Why Does My Cat Look Bored?

Do you have a cat who looks bored? Is there something you should do to help your cat relieve this boredom and feel better? Is your cat even really bored at all?

Many cat owners, both first timers and experienced alike, have trouble understanding the needs of their pets. It can be difficult to recognize what your cat needs if they are feeling bored, and it can sometimes even be hard to tell if they are bored in the first place. In the article below, we’ll help you learn more about feline boredom and what, if anything, you can do about it.

Cat Boredom

Lack of Physical Stimulation

One of the most common causes of boredom in cats is a lack of physical stimulation. If your cat is an indoor-only pet, they likely don’t get much of a chance to run, jump, and play like outdoor cats might. They may also not get to hunt or chase prey, which can be detrimental to the physical stimulation needed, too. Although indoor life is always recommended for pet cats and is the much safer choice, it’s important to find ways to bring a little bit of physical stimulation into your indoor cat’s life, too.

If you have an indoor cat, stock up on toys and pet furniture that can help them stay active. Give your cat several different types of toys to choose from every day, including kick toys, balls, wands, and more. Supply them with a cat tower or other climbing surfaces to enjoy, and make sure there are plenty of surfaces that are safe to scratch on, too. With plenty of physical play options throughout the home, your cat will be much less likely to get bored and will instead find ways to occupy time with a routine they can enjoy.

Lack of Mental Stimulation

Along with a lack of physical stimulation, some cats may experience a lack of mental stimulation as well. It is possible that your cat could be feeling bored because they don’t have enough to think about during the day. If this is the case, you’ll need to provide a variety of mental experiences throughout the home and allow them to choose how to spend the time. There are many potential toys and other items you can purchase to help your cat keep their mind occupied at the same time as getting physical stimulation, too.

Treat balls and treat puzzle toys are some of the best ways to provide mental stimulation for your cat. These toys can be filled with treats and used to encourage your cat to play. At the same time, your cat will work on figuring out the puzzle to receive the treats inside, so they will need to use their mind as well. Another good method of encouraging mental stimulation for your cat is with interactive play, which involves you and your cat both playing together. Wand toys and other similar items can be used for this purpose.

Not Really Bored

Some cats may just look bored or have a grumpy expression without actually being bored at all. Remember that a cat’s facial expressions are different from those of a human, so it’s important not to project or anthropomorphize too much when considering your pet’s needs.

Just because your cat has a bored facial expression, this does not mean they are bored. Look instead for other signs, such as excessive grooming, crying for attention, or aggression, which can all indicate your cat isn’t getting enough physical or mental stimulation throughout the day.

Lethargy or Depression

Keep in mind, too, that lethargy and depression may sometimes look like boredom in cats. If you suspect your cat may be depressed or have anxiety problems, you may need to talk to your vet about putting them on an antidepressant or an anti-anxiety medication.

And if your cat is lethargic or weak, this can indicate that there’s something going wrong with their physical health instead. Lethargic cats need to be examined by a vet to determine the underlying cause of their lethargy and to find the right treatment or management for the issue as well.

Talk with Your Heart + Paw Vet About Cat Boredom 

If you think your cat is bored, follow the tips on this list to give them something interesting to occupy the time. And if your cat simply has a bored expression but seems fine otherwise, remember that they may not be bored at all!

For any further questions or concerns about your cat’s health, wellness, and emotional state, be sure to talk to your Heart + Paw veterinarian by booking an appointment online at any of our locations. Your vet can examine your cat in person and tell you more about their specific needs and individual health as well. The vet can also help you choose the best remedy for your pet’s boredom, if needed.

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Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.

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