Q: Do cats get bored?
A: In a word, yes. This is especially true of single-cat households where it’s up to owners to be parents and social directors. One of my clients has a cat, Sadie, who has no interest in sharing her turf with another cat. That said, my client tries to allow for half-hour playtimes twice a day. In addition she wisely purchased a battery-operated remote-control cat toy designed for tired cat owners. This way after coming home from work, she can sit in a comfortable chair and play with Sadie enough to encourage her to snooze through the night. The only concern is making sure there is a steady supply of batteries!
Cats can get into mischief when they are bored. When a cat starts knocking things over, he usually wants to get your attention, especially if he repeatedly knocks over the same item. This could be a call for food or signaling he’d like some interaction. It’s not fun for you but he is clearly enjoying it.
The holiday season is a good opportunity to purchase new cat toys, so try to redirect boredom with a fishing-pole toy or a nice catnip mouse. Window perches are great for viewing the world and adding an outdoor bird feeder that can be watched through a closed window is fun as well. Carpeted tree houses and circular toys where a ball runs around an inside track are very popular with our feline friends, as are ball-shaped toys that have real treats in them. As the ball rolls across the floor, treats come out of them. Perfect! Instead of stuffing all their toys in a basket, leave some around the house so they can decide when to play with them.
Younger cats require more active play but older cats still want to engage, though they might prefer you do all the work. The bottom line is do make the time to enjoy your cats through interactive play. They will love you for it. As always I welcome your stories and comments.