Home Pet health Is My Cat Bored? How to Increase Your Cat’s Happiness

Is My Cat Bored? How to Increase Your Cat’s Happiness

by admin

Cats don’t exactly wear their hearts on their sleeves. Famously hard to read, our feline friends tend to play it a little cooler than their canine counterparts.

However, there’s a difference between being reserved and being bored. As every cat parent knows, underneath that “aloof” outer shell is a unique, quirky, lovable personality – and when that starts to fade, it’s cause for concern.

If you think your cat is bored, it’s time to check in with your pet (and quite possibly, your vet).

A Moping Cat

Why Might Your Cat be Moping

Just like humans, cats get bored when they’re unable to pursue their interests. While many kitties will happily join you on the couch for a Netflix binge, this type of quality time doesn’t satisfy their wild side.

“Cats are natural athletes, and are born to run, jump, and hunt prey daily,” says Dr. Sarah Wooten, a veterinarian based in Colorado. “When they don’t get to engage in these normal behaviors, they get bored.”

A Cat Yawning

Signs of Boredom in Cats

How do you tell if children are bored? Easy: They’ll remind you, repeatedly, until they’re adequately entertained.

But cats are a different story. They can’t speak, and their bored behavior looks very different than ours. “Bored cats are stressed cats,” says Wooten. “This stress can manifest in behavioral problems.”

Common symptoms of boredom in cats include:

  • Destructive behavior (such as scratching furniture)
  • Eliminating outside the litter box
  • Aggression towards other pets
  • Excessive grooming
  • Excessive vocalization
  • Increase or loss of appetite
  • Changes in sleeping patterns

In addition to behavioral issues, boredom can lead to medical problems in cats.

“Bored cats are more likely to turn to eating as a pastime, which can set them up for multiple health issues associated with obesity, including type 2 diabetes and early-onset osteoarthritis,” adds Wooten.

Is My Cat Sad? Depression in Cats

We know cats can experience boredom – but can things escalate to feline depression?

Well, yes and no.

Many bored cats certainly exhibit signs of depression – including lethargy, overeating, and social withdrawal – says Wooten. However, clinical depression is associated with complex emotional changes and is generally a diagnosis reserved for humans.

It’s important to note that a wide range of medical problems can also cause boredom and depression symptoms, says Wooten.

If you are concerned about any changes in your cat’s behavior or routine – whether relatively minor or extreme – contact your veterinarian. Once the cause is determined, you can begin to help your pet.

A Bored Cat Laying on A Table

How to Help a Bored Cat

So, you’ve consulted your vet, and it turns out your mopey cat is, in fact, bored.

While boredom can lead to serious problems, the good news is that it’s easy (and fun!) to enrich your furry friend’s life and create a cat-friendly environment. Consider the following tips from Suzanne Denk, an animal enrichment specialist at Pittsburgh-based rescue Animal Friends.

Punch Up Playtime

Your cat has toys, of course. But are you actively playing with your cat?