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Is My Cat Bored? 9 Signs to Look For

Ed Malaker

As cat owners, we do our best to make sure our pets have plenty of entertainment. Activity helps prevent your cat from becoming depressed or bored, which can lead to bad behavior. If you were unsure about how to tell if your cat is bored, you’ve come to the right place. We are about to list several telltale signs that will tell you exactly what to look for to know if your cat requires more activity or attention to help you be better informed.

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Signs That My Cat Is Bored

1. Lack Of Interest in Activity

It may sound strange, but one of the first signs that your cat is bored is a lack of interest in normal activities. If your cat doesn’t seem interested in playing games that it usually gets excited about, it might be feeling bored.

white cat lying
Image Credit: Piqsels

2. Increased Vocalizations

Increased vocalizations is another sign that your cat is bored in this trying to get your attention. Cats don’t often vocalize to each other, so the cat is speaking to you. People usually come running to see why the cat is crying, giving it the attention it’s craving, so it can be an effective tactic for a bored pet.


3. Begging For Food

Bored cats will quickly learn that standing by a food bowl and crying can get you or another family member to give them some attention and maybe a little snack. Unfortunately, this attention-seeking tactic can cause a cat to put on weight quickly, so you will need to recognize it quickly and give them attention another way.

bengal cat near food bowl
Image Credit: Photo_Olivia, Shutterstock

4. Pacing

Cats are usually sedentary and spend most of their time lounging around. If you notice your cat walking back and forth from one room to another, it’s possible that it’s feeling bored. The cat is wandering from room to room, trying to find something new and exciting. The cat may also hop from one perch to the next instead of spending time looking out the window.


5. Destructive Behavior

Another sure sign that your cat feels bored is destructive behavior, especially if your cat does not ordinarily damage things. Bored cats will scratch the furniture and rug, and they may return to areas, but you told them not to go to get your attention. If this doesn’t work, your cat can get more dramatic and start knocking items off the shelf or running around maniacally to get a reaction.

cat scratching furniture
Image Credit: RJ22, shutterstock

6. Oversleeping

Cats can sleep between 12 and 18 hours a day, so it may be difficult to determine if they’re sleeping too much. However, cats that do little but sleep and eat may be showing signs that they’re bored and need some attention and activity.


7. Break Litterbox Training

If your adult cat pooped somewhere besides the litter box, it either had a problem like diarrhea, or it is sending you a direct message that it wants your attention. We found this happens most often when you spend too much time away from home.

cat-litter
Image Credit: Tanya-Plotnikova, Shutterstock

8. Overgrooming

Overgrooming is another sign that your cat is feeling bored. House cats usually have little to do but sleep, eat, and groom, and if it is bored, it can groom too much, resulting in thinning hair and skin rashes.


9. Aggressive Behavior

One more sure sign that your cat is bored is aggressive behavior. If you have more than one cat or even a dog, your cat may attempt to pick fights with it when it can’t find anything else to do. It might seem strange, but it’s a basic cat instinct, and if the other cat is also looking for something to do, they may play instead of fight. If there are no other pets, the cat may choose to attack your ankle or hide behind a wall and leap out at you as you pass.

two cats fighting
Image Credit; Vshivkova, Shutterstock

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How Can I Stop My Cat from Feeling Bored?

Warning Signs

Unfortunately, many of the signs listed here are also signs of depression and sickness. We recommend taking your pet to the vet first to ensure no underlying illnesses are causing the behavior. Your vet may also be able to help you determine if it’s depressed.

Set Aside Time To Play

Once you know your cat is not sick, we highly recommend setting some extra time aside each day to play with your cat. As little as 15 minutes each day might be enough to make a difference and return your cat’s behavior to normal. Choose a convenient time and be consistent so your cat can look forward to it.

cat playing with owner
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

Use An Automatic Toy

Several automatic cat toys are available that detect motion or run out of timer to help keep your cat interchain while you’re busy doing other things. Our favorite is the laser toy because it gets even the laziest cat running, which can bust boredom and help the cat stay fit.

Perches

As we mentioned earlier, most cats love to lounge around and look out the window. Setting up cat trees and other platforms the cat can use to look after windows can help improve its mode and keep it entertained. Our cats move from window to window because they know the best time to watch the birds, see the mail carrier, etc.

PetPals Cat Tree
Image Credit: PetPals

Bird Feeders

One of the best ways to keep your cat entertained during the day when you are busy doing other things is to purchase a bird feeder for the window. These feeders are easy to install, and after a few weeks, you will have plenty of birds visiting that will send your cats into a frenzy, especially if you have purchased set up near the window where they can get a good view.

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Summary

In our experience owning multiple cats, the main signs of boredom are loud vocalizations, begging for food, and aggression towards other animals. Our cats will stand just out of sight and meow until we come to see what they want, which inevitably turns into some playtime. Aggression becomes more of a factor once the cats start to get hungry. We see many inexperienced owners mistake the increased vocalizations as cries for food which can quickly lead to weight gain. Even if the cat is crying for food, it’s probably just seeking attention unless it’s mealtime.


Featured Image Credit: victoriyasmail, Shutterstock

Ed Malaker

Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who has contributed to a wide range of blogs that cover tools, pets, guitars, fitness, and computer programming. When he’s not writing, Ed is usually performing DIY projects around the house or working in the garden. He’s also a musician and spends a lot of time helping people fix their guitars and composing music for independent films.