Is Your Indoor Cat Bored?

June 24th, 2015 by Daniel Mudrick

We know how much you love your cat. You want them to be happy, healthy, and fulfilled.  But if you keep your felines indoors (as we recommend for better long-term cat health), boredom can lead to stress and anxiety!

Instinctually, cats need to feel that they can hunt prey, climb to high vantage points, patrol their territories, and feel safe from predators. Outside, they get to live out these behaviours.

But inside, cats can feel stifled. They may do things you don’t like (like scratching the carpet on the stairs or climbing the cabinets!) – but all they’re trying to do is find an outlet for their natural instincts.

If their basic needs aren’t met, they’ll become stressed and possibly even start acting out. They may be aggressive, withdrawn, nervous, change their litter habits, etc.

Cat health veterinary hospital MississaugaSigns Your Indoor Cat Is Happy

If your indoor cat is enriched and fulfilled, they will display certain behaviours that show they are happy:

  • Confidently explores and inhabits your home, climbing and perching on things
  • Frequently initiates interactions with others (humans or animals) in the house
  • Sleeps in view, may have favourite sleeping places
  • Normal vocalizations (this is different for different cats, so get to know your own kitty!)
  • Consumes small meals and drinks water moderately throughout the day
  • Maintains a steady weight (even a 10% weight gain or weight loss is significant)
  • Uses the litter box 2 – 4 times per day
  • Gently grooms whole body 2 – 3 times per day

If your cat isn’t displaying these behaviours, they could be bored and stressed. If that’s the case, it’s important to work on enriching the environment for them.

Your home needs to provide stimulation for them with things that interest them, without stressing them with an environment they perceive as unsafe.

In our next post, we talk about what indoor cats need for an enriching environment.  Read it now!

>> Bring your cat in for a yearly check-up and ask us about environmental enrichment! Remember: cats are notoriously skilled at hiding discomfort and pain, so a check-up may be the key to an early diagnosis. Make your appointment now!

Reduce your cat’s stress on visits to the vet. Get our free tip sheet on stress-free cat travel.

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About Daniel Mudrick

I'm the owner and founder of Clarkson Village Animal Hospital, a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital that's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Clarkson Village Animal Hospital has always been a dream of mine, and by caring for one patient at a time, the hospital has continued to grow. During those rare times when I'm not at the hospital, I'm at yoga, hiking, gardening, and spending time with my family. I also enjoy reading to stay current on the most recent advances in veterinary medicine.

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