Feline Behaviour: Nine signs your indoor cat is bored

Cats.

Love ’em, or hate ’em (but, really, how is that even possible?), according to the interwebs, we’re still undeniably obsessed with them.

And why wouldn’t we be? Between the soft cuteness, the feisty sass and the huggable-sized deliciousness, they’re pretty darn irresistible.

So, naturally, it’ll come as no surprise that cats are arguably the most popular pet out there. In fact, and according to Holly and Hugo, cats outnumber dogs by about three to one and one third of US households host one or more cats.

Fun cat fact: California is the United State’s most cat-loving state with over 18,000 registered cats. 

And of course, as the besotted human slaves to our feline YouTube stars, we want to keep our cats healthy, happy and delightfully content for their hopefully long and illustrious lives.

Which means that many cat owners are choosing to keep their pets indoors to protect them from threats such as cars and other predators. (Read this if you’d like to check out the other reasons why keeping your cat indoors might be a good idea.)

There’s just one problem: Even though keeping your cat indoors has been statistically proven to double and even triple their life expectancy, cats weren’t designed to live indoors. 

They haven’t evolved to live cooped up inside our apartments or homes. In fact, on the domestication scale, they’re a lot closer to their wild ancestors than other pets such as the dog are to their wild ancestors.

Which means cats need to indulge in their natural and predatory instincts. And if they aren’t kept entertained, amused and fulfilled, they can quickly become bored and unhappy. But how can you tell if your humble abode is home to a frustrated feline?

Here are nine signs that your indoor cat is bored:

  1. He is destructive and destroys furniture, clothing, curtains and pretty much anything else he can get his paws on.
  2. He is prone to frequent ‘talking’ and meowing (in breeds like the Siamese this is standard behaviour, but in other breeds this can be a sign that your cat is bored and lonely).
  3. She is a ‘comfort eater’ and may have some extra padding, a.k.a feline fat. (P.S. Here’s why you shouldn’t let your cat become overweight.)
  4. Alternatively, she may have lost interest in food and even lost weight.
  5. You feel he may be anxious and/or depressed. Signs of this are constant grooming, under-eating or over-eating, lethargy and aggression.
  6. She sleeps. A lot. 
  7. He paces. Constantly. 
  8. She’s literally climbing the walls and those 3am nudie runs (you know the type; when she thinks she’s prepping for a zombie apocalypse and runs around the house like a crazy) are becoming more and more frequent. 
  9. She spends a significant amount of her day confined and/or alone. Think about it; you’d get pretty bored if you were in her situation too.

So, how can you keep your indoor cat happy and entertained? Stay tuned for part three of this series on how you can create a zen and boredom-free home for your indoor cat.

Searching for a toy that’ll ease your indoor cat’s boredom? Check out my review of the Catit Senses Play Circuit

Disclaimer: Please consult your trusted vet or holistic animal health expert before making any changes to your pet’s diet or lifestyle. While I aim to offer well-researched and balanced articles, I am by no means as well-informed as your veterinarian. Please use your own inner guidance and the wisdom of the pro’s when making decisions regarding your pet’s wellbeing.

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