Just like people, cats can also feel bored and depressed. When a cat gets bored, there is always a reason. Usually it is to do with a lack of fulfillment, socialization and games.
If you think your cat is bored, it is essential to look at their usual behavior at home and the symptoms that may indicate discomfort, disinterest or lack of motivation in their daily routine. You should note that this happens a lot more in cats who live alone in a house, compared to two cats living together.
Learn to recognize if your cat is bored in this article where we will point out 5 signs that your cat is bored. Learn why this happens and how to act immediately by following our advice:
1. Excessive preening
When a cat compulsively licks their coat and – which may even cause bald patches on their fur – this is a very clear sign that the poor cat is bored to death. When licking and preening are so excessive it can lead to a skin lesion called lick granuloma, a serious health problem that should be treated as soon as possible.
Apart from the damage to its fur, this behavior is very stressful for the cat. It can mentally affect the cat and induce depression. It is also a dangerous habit because it can lead to harmful and annoying trichobezoars, that is, hairballs in the stomach.
2. Excessive eating
One consequence of feline boredom takes the form of an excessive intake of food. A very “human” trait, since many people with anxiety, depression or stress suffer from the same harmful compulsion.
After all, boredom in a cat is extremely stressful. A pleasurable but unhealthy way of alleviating boredom is by eating. Double check the amount of food you offer your cat to avoid obesity. This is harmful to their health!
3. Excessive sleeping
Cats usually sleep a lot. It is estimated that they sleep between 16 and 17 hours a day. If your cat doesn’t enjoy any stimulating activity, they may just prefer to sleep more.
This can seem harmless, but it is not. Sleepy cats can stop grooming themselves so their appearance quickly worsens. They can also become dehydrated or suffer from a loss of appetite.
4. A destructive cat
Sometimes, cats suffering from enormous boredom show this by being destructive. They climb the curtains and destroy them until nothing is left, for example. They may also knock objects off shelves or stalk small pets like canaries, parakeets and hamsters. Don’t confuse regular damage caused to sofas and armchairs with multiple acts of vandalism caused by boredom.
Remember how important it is to give your cat the love and attention they require. Although cats often come across aloof or aggressive, a recent study by a trio of researchers from Oregon State University and Monmouth University have proven our cats like us more than we think. They suggested that as humans, we have a lack of knowledge on what stimulates our cats. After testing 19 cats on their favorability between food, scent, toys and human interaction, we came out on top.
5. A bullying cat
Sometimes cats live with another cat or other pet but are still bored. If the dominant cat is very active and the other is excessively passive, the first may entertain them-self by some sort of “bullying” or abuse towards the other animal, tormenting it and making its life difficult.
They may also annoy a small dog, although this doesn’t happen that often. Cats let their ancestral hunting instincts loose and are tempted by smaller beings in the household.
Solutions for a bored cat:
For starters, it is essential to rule out depression in your pet, which is a common problem in animals that have undergone a drastic change in their life, such as a significant loss or shock. If you think they may be suffering from depression you should go to the vet, but in the meantime we suggest the following:
- Play with your cat on a daily basis. The best cat toy is undoubtedly the fishing rod as you too can participate in the game, which is essential for your cat to have fun. Toys and scratching posts can distract your cat for a little while, but they will eventually get bored if there is no real interaction.
- Enrich their day with new stimuli: Music, activities, food, other people… If your cat feels more fulfilled it will help to shake off its boredom. Exposure to the sun will also provide your cat with extra energy, a better combination of vitamins and happiness.
- Give them massages, hugs and kisses. Cats enjoy feeling loved and wanted, making them feel part of a strong and united family full of affection.
- Use catnip to encourage psychological stimulation.
Finally, if your cat spends many hours alone, we recommend going to a shelter and adopting a companion so your cat can have hours of company and fun. Both of them will thank you.