It may seem difficult to believe, but cats can become bored. Cat lovers are use to seeing their puss sleeping around the house, garden or other favourite haunt and often make the mistaken assumption that cats are lazy and the last thing they want is entertainment. Wrong. Although sleeping may vary depending on your cats character, the fact is that instinctive cat behaviour dictates that they are most active when we are not.
You must always bear in mind that cats are only one small step from their wild cousins. In fact a cat left to its own devises will quickly revert and become feral. In the wild hunting takes place when natural prey is most active, that is, late evening and early morning. For this reason cats can spend much of the daylight hours sleeping or cat napping. However, sleeping could also indicate that the cat is not being stimulated enough. Without a varied and interesting environment cats can quickly become bored, withdrawn, inactive or possibly aggressive. So look closely at your cats behaviour. Other signs of boredom could also include over grooming and overeating or worrying for food.
Although a solitary animal, cats can become lonely if not kept stimulated. How would you feel if you were left for long periods on your own, with no contact, no means of getting to the outside world and nothing to keep you occupied. What we may consider a safe and cosy home for a much loved pet can quickly become little more than a gilded prison. If your cats behaviour show any of the above signs you may want to think about the following.
10 ways to stimulate your cat
- Where possible access should be available to the outside environment. A cats natural instinct is to roam, explore and hunt. Obviously there are a wealth of things to keep a cat entertained in such an environment.
- Spend time with your cat. Talk to it, pet it and play with it. Quality time for you both!
- Get your cat to socialize with other people, new faces and smells are interesting !
- Get another cat. Although it is better to do this when a kitten, older cats can be introduced, but make sure they are compatible.
- A radio or TV left on will make the cat feel that it is not alone. Of course, safety issues should also be considered when leaving on electrical appliances for long periods. So use some common sense here!
- How about a fishy friend ! Fish tanks and goldfish bowls can give a cat hours of fun. Just make sure you have a secure lid !!
- A bird feeder in view from a window encourages instinctive cat behaviour, Enough said!
- Let your cat explore. Get some cat furniture or a cheaper option, some cardboard boxes or maybe both. Variety is the spice of life. This rule applies to your cat as much as you. Cut holes in the boxes, put in some treats and toys. Have some fun with this and so will your cat.
- Food hunt. Hide treats around the house. Loads of fun for kitty !
- Toys. Home made or shop bought these are great ways to stimulate your cats and helps to keep them fit. Always make sure the toy cannot be swallowed.
These are just a few ways to keep your cat amused but let your imagination run wild with this. Also, as already stated, it is important to consider life from the cats perspective. As you need stimulating , so does your cat. Think about how you can encourage your cats behaviour in stimulating and instinctive ways.
Jenny Harper : http://catsbehaviour.blogspot.com