Tuesday Topic: Bored Cats

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1. The house is a mess!
Objects are scattered askew all over your desk. Your printer has been thoroughly punished for its past offenses, as has the brand new fitted carpet. Kitty is bored, and wants you to know it!
Remember that when your cat becomes very bored and feels neglected, bad attention might seem as desirable as good attention. You can help to prevent destructive behavior by paying your cat lots of attention, and burning off some of her boundless feline boisterousness with playtime. Interactive toys are always a good idea and if you’ve got a cat with energy to burn, walking your cat on a leash might be just what she needs.
2. Are you eating *again*?
You just poured some food into your cat’s bowl ten minutes ago, and it has suddenly disappeared. Your cat is sitting beside her bowl, looking thoroughly underfed and pathetic. How could you be so cruel, human? A pile of food was there ten minutes ago? She has no idea what you’re talking about!
If you find that your kitty is eating more than usual, and appears obsessed with her food bowl to the exclusion of almost everything else, it is very possible that your cat is bored and she’s taken to eating to fill up the emptiness inside her.
3. Cat vs Couch (or Curtains, or…)
Your kitty is bored to death and now your new couch is in tatters.
In the place of happy, fun company, some cats can and will resort to fighting furniture and drapes to get some much-desired attention from their humans. Even negative attention is better than none at all!
If it’s gone this far, you might have to take more drastic measures. No, this doesn’t mean you need to quit your job, no matter what your cat says. But it might be time to consider getting a second feline to keep your bored cat company while you’re gone.
4. Are you sleeping *again*?
Have catnaps become longer and more frequent than usual? You probably never thought it was possible for your cat to nap more than she usually does, but now it has happened and you are at a loss to explain it.
Just like humans, cats can resort to sleeping more to deal with boredom.

Ways to alleviate boredom—
Outside without the risk: If you are able to create some kind of fenced in, outdoor habitat that your cat can reach whenever he wants, this is ideal and will cure a great deal of understimulation.

Catnip: This dried herb has an amazing impact on many, but not all cats, giving them a surge of energy and playfulness that can help them get over the boredom hump. Remember to use it sparingly! A little goes a long way and if you use it too much it can lose much of its effect.

Scratchers: Horizontal cardboard scratchers, vertical posts, carpeted trees—the list goes on! You can’t really give your cat too many options of appropriate scratching surfaces. Cats NEED to scratch, it alleviates stress and gives them an outlet for that natural claw sharpening behavior. The more opportunities they have, the better.

TV: Hey, we watch the tube when we’re bored, why not the cat? There are tons of YouTube channels out there that play videos purely for the interest of cats; and if those fail to grab her attention, put on reruns of Animal Planet!

But the BEST way: Spend time with your cat. Find a toy or toys that he loves and play for 15 or 20 minutes. Roll some kibble across the floor, some cats love the thrill of the chase. Take some time to teach them tricks (and it can be done!), sit, fetch, and beg are pretty easy ones to start with. These actions have the added bonus of creating a stronger bond between you and your cat. Who knows, you may find that he comes to you when he’s bored instead of shredding the new quilt!

Adapted from 7 Signs of a Bored Cat (https://purrfectcatbreeds.com/cat-care/bored-cat/)

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