. She will be healthier and happier for it.