Signs That Your Kitten Is Bored And What You Can Do About It

A cat with no mental stimulation, a sedentary lifestyle and busy pet parents can become bored. There are various ways to stimulate your kitten’s mental enrichment activities and games. 

Here are some signs that your kitten might be bored -

  1. Lethargy: Excessive sleeping throughout the day and night, or even a general lack of curiosity over things that your kitten may have previously shown interest in. 
  2. Excessive grooming: Continuously licking and grooming themselves can sometimes also lead to hair loss and increased hairballs. 
  3. Destructive behaviour: Scratching furniture, urinating or defecating outside the litter box, chasing other animals or people within the house, and many others can be due to boredom. 

A simple way to alleviate this is to provide your kitten with plenty of playtime. 

  1. Use feed dispenser toys to make eating interesting and to hone their hunting behaviours. 
  2. Use a variety of toys to make their playtime more appealing. 

How to make toys interesting?

  • Try to have a wide variety of toys and items that simulate or mimic the ‘prey’ cats naturally hunt (e.g., mice). Toys that have erratic movements and simulate or mimic the movements of prey are very exciting to cats.
  • You should rotate and change your cat’s toys on a routine basis to keep them interested. Some cats become bored with a toy after a few days, some a few weeks, and some prefer only one toy.
  • Also, allow your cat to capture the ‘prey’ at the end of his hunt/play session to satisfy their natural hunting instinct. This also prevents your cat from becoming frustrated.
  • Lasers - Good or Bad?

While lasers are very attractive to most cats, they don’t allow your cat to feel the sense of accomplishment of capturing the prey.  If you use a laser, hide a treat or piece of kibble. Then at the end, let your cat capture the laser where the treat is hidden. This way they will feel accomplished that they captured the prey and are rewarded for it.

  • Cats tend to play more when they are hungry. So, manage their weight, feed them frequent small meals, or even hide food around the house to help encourage them to play more often.
  • Offer dry food in food puzzles to entice your cat. This type of feeding simulates hunting and can aid weight loss in the overweight cat. It is important to have toys and enrichment items (i.e., cat trees, perches, windows to watch outdoor activity) available for your cat to play by themselves when you are not home.
  • You can also create do-it-yourself cat toys made out of common household items (i.e., paper towel rolls, boxes, socks, cardboard, crumpled paper, water bottles, etc.).
  • When your cat walks away from you, they are done playing. Do not force interaction, instead let them initiate, choose, and control the type of human contact they desire. Each cat has their own individual preference regarding how much human interaction they prefer - notice it, respect it, follow it.