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Home > Cats > How Much Attention Does My Cat Need? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

How Much Attention Does My Cat Need? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

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Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world, and it’s easy to see why. They’re playful, affectionate, and independent. But unlike dogs, cats don’t always need constant attention from their owners. The amount of attention a cat needs depends largely on their individual personality and living situation. Here are some of the factors that determine how much attention your individual cat really needs.


Cat Personality Types

Some cats are quite sociable, while others prefer their own company. If your cat is outgoing and enjoys playing with people, they will likely need more attention than a shy or aloof cat. You should also consider your lifestyle when thinking about how much attention to give your cat. Do you work long hours? Are you away from home often? If so, your cat may need more attention if they spend their days alone.

Do Certain Breeds Need More Attention?

While all cats need attention and affection from their owners, some breeds may need more than others. Siamese cats, for example, are known for being very social and may need more playtime than other breeds. Additionally, cats with longer hair or those that require frequent grooming may need more care and attention to keep their coat in good condition.

Cat rubs against human legs
Image Credit: Nataliya Derkach, Shutterstock

The 4 Ways to Tell if Your Cat Needs More Attention

Every cat has different physical and emotional needs, but luckily cats are pretty good at asking for attention when they need it. You just need to learn your cat’s language. Here are some of the most common ways your cat might ask for attention.

1. Meowing at You

Cats meow to communicate with humans, and sometimes that is asking for attention. If your cat isn’t asking for anything in specific, a meow is probably a call for you to give them some love.

2. Winding Around Your Legs

Does your cat have a death wish? If your cat tries to make you trip, you might be annoyed at the moment. But cats love to rub up against you as a way of bonding. If you have a minute, sit down and give your cat some scratches.

3. Destructive Behavior

It’s hard to tell when a cat is being destructive because they are being playful or because they are lacking interaction and mental stimulation. It is important not to confuse certain natural behaviors with your cat deliberately destroying things because they are not getting what they want.

4. Waiting for You to Come Home

Is there anything cuter than seeing your cat at the window watching for you? If your cat is home alone for most of the day, it will probably miss you by the time you get home. If your cat comes running when you pull up or waits at the door for you, see if you can work a few minutes into your schedule to say hello when you get home for the day.

Cat inside house looking out the window
Image Credit: rebecaml, Pixabay


Top 4 Ways to Give Your Cat Attention

1. Play

Regardless of their personality type, cats need playtime to stay healthy and happy. Make sure you set aside at least 60 minutes each day to interact with your cat; this could include playing with toys, brushing them, or just cuddling on the couch. Providing your cat with mental stimulation is also important. There are many different kinds of toys you can give your cat, such as interactive toys that move or make noise, scratching posts, and puzzle feeders. You can also provide them with objects like paper bags to explore. Be sure to supervise your cat at all times when they’re playing with any new toys.

2. Socialization

Most cats are naturally independent, but socialization is still important. If your cat has a friendly personality, you should try to introduce them to visitors or other animals occasionally. This can help build their confidence and create positive experiences for them. If your cat is shy or scared of unfamiliar people or animals, take it easy and follow their pace to introduce them in a safe and comfortable environment.

3. Care Tasks

You’ll need to also have time for necessities like feeding, bathing, vet visits and grooming. You should also set aside time to clean your cat’s litter box and monitor their general health.

4. Showing Your Affection

Last but not least, it’s essential to show your cat love and affection. Give them lots of head rubs and chin scratches and talk to them in a gentle voice. You can do this whenever your cat approaches you for attention, but how often they do this will depend on the individual cat. Spending quality time with your cat will help create a strong bond, and it can also be beneficial for both you and your pet.

adult orange tabby cat looking up on green blanket wagging tail
Image By: Lux Blue, Shutterstock

How Can I Tell If My Cat Is Getting Enough Attention?

A good indication that your cat is getting enough attention is if they’re displaying normal cat behavior, like purring and being active. They should also be eating and drinking regularly and showing signs of contentment and happiness. If your cat is displaying signs of lethargy or strange behaviors and your vet has already ruled out medical causes, it may mean that they need more attention from you.

What Are the Signs That I Need to Spend More Time with My Cat?

If your cat is spending most of their time hiding or is meowing more often, they may be lonely and need extra attention. Additionally, if they seem restless or are displaying destructive behaviors like scratching furniture, it may be a sign that they need more playtime or activities.


What Are Some Activities I Can Do with My Cat?

One of the best ways to show your cat attention is by playing with them! Try using feather wands to stimulate their natural hunting instincts, or hiding food around the house. You can also give them catnip toys and scratchers or even practice basic commands like “sit” or “come.” You can bond with your cat by grooming them and brushing their fur. Finally, spending time just petting and cuddling your cat can be a great way to show them affection.

Top 8 Ideas for Spending More Time With Your Cat

Here are eight ideas for spending more quality time with your cat:

  • Spend some time playing “hide and seek” around the house.
  • Let your cat join you while you watch TV or work on the computer.
  • Brush their fur with a soft massaging brush.
  • Take a nap cuddled up together on the couch or bed.
  • Try to teach them some fun tricks like fetch or roll over!
  • Make homemade toys out of cardboard boxes and paper bags!
  • Give them lots of chin scratches and head rubs!
  • Play some interactive games together, like chasing a toy or hiding some food.

These activities can help strengthen the bond between you and your cat, while also providing them with mental stimulation and exercise.

an orange pregnant cat looking up
Image By: Dhaya Eddine Bentaleb, Pexels

What Are the Signs My Cat Is Lonely?

Cats can get lonely if they are not given enough attention or socialization. If your cat is showing signs of loneliness, they might be less active than usual, or meowing and pacing more often. They may also be spending more time hiding or avoiding social interaction. If you think your cat is lonely, try providing them with additional attention, toys, and activities to keep them entertained. Additionally, introducing other animals or visitors into the home can help your cat feel less isolated.

Having two cats can help reduce the amount of attention they need from you, but it’s not a replacement for your own time and affection. It’s still important to provide them with plenty of playtime and activities, as well as show them love and care.

How Long Can I Leave My Cat Alone?

The amount of time that you can leave your cat alone depends on their age, health status, and individual personality and needs. Adult cats might be fine on their own for 8 to 10 hours, but if you are planning to be away for longer than that, you should have someone check in on your cat while you’re away.

How Do I Help My Cat Adjust to Longer Work Hours?

It can be difficult for cats to adjust to changes in their routine, such as when their owner’s work hours increase. To help minimize the stress, make sure they’re getting enough playtime and activities to keep them entertained while you’re away. Additionally, consider leaving a few toys or objects around the house for them to explore, and rotate them so your cat does not get bored. Lastly, make time to spend with your cat each day.

Cat looking up
Image By: White Bull Films, Pixabay



Cats need different levels of attention depending on their age, health, individual personality, and living situation. Make sure you set aside time each day to show your cat affection, play with them, and provide mental stimulation. With the right balance of love and attention, your cat will be happy and healthy for years to come!

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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