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Cats don’t exactly have packed schedules. With around 15 hours of daily naps and a world of toys and treats within paw’s reach, it’s hard to believe they could ever feel bored. Unfortunately, cats can (and quite often do) suffer from boredom.
Sometimes bored cats make their feelings quite plain. Anyone who’s found their home office infiltrated by a restless cat has experienced feline boredom firsthand. Some indicators, however, aren’t nearly so obvious. Just because they’re out of your hair doesn’t mean your cat is necessarily feeling engaged and content. Here are five more behaviors that could indicate feline boredom.
Typically, cats spend between 30 and 50% of their day on self-grooming. In addition to helping keep cats clean, the process promotes a healthy temperature, since saliva evaporates to cool their skin. These attentive hygiene habits can make it challenging for cat owners to spot excessive grooming, which is common among cats suffering from both allergic reactions and ennui. Concerned cat lovers should watch out for signs of overgrooming like bald patches, thinning fur, and extra hairballs. Particularly aggressive chewing and biting may point to trouble too.
Tormenting Other Pets
Has your cat suddenly started chasing their housemates from room to room? Have they taken to terrorizing the family dog? Boredom may be to blame. When cats are hurting for extra stimulation, some of them will make themselves a downright nuisance to get it. Listen up for excessive vocalization, this too could signal a cat who’s looking for fun and excitement.
A bored cat won’t always stop at taking out their frustrations on other pets. In many instances, they’ll make their own fun by turning furniture into scratching posts or using curtains like cat trees. If your pet is feeling especially destructive, boredom could turn out to be as costly as a much more serious condition over time.
Boredom can sap cats of their naturally inquisitive qualities. That fabled curiosity typically inspires cats to spend time exploring and playing whenever they’re not sleeping, eating, or grooming themselves. Cats who’ve suddenly lost interest in everything but those daily necessities may be growing tired of their routines and surroundings.
Cats and humans both have a tendency to overindulge when there’s nothing better to do. In both cases, continually eating to excess can make a bad situation worse by leading to weight gain and additional symptoms. Obese and overweight cats are more likely to suffer from conditions like diabetes and that added weight could lead them to become less active and, ultimately, more bored and depressed.
Fighting Feline Boredom
Make sure to consult your veterinarian before diagnosing your pet with a simple case of boredom. All of the symptoms listed above could potentially be signs of something far more serious.
Once you’ve determined that boredom is to blame for your pet’s sudden changes in behavior, it’s time to begin building a more mentally and physically stimulating environment for your four-legged friend. The options for fighting feline boredom are practically limitless and going to battle should be fun for both your and your pet. Even a few minutes browsing a pet store or online marketplace should provide inspiration for a treatment plan.
You might purchase an assortment of new toys, for example, or install a bird feeder by their favorite window for daily entertainment. Keep in mind that all cats have different tastes. A toy or diversion that provides endless hours of entertainment for one feline could leave another utterly bemused. In a pinch, a pinch of catnip can almost always help.
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