It is quite challenging to decipher exactly what a bored cat should look like. After all, our furry friends spend so much of their time chilling out or just napping. However, mental stimulation and physical activities are essential components of a cat’s health. According to physical therapists for animals, bored cats often seem to be happy lying on the couch all day, but these animals are intelligent, and most people often forget that they too require mental engagement and stimulation. If you think your cat is bored, here are a few things that you need to understand to help your pet battle boredom.
Do cats get lonely?
Given that cats are such self-sufficient and independent beings, cat owners never think of asking the question, “is my cat lonely?” In fact, cats do yearn for our interaction and attention. Without such attention, felines often get depressed, become lethargic, and lose their appetite.
How to Entertain your Pet
- Add a new kitten – Consider adding a second cat in your small cat family. This is an excellent way to offer extra interaction and keep loneliness at bay. Adding a new kitten can be quite helpful, especially if your cat is really bored. Many cat parents get two cat pets, which significantly benefits the kittens while also offering the parents the much-needed peace of mind and joy associated with watching your pets romp together. However, do not forget that it is essential to join and have fun with your pets once in a while. Actively playing with the cats will create a deep connection that will ultimately lead to a lifetime of joy and happy play. Cats can feel our emotions, and our excitement will go a long way in making the games more enjoyable for them. However, it is key to understand that if your cat seems to be very territorial, going out immediately and bringing in a second kitten may not solve the issue. In fact, it might add to it. If your cat is unusually territorial, you should add a new kitten very slowly. Start off by bringing in new toys and blankets that have scents of future playmates, like the kittens of your neighbors, friends, and family members. Introduce your pet to these toys in a positive manner so that it can start linking foreign animals to friendships. Treats can add the much needed positive reinforcement.
- Keep Plat Dates Short – Once you have introduced your pet to the smell of your neighbor’s or friend’s cat, have the animals meet in a neutral area within your home. Ensure that you pick an area that your cat is not likely to consider as part of its domain. Give the two kittens a short duration of time just to determine their level of interaction. If they get along pretty well, allow the date to go on. It is most likely, however, that since you cat is territorial, the two will not get along as your kitten will not be okay with the idea of having a new cat within its territorial space for long. Once you sense that your cat is getting territorial or anxious, end the date immediately. Give your old pet and your new kitten as much space and time as possible to develop a liking for each other.
- Let your cat have a view – If getting another cat has proven to be futile, there is one other way to let your cat feel less lonely. Indoor cats always like it when they have a chance to view the world outside – regardless of whether that is from a window perch or a cozy bed near the glass door. Set up a feeder that is in close view from your cat’s perch. Seeing the birds outside will surely be a stimulating activity for an introverted animal. However, you must make sure that your pet cannot open the window or the door once they get too excited.
- Interactive cat toys – Entertaining your pet involves more than just hanging toys somewhere. Cats do best on interactive play, like laser tag and feather wand toys. Such games can lead to increased physical activities like jumping and other related antics.
- Soothing Sounds – It is quite likely that your pet needs some bit of background noise to offer some distraction from what they are feeling or thinking while they are lonely. Consider leaving the television on or playing some classical music while you leave for work.
- Scent Searching – Try rolling a ball of socks and spraying perfume on them to give your cat something it can focus on while you are away. Ensure that you scatter the socks evenly throughout your home and your pet will be on the look for hours, delighted by the vast array of great scents.
- Interaction – Food dispensers can be your redeemer – ensure your kittens are not bored by working for their food and also satisfying their innate instinct to hunt. Food dispensers also encourage slower eating. Slower eating can really help in maintaining a healthy weight index and digestion tract. Such interactive toys can also keep your cats active by giving them a reason to exercise. It is quite common for kittens to develop considerable changes in behavior if left alone for long. Cats crave for stimulation, just like humans do, and they also have to battle the same feelings associated with boredom and loneliness.
- Build a Fun zone – Once your pet is old enough to play, a special area that has been set apart and dedicated for this purpose is essential. Consider setting up cat scratchers or a beautiful cat tree that is designed for climbing and other claw exercises. A cat perch that is strategically placed to overlook the yard will also afford your animal a few hours of entertainment.
Lastly, do not overlook mental forms of entertainment. For introverted cats, having toys with birds or fish on a screen will keep their attention for some time. Cats are visual animals after all.