Keeping a cat indoors has many benefits which can make them live twice as long as outdoor cats. However, the risk of keeping your cat indoors is that they may become “bored” and this leads to different behavioural and even health problems. Inappropriate urination, scratching, aggression, loud meowing, appetite change, and excessive sleeping are all signs your cat is bored. Is your home a cat-friendly one? Are there enough things to distract your cat?
Even though cats are renowned for their independent side, that doesn’t mean they like to spend their whole day sleeping! In fact, a healthy adult cat sleeps for 15 hours per day, on average. The rest of the time, he needs to get distracted, do some sort of activity, play and interact with his human.
These are 6 signs that your cat is bored
1. Destroying everything in the house
If your cat starts shredding tissues and toilet paper rolls, scratching furniture or knocking over objects on shelves, it is because he is trying to vent his excess energy and frustration.
In this case, there is absolutely no point in scolding him, this will only reinforce the destructive behaviour. Make sure he has some toys to play with and spend more time with him.
2. Apetite change
Just like humans, cats sometimes react to boredom by changing their eating habits. They may start overeating just to have something to do, or they may ignore their food altogether.
You can try to prevent this by keeping your cat’s diet diverse (maybe ask your vet for a recommendation) and make sure there is some sort of fun indoor activities that can keep him busy for some time.
3. Excessive shedding
We all know that cats are super picky about their hygiene and cleanliness and like to keep their coats clean and shiny. However, some cats can get terribly nervous when bored, especially if they are often left alone. The added stress causes their hair to fall out much more than usual.
Besides, cats might also groom themselves more intensely, even tearing strands of their own fur.
So if you notice that your pet has started spending a lot of time on their aesthetics, it could be a sign that their mood has dropped in landfills. So why not make the grooming time a way to bond with your pet. Skip the bubble bath and tail braiding, and spend time brushing your cat, this will give them kind of attention and maintain their beautiful, furry.
4. Stop using the litter box
If you start to notice your feline peeing around the house, even though he was generally good at doing his business in the litter box, this could be a sign of a bored cat. Whether it’s because he feels helpless and tries to get your attention or because he feels confused, your cat can start to relieve himself outside of his litter box.
However, beware, just like all of the other unusual symptoms described above, sudden uncleanliness can also be a sign of illness. In this case, consult your veterinarian to rule out any potential medical issues. You can get more information on cats peeing outside the litter box here.
5. Long naps
Cats normally, spend a lot of time napping and adult cats, in particular, are not as active and energetic as younger ones. They prefer spending their time looking for a sunny spot or taking a stroll around the house. So, this is why it can be quite challenging to notice that something is wrong.
6. Your cat is loud
Another common behaviour of bored cats is loud, constant meows.
It’s a way of attracting attention and having fun, just like when little children randomly sing and dance when they don’t find anything interesting to do.
Your cat is bored. How can you help her?
First, it is essential to rule out the fact that your cat is suffering from depression, a common problem in pets who had a radical change in their life, significant loss or shock. In this case, make sure to consult your vet.
Ideas to keep your bored cat busy
A play area
When your cat is in the mood to play, a dedicated space is very important. Even if you don’t necessarily have an entire room to rearrange, a simple sitting area or a window is more than enough. The first thing to do is to add a scratching post for clawing and climbing exercises. A high cabinet that gives a view to the outside is also a big plus; the cat will spend hours having fun spying on neighbours and other animals.
Scatter toys all over this space, hang up some of them, leave a few balls on the ground, plastic mice on the sofa, and so on. Your cat will have fun running around and playing an imaginary hunt with all these objects. You can try catnip toys that cats love, read about how to make them at home.
If your cat enjoys chasing treats, then consider buying him a toy that can hide a few snacks. The cat will then have to find the solution to the puzzle and bring out the treats on his own. Besides being fun for the cat, it also stimulates your pet’s brain and muscles.
Plants can be an excellent way to distract your cat. Grass shoots, catnips and papyrus are great options.