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4 Signs Your Cat Is Bored & How You Can Help

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

cat sleeping outside

In the wild, cats spend their mornings and evenings hunting for small prey to feast on. They then devote their days and nights to avoid becoming some larger animal’s prey themselves.

So, what about the cats that dine on canned food, curl up in comfy cat beds, and snack on an endless supply of treats from their doting humans? Can they get bored?

Actually, yes! An unstimulating environment paired with too much time alone can result in a bored cat.

The 4 Signs Your Cat Is Bored

1. Over-Grooming

grey cat licking its paw
Image Credit: michal dziekonski, Unsplash

Picking out hair due to boredom is called psychogenic alopecia. At the best of times, cats are prone to be picky when grooming. They spend 25% of their waking hours tidying up. But when obsessive cleaning creates bald patches or skin sores, it’s time to take action.


2. Excessive Sleeping

woman in chair with cat on lap sleeping by tree
Image credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

If sleep were a sport, cats would be Olympic champions. The average house cat sleeps 17–18 hours a day, consistent with cat behavior in the wild. Keep an eye out for oversleeping, though. A healthy cat that regularly sleeps longer than 18 hours a day or that appears sluggish when awake could be bored.


3. Overeating

black and white cat eats liquid food from a plate
Image Credit: Elizabett, Shutterstock

Like a bored human, an under-stimulated cat will turn to food to drive away monotony. Boredom-induced hunger may be part of what’s causing America’s feline obesity epidemic, in which more than 50% of cats are now overweight or obese.1


4. Inordinate Meowing

a cat meowing aggressively after being left alone on the couch in the room
Image Credit: Anatoliy Cherkas, Shutterstock

Some cats just love to chat. Others may be saying they are hungry, sick, or confused. Still, meowing that goes on and on could be a sign your cat is bored. While you don’t want to reward your cat for meowing too often, you do want to make sure they’re properly engaged and stimulated

Is Your Cat Bored, Lazy, or Just Napping?

Cats love to nap. It comes from their genetic makeup, their diet, and their living conditions. Cats’ biology adapted to their role as both predator and prey. Their bodies need a lot of sleep, but when they’re awake, they tend to be fully alert and on the move.

Some people see cats as lazy because they often don’t chase and retrieve objects as many dogs do. It’s not a fair comparison, though, since cats and dogs have different domestication histories.

A lazy cat could just be an elderly, overweight, or bored cat. Plus, some breeds, such as Ragdolls and Persians, tend to have less energy than others, such as the Abyssinian, Bengal, and Siamese.

Ways to Keep Your Indoor Cat Entertained

Sitting inside a locked house all day is certainly safer than dodging predators in the desert, but it’s also much less exciting. The life of an indoor cat could spawn a case of boredom in the most energetic of us.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Show your cat some love with toys, gadgets, games, puzzles, and cat-friendly apps on the tablet.

Top Rated Cat Toys

Cat toys are an essential part of feline enrichment but selecting the right ones can be a challenge. Our favorite Hepper toys not only encourage self-play but are durable, made from all-natural materials, and are excellent choices for all life stages. Spoil your kitty and browse our top toys here. 

Catnip Stick
Our rating: 4.9 / 5
Whale Plush
Our rating: 4.8 / 5
Furball Set
Our rating: 4.7 / 5

Cats get bored when left alone indoors all day with nothing to do. Rest assured, though, there are plenty of solutions for these kitties! Keep your cat safe and happy at home with activities designed for cats that are home alone.

Activities to Help Eliminate Boredom for Your Cat

Here are a few thoughtful activities you could set out for your feline.

1. Bird Watching/Bird Feeder

cat watching bird window
Image credit: Andrzej Puchta, Shutterstock

An unobstructed view of a bird feeder can provide hours of entertainment for cats. It’s their version of “Netflix and Chill”! Set up a cat tree or a hanging cat bed in the window, and your friend is set for a long afternoon. Popcorn is not included.


2. Cat Stimulation Videos

cat meowing
Image Credit: Marvin Otto, Pixabay

Meghan Koley created a YouTube channel that’s just for cats. It features streaming videos of birds, fish, squirrels, and other animals. Cast the channel to your TV, and give your cat a chance to watch an enticing nature video.


3. Scratching Posts

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A cat scratcher can provide hours of fun daily for any cat, especially our Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher. It's a cardboard scratcher built to last and amuse (all while looking stylish in any room). It can be adjusted to three different positions – high, low, and lower – and is guaranteed to keep your feline companion engaged and entertained, away from getting into [too much] mischief or scratching things they shouldn't. You can click here to learn more about this piece of modern cat furniture and kitty play haven. 

To protect your furniture, you’ll want one of these. Scratching posts are made from a variety of materials like cardboard or wood and sisal or carpet. Scratching relieves stress, strengthens the back, and keeps claws healthy.


4. Puzzle Toys

Grey cat playing with puzzle toy
Image credit: Nils-Jacobi, Shutterstock

Engage your cat’s mind and body with a strategy game. Food puzzle toys mimic some of the challenges a cat faces in the wild—namely, finding food. These gadgets have even proven to be helpful as part of a vet-approved weight-loss program for overweight cats.


5. Cat Garden

Devon rex cat in the garden
Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock

Cats love to sniff and nibble on vegetation. You can plant a low-sided pot with catnip, mint, rosemary, wheatgrass, or another non-toxic plant. Check the ASPCA list to make sure you choose cat-safe plants for your DIY garden.

Cat Toys

Cats get bored with toys that don’t stimulate their brains, challenge their bodies, or give them a handy place to curl up and hide. These are a few of our favorite toy selections:

Are you a do-it-yourselfer? Consider using simple household items to fashion your own cat toys. Don’t forget that most cats, like most toddlers, prefer the boxes to the toys inside. So you may want to hang on to the boxes.

How Can I Entertain a Cat in a Small Apartment?

Do cats get bored more quickly in small spaces than they do in large ones? They can. If you’re sharing a tiny apartment with your feline roommate, make sure to give them:

  • Plenty of high places to climb
  • Windows to see out of
  • Scratching posts
  • A great bed to snooze in

You can enjoy the companionship of a healthy, happy cat in no time!

Conclusion

As independent as they may seem, cats can definitely get bored, especially indoor kitties. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to mentally and physically stimulate your pet, such as providing them with plenty of toys and scratching posts and personally engaging with them every day, whether you use a wand toy or simply talk to them.

Do you take time in the day to play with your cat? What activities do they like?

Related Cat Reads: 


Featured image credit: Pxhere

 

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