Is My Cat Bored?
How to entertain your bored cat 😺
You see your cat lazing around all the time, but does that mean he’s bored?
Cats are supposed to sleep for 15 hours a day, but when he’s not napping, it’s important for him to have enough enrichment to prevent boredom.
The Dodo spoke with Dr. Cristina Bustamante, associate veterinarian with Caring Hands Animal Hospital in Florida and founder of Dr. B. Vet, to find out why preventing cat boredom is important and what you should do if you have a bored cat.
Do cats get bored?
Cats can get bored just like people can. If your BFF isn’t getting enough enrichment, it can cause boredom.
“They are smart and social animals that need mental stimulation,” Dr. Bustamante told The Dodo.
But that doesn’t just mean toys. According to Dr. Bustamante, your cat needs enrichment in a variety of ways — like things to scratch, watch and climb — in addition to things he can play with.
Keeping your cat’s boredom at bay is super important because it can actually prevent serious health issues.
“It has been shown that cats that are bored and have nothing to do tend to be more anxious, obese and have poor health,” Dr. Bustamante said.
Is my cat bored?
There are a few ways to tell if your cat’s bored. According to Dr. Bustamante, signs of boredom in cats include:
- Destroying furniture
- Aggressive behavior
If you notice these signs, it’s important to visit your vet ASAP. “If you notice changes in your cat’s litter box usage, grooming, eating or activity level, have your veterinarian examine your cat to rule out health problems prior to attributing these changes to boredom,” Dr. Bustamante said.
How to entertain a bored cat
Entertaining your bored cat’s all about making sure he has everything he needs to be mentally stimulated throughout the day.
“We must provide them with basic needs, such as shelter, food, water and a bathroom (litter box) but also with toys and places for them to express natural cat behaviors,” Dr. Bustamante said.
Give him a cat tree
Not all cat trees are created equal, and some will provide more mental stimulation than others. You’ll want to look for a cat tree that gives your BFF many things to do, like climbing, hiding and scratching.
A cat tree with multiple levels is also great since it’ll allow your cat to have a few different vantage points for extra mental stimulation.
Get some catnip
If you feel like your cat’s a little bored, a little catnip can help keep him entertained and give him some excitement.
“Catnip provides olfactory entertainment to many cats,” Dr. Bustamante said. “You can provide catnip within toys or sprinkle parts of the leaves on the floor.”
We tried out Yeowww! catnip sardine toys on our own cats, and they went absolutely bonkers for them.
We also tested Meowijuana loose catnip, and that drove our pets wild, too.
Try a food dispenser
A food dispenser toy can be great for preventing boredom and tapping into his natural hunting instincts. Plus, if your cat tends to inhale his food, it can help slow him down and prevent him from eating too fast.
Dr. Bustamante recommends the Egg-Cersizer treat dispensing toy from PetSafe.
Put a bird video on in the background
According to Dr. Bustamante, putting on a long YouTube video with some birds in it can give your cat some fun visual enrichment.
Dr. Bustamante likes to throw on this video at home. “This video has 16 million views and is eight hours long — my cat loves watching these birds,” Dr. Bustamante said.
Switch up your cat’s toys
Giving your cat a ton of toys to play with won’t always keep him from getting bored. It can actually really help if you switch up which of your cat’s toys are available to him every once in a while.
For example, maybe some toys are only accessible for him during the day, while others are available at night. Or maybe you’ll swap one batch of toys for another every couple of days so your BFF doesn’t get sick of them.
“Having all the toys available 24/7 can make them lose interest,” Dr. Bustamante said. “My cat has toys with bells only during the day (so our family can sleep), her favorite toy (a pink rabbit) is always available, but the other ones are hidden in a drawer and get to be out for her throughout the week.”
Get him a window perch
A lot of cats love looking out the window because there are so many things to see, but you might not have an easily accessible place with a view where your cat can post up.
If that’s the case, a window perch might be just what you need.
So there you have it! With these tips, you’ll turn your bored cat into a totally fulfilled (and healthy) cat.
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