Just like humans, cats can become bored and this is definitely not good because they become discouraged, anxious, and sad.
Boredom is caused by the lack of an enriching environment, too little stimulation, or socialization. The last thing we want is for our kitty to be so unhappy that he/she wanders off and finds another home! This is why we must provide them with plenty love, stimulation, and an enriching environment at home with us!
How can we tell if our kitty is suffering from boredom?
Before he/she starts tearing up the sofa, climbing up the curtains or otherwise destroying the house, look for the following symptoms so that you can provide him/her with more stimulation:
1. Excessive grooming: If your cat constantly licks and bites themselves, pulls their fur out and gets bald spots, they’re bored. You cannot let this go on because they could develop a lesion called a “lick granuloma” from obsessive licking. This can cause the skin to get painfully inflamed and even infected, which would require a trip to the vet, medication and probably a cone.
2. Eating more than usual: Like people, kitties tend to eat more when they’re bored. They’re trying to relieve their anxiety by eating and this can result in obesity and all the health problems that go along with excess weight. Under these circumstances you should not leave food out. If you notice your cat gaining weight, you’ll need to address the root cause, which may be boredom.
3. Sleeps too much: Healthy cats normally sleep 16-17 hours a day, so if your cat is sleeping more than this it could be due to lack of stimulation. He/she is basically bored and lethargic.
4. Exhibiting bad behavior: Bored children tend to get into mischief and kitties are very similar. If you see your cat behaving badly by peeing outside the litter box, scratching the furniture, and dragging toilet paper around, these are signs of boredom.
5. Having socialization issues: If your cat is rejecting you by not allowing you to hold him/ her or showing no interest in being petted, he/she may be bored, depressed and angry. This can lead to aggressive behavior directed toward you, your kids, and/or other pets. If your cat is nipping at your heels or swatting you, he/she may be bored and demanding some attention.
Solutions for Boredom
Once you’ve determined that your kitty is bored and not suffering from any health issues, you can combat this by playing with your cat on a regular basis. You can have a lot of fun with a feline fishing rod, which is a long stick with a feathered or fluffy toy on the end of the string. Toys and scratchers are fun, but cats can soon become bored if they’re left alone with them. With the feline fishing rod, you play together and it’s the interaction they need. And in case you didn’t know it, catnip is great too. Besides making them happy it stimulates their brain.
You can provide an enriching environment by playing music, creating lots of high places for him/her to climb and crawl into, new foods, and etc. A perch in front of a sunny window is great because sunlight helps. If the view includes birds, squirrels, cars, people, and other interesting things, even better! Showing them lots of love relieves boredom as well, which you can do with frequent massages, petting, and kisses. Let him/her interact with your friends and family and if your kitty seems lonely, adopt another cat for companionship.
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