5 Ways to Engage a Bored Cat
Bored cats are easy to spot. You instantly realize that your cat got bored when you walk into your house and find it almost destroyed. A bored cat might also become aggressive. Surprisingly, you can have a bored cat even if your house is filled with toys if those toys are either too large, noisy or just uninteresting for your furry friend. Fortunately, you can easily engage a bored cat with the right environmental tweaks.
How to Recognize a Bored Cat
There are telltale signs that a cat can’t have fun while you are away and gets bored. Here are the most common ones:
- The cat destroys the house. A toyless home can quickly turn into a messy home because your cat will turn to the furniture, curtains, carpets and other accessories to play with. Such type of destructive behavior can be eliminated by keeping the cat busy. The right interactive and rewarding toys can keep your cat occupied for hours and consume their energy. If you want to choose appropriate toys for your cat for a quality solo playtime while you are away, check the linked article for a list of the best chew toys for cats based on dozens of user and expert reviews.
- Food no longer disappears. Some cats stop eating when they get bored. A chronically bored cat will eat less and less until their diet becomes an unhealthy one. You can change the cat’s diet and include some canned treats to make them interested in food again. However, a cat that overeats can be also bored. Such cats seem obsessed with their food, which disappears once you pour it into the bowl. After they are done eating, this type of bored cats will just lie next to their bowl, looking underfed.
- How much can a cat sleep? You may wonder this while trying not to disturb a catnap. Kitties tend to sleep more when they are bored. So, expect longer and more frequent naps from a bored cat.
When boredom becomes excessive, your cat will urinate all over the house, begin to lose fur because she is excessively grooming and licking herself, or destroy your couch, bed, shower curtain…
How to Entertain and Engage a Bored Cat
1. Give Your Cat Space. Vertical Space
Cats love to climb and enjoy looking down at dogs. A cat that climbs and jumps from one place to another is exercising and having fun.
There are vertical spaces you can use for your cats, such as window sills, sets of empty shelves, or cat trees. As long as you keep her safe, your cat has a fresh opportunity to burn some energy. There are cat condos which mentally stimulate cats by making them feel safer and more relaxed. These types of condos and trees come with scratchy surfaces which can handle your cat’s claws.
2. Show Her the World
Cats love to watch life taking its course. This translates into birds flying. If you equip your outdoor window space with a bird feeder, flocks will gather and entertain your cat. She will stand still and watch her hypothetical prey.
You only need to make sure that the window pane is closed, and the window curtain doesn’t have a wire. If the window is easy to open, adjust it for cat usage. Windows with an interesting view are the TVs of cats. They can watch through the window for hours – unless the prey gets too close and the hunt begins.
3. Bring Nature Home
There are plants you should not have in your home as they might be dangerous for your beloved kitty. Tulips, azaleas, lilies, and Sago Palm are just a few of the toxic plants for pets, according to the Animal Poison Control Center.
There are cat-friendly plants that cats just love, like catnip, grass shots, and valerian. Still, keep your favorite decorative houseplants out of your cat’s reach by hanging them as high as possible or pave the soil with stones.
4. Make Her Play for Food
You can make a bored cat’s eating a fun activity. Feeding times can turn into stimulating entertainment if you use puzzle feeders. Your cat will play, solve a simple feline-targeted puzzle, and get food. You can also hide food around the house so that the cat can find it during the day.
The DIY version of puzzle feeders is the empty plastic bottle that you cut holes through, add food and a cardboard tube.
5. Two is a Party
If you have a cat, you may have room for a second one. A bored cat desperately needs a play partner. You will soon see that two cats even groom each other. Consider your budget and think about adopting a second cat. Besides saving a little soul from a shelter, you can also introduce your current cat to new concepts such as socialization and sharing. Introduce the new pet to her slowly and then let the two entertain each other.
You Can Engage a Bored Cat
Some people falsely believe that having a bored cat is the sole result of having a full-time job and leaving your favorite pet alone at home. But cats usually get bored due to the lack of activity and possibilities around the house. If you optimize the environment, instead of blaming yourself, you will have a happy and fit pet.