Boredom could be dangerous to your cat’s well being — this is how one can assist

(Getty Photographs/iStockphoto)

Between the hours of seven and eight within the morning, my cat wakes me up with head bonks, purrs and tummy cuddles. Round 9, I spot him staring out of the massive home windows of my downtown apartment, eyeing pigeons and passersby. By 10 o’clock, he is obtained a case of the zoomies, darting throughout the lounge, stopping to cover behind the sofa, getting ready to pounce on me. Lastly, he’ll pace his method to my bed room, kicking up the hallway runner within the course of.

Generally I play with him, however different occasions, I am compelled to get straight to work — a lot to his disappointment (despite the fact that I typically work at home).

Then it is suspiciously silent till about two o’clock within the afternoon, after I hear him meowing on the door and see him pawing at its deal with, wanting again at me with massive, hopeful eyes. Does he need to go for a stroll or is he merely searching for to fulfill his hunter instincts?

Or maybe he is bored.

We have painted an image of home cats as creatures who sleep for 20 hours of the day, knock issues off our tables and counters, and swipe or chew at us once we scratch their tummies. We chalk it as much as cats being temperamental, when these may really be indicators that your cat is bored and understimulated. If these actions appear acquainted to you and your feline good friend, then listen. The excellent news is that there are some straightforward issues you are able to do to assist their temper.

Indicators that your cat is bored

I talked to Dr. Claudia Richter, a Vancouver-based veterinarian at Pacific Veterinary Behaviour Consulting, who stated one of many greatest indicators that your cat could also be bored is that they sleep lots, which to most individuals might seem to be typical cat behaviour, however based on Richter, it is not.

“Sleeping 12 hours or 20 hours a day will not be a standard factor for a cat.”

Two cats relaxation very shut collectively of their cat tree hammock. (Getty Photographs/iStockphoto)

Richter defined {that a} cat’s each day cycle used to incorporate searching, catching, taking part in, consuming, grooming and sleeping. They’d do that cycle between eight and 12 occasions a day, she stated. However since we have developed a routine of feeding kibble or moist meals to our cats out of a steel bowl, the actions of searching and catching are simply being changed by extra sleep.

That also leaves taking part in, consuming and grooming of their routine, proper? However when you begin to discover that they’ve stopped partaking in these actions as nicely, then you ought to be involved, Richter stated.

The vet suggested that one other signal to look out for is that if your cat is attempting to get your consideration by any means obligatory. This may embrace meowing incessantly, chewing on issues, knocking stuff off tables, peeing outdoors their litter field or different harmful behaviour. These attention-seeking ways could also be indicators of tension that your furry good friend is attempting to speak to you, which may result in extra critical issues down the street.

Cute cat caught taking part in with rolls of bathroom paper. (Getty Photographs/iStockphoto)

Dangers of unchecked boredom

Melancholy is “actually tough” to diagnose in cats, Richter defined, as a result of they’re unable to verbally specific their ideas. Nevertheless, anxiousness could be seen of their behaviour and actions — or inactions, in some instances.

Calgary animal behaviourist Rory O’Neill claimed that “[your cat’s] psychological well being will not be pretty much as good if they are not stimulated,” itemizing incessant meowing, pacing lots and uncontrollable urination and marking in your house as some indicators to maintain a watch out for. Each specialists agreed that when you discover any of those cues, it might be time to go to your vet in case your cat is liable to one thing extra extreme.

“If [boredom] goes unchecked,” Richter added, “[your cat] can develop medical issues resembling weight problems, which is a large downside in family cats” that may ultimately result in feline diabetes.

So, what are you able to do about it?

Curbing a cat’s boredom earlier than it turns into crucial will not be a tough factor to do. One of many best — and most enjoyable — issues an proprietor can do is dedicate a while to taking part in.

“You must plan into your day that you simply play together with your cat not less than 5 or 10 minutes, a couple of times a day,” Richter steered.

Playful Siberian cat having fun with taking part in on the couch with their proprietor. (Getty Photographs)

Playtime permits your cat to expend the vitality that might go into searching and catching, with out unleashing them out within the wild, endangering birds and different small animals.

There are additionally a lot of cat merchandise and actions on the market which might be designed to amuse, entertain and hold your furry buddies engaged. However which of them are finest geared up to rescue your kitty from the brink of boredom?

Leash-walking your cat

Richter stated this will depend on your cat’s consolation degree, and O’Neill agreed. Going for a stroll outdoors is a good way to permit your cat to discover and be stimulated, however the exercise actually is not each cat’s cup of tea. Pay attention to the dangers and do your analysis. Alternatively, cat backpack carriers are another choice, which can be extra up your cat’s alley.


You probably have the means to construct a protected and practical “catio” — that is “cat” plus “patio,” by the way in which — you need to contemplate it. “A catio, if it is safely constructed, goes to be good for nearly any cat,” Richter stated, “as a result of it simply expands their world slightly bit … particularly once we’re speaking about condominium cats that won’t have entry to a yard.” Your cat will take pleasure in having fun with the outside from the protection of your property.

“Catios are terrific!” O’Neill added. “If anyone can construct one, they need to.”

Meals puzzles

It is a enjoyable and straightforward method to problem your cat after they can not hunt for their very own meals. In response to Richter, you may need to check out a couple of totally different meals puzzles earlier than you discover the best one to your cat — however the effort will repay.

Intelligent and chronic cat taking part in with pet puzzle and attempting to earn the treats. (Getty Photographs/iStockphoto)

Multi-cat houses

Consider it or not, O’Neill stated, “[cats] are social creatures.” Having a number of cats interacting with each other in your house can create a beautiful atmosphere for everybody.

“I actually encourage individuals to have multiple cat,” the behaviourist stated. However be sure to have the house and the sources to assist all of your animals.

Music playlists

This won’t remedy their boredom, however soothing and peaceable music may assist cats with their anxiousness, based on Richter. She shared that a number of analysis has been accomplished on the calming results of music in people, so she has advisable music to help cats affected by anxiousness as nicely.

Movies and apps for cats

Do cats know that the large fowl on the display screen is pretend? Or that the little animated fish that swims throughout the pill will not be actual? Richter steered attempting it out together with your cats. However she additionally identified that they could turn into irritating to your furry good friend, who can not bodily seize the onscreen object they’re watching. The identical could be stated about laser pointers, which might present a burst of train to your cat, till they get irritated and disengage.

(Picture by Kanashi on Unsplash)

By energetic playtime, difficult meals puzzles and different actions that mimic their pure behaviours, you may simply have interaction and stimulate your cat slightly extra. I do know the subsequent time I see my little man actually itching to play, I will indulge him. Work can wait a couple of extra minutes.