Believe it or not, cats are often bored just like us humans, although they don’t make it as obvious. Most adult cats will spend an average of around 15 hours a day just napping, so it can be pretty tricky to figure out if your feline friend is going about their usual routine or is actually bored out of their mind.
So how can you tell the difference? And how can you help? In this post, you’ll read about the 5 signs that indicate your cat is bored, and what you can do to help.
Is your cat bored? 5 signs of kitty boredom
First thing first, I want to clarify that if your cat started to act differently than usual and you are worried about them, it is best to first check with the vet. If the kitty is healthy, then it could be that your cat is bored which caused their behavior to change. Maybe they just need something more in their life to entertain them and keep them occupied.
Keep in mind that, while all of these are signs of boredom, boredom doesn’t necessarily have to be the reason. Just like us humans, 100 cats have 100 different personalities so some cats might do the following things because they are lonely, or they don’t like the other cat or they have a separation anxiety etc. But boredom is also a common reason for this type of behavior. So keep on reading and check if your cat might be bored.
#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 (even if they have a scratch post),
- knocking stuff down from shelves,
- pouncing on lamps,
- chasing other pets around and fighting with them.
Most of the time, this is just your kitty’s 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.
#2 Eating too much or too little
Just like people, cats sometimes deal with boredom by changing their mealtime habits. They might start eating too much just to have something to do, or they completely ignore their food, because even that is way too boring.
You can try and prevent this by keeping your kitty’s diet diverse (maybe ask your vet for a recommendation), and ensuring it has some kind of indoor activity if you don’t have an outdoor condo for them to walk or play in.
Do keep an eye on how the cat behaves around their food bowl because improper eating can damage your pet’s health.
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#3 Excessive grooming or shedding more than usual
Now, we all know cats like to keep their glossy coats all lickety-split. However, some cats can become terribly nervous when they’re bored, especially if they’re left alone a lot, and this extra stress then makes their hair fall out much more than it usually does.
These cats might also groom themselves more intensely, even ripping out wisps of their own fur, which in turn just makes them groom even more.
So, if you notice your pet has started spending lots of time on their aesthetic, it might be a sign that their mood has dropped down into the dumps. A great way of dealing with cats who show this kind of behavior is making grooming time a way of bonding with your pet.
Just like people brush and style their dogs, the same can work for cats. Well, maybe skip the bubble bath and tail braiding, but spending a little time every day on brushing your kitty will give it caring attention, keep their fur healthy and beautiful, and collect some of that pesky cat hair which keeps flying all over the place.
#4 Not using the litter box
If you start to notice that your feline poops or pees around the house, even though they were usually good at doing their business in the litter box, it might be your cat’s way of telling you that they are not getting enough attention and that they are bored. But, it is important to first rule out any potential medical issue that could cause this behavior. Only if there is nothing wrong with your feline healthwise, then you can consider boredom being the cause of this kind of behavior.
It is possible that your cat is so stressed from being bored all the time that they develop behavioral issues such as not using the kitty toilet.
If your cat suddenly stopped using their litter box, you might want to check out my other post about the common reasons for not using the litter box and potential solutions.
#5 Being lethargic or being loud
Okay, so cats spend a lot of time on napping, and come on – who wouldn’t, right? Adult cats in particular are not as energetic as kittens and tend to prefer to spend their time looking for a sunny spot or going for a leisurely stroll around the house. That’s why it can be pretty hard to notice that something’s wrong, but believe it or not, cats can get depressed!
Even a big-time elderly napper has its hours of awake time, and adult cats like to play occasionally, too. So, if your furry friend starts being inactive even when it would usually sniff around, they might have had enough of their monotonous routine.
Signs in this case are:
- the cat sitting and staring into space for a long time,
- being listless,
- or ignoring its food and toys.
Another common behavior in bored cats is meowing like crazy.
A bored cat might meow often and loudly, and for a fairly long time. It’s their way of attracting attention and amusing themselves, kind of like when little kids randomly sing and dance for lack of anything interesting to do.
How to help your bored cat
Luckily, there are so many things you can do and ways to entertain your bored cat, that you shouldn’t 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?