Cats are known for being much more independent than dogs. Their self-sufficient nature is what attracts many cat parents to share their homes with these inquisitive and clever creatures.
Despite cats being quite independent, they can still become bored if they are not given enough physical and mental stimulation. Luckily for us, our cats let us know when they are bored by giving us a few tell-tale signs.
It's important to note that many of the signs of cat boredom also overlap with signs a cat is in pain such as sleeping and grooming more than usual. Be sure to take your cat to the vet if you are at all concerned for their welfare.
Cats become bored when they are unable to express their natural feline behaviors. As a domesticated cat's DNA remains relatively unchanged from their wild counterparts, their desires to hunt and catch prey remains the same.
Cats have strong desires to:
When these natural behaviors are not able to be expressed, a cat can become bored and frustrated.
Cats love to sleep, but if you find your cat is snoozing all day, they might be bored. Cats should spend at least some of their day alert and engaged in their surroundings. If they are sleeping much more than usual, they could be bored.
Studies have shown that cats build very strong bonds with their pet parents. If you notice your cat is becoming extra clingy and wanting more of your attention, they could be trying to tell you they are bored.
As you are their favorite person, building a strong social bond with you is important to their well-being and taps into their natural feline desires to be sociable.
It can be quite difficult to spot the signs of a cat overgrooming, especially as they typically spend between 30% to 50% of their day grooming themselves.
Common signs of a cat overgrooming include:
The above are also signs of a skin problem. Be sure to visit the vet if you suspect your cat is suffering from any skin allergies or problems.
Just like us humans, cats can overeat to soothe their negative emotions. If you are finding that your cat is eating more than usual, they could be "emotional eating" to combat the negative feelings caused by boredom.
If you suspect your cat is using their food as an emotional crutch, it is paramount that you don't take their food away to stop this. You might assume that restricting your cat's food will stop the overeating, but in doing so, you remove one of their emotional outlets which could make matters worse.
Instead, try adding more entertainment to your cat's day as a way to banish boredom and stop the overeating.
The final sign your cat may be bored is if they are no longer interested in their usual activities. If you find your cat has become disinterested in their favorite toy or is no longer playing with the other animals in the house, they could be bored.
This lack of interest also overlaps with signs that your cat may be depressed, so that is something else to consider.
Now that you can spot the signs of your cat being bored, you can work on bringing more physical and mental stimulation into their lives to beat the boredom! There are many fun and interesting ways to increase your cat’s enrichment.
It is important for our cats' overall well-being that they can express their natural feline desires. When this is not able to happen, they can become bored and frustrated. The five signs above should help you identify when your cat is bored and in need of some added enrichment.
Not only will you keep your cat happy and healthy, but you'll also strengthen the bond you share through fun playtime and activities.
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Author Bio: Hannah Fitchett
Hannah is the proud dog mom of Makai, a Wolfdog with a penchant for naps and snacks. With a Masters degree in Chemistry and a love for writing, Hannah aims to share the latest scientific studies and expert knowledge with pet parents worldwide through her blog Howling Wolf Pack.