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Do Cats Get Bored?

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  • Do Cats Get Bored?

    I am having a 4-day weekend--hallelujah! I have promised my 2 kitties a crate-free weekend if possible. (So far, I have only had to crate them for 1 hour, when I went out to buy food yesterday. ) (This place is pet-friendly but pets are supposed to be crated when their humans go out.)

    So, here we are, all 3 of us together in our room, and I am getting a lot of work done on my electronic laptop while I have at least 1 warm furry purry laptop in my chair too (last night I had all 3 laptops).

    But about all the kitties are doing is sleeping (with occasional waking intervals to wash and snack).

    They have toys. But it seems as if they are just programmed to sleep sometimes, and at those times they are just not interested in play. I feel I should encourage them to stay awake a little more and DO SOMETHING, but they just aren't interested unless they are in the mood.

    I know a lot of wonderful sayings about cats and sleeping, about how there are no feline insomniacs, how they are great role models for R&R, how a sleeping cat can be not only an effective therapist but an effective teacher as well. Last night at one moment I found myself lying between two warm furry sleeping creatures and felt safer and more secure than I have felt in a long time. And more loved.

    And I want to be good to them too. I don't want them to sleep just because they are bored. I can't take them for walks here (and I don't think they would enjoy it at all anyway). I can't take them to "cat parks" or to the barn to play with the barn cats. I do read to them sometimes (). But sometimes, even when I try to get them to stalk and catch their treats, they just yawn and walk away and curl up somewhere soft for another nap.

    They are healthy. I just want them to be happy too.
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique

  • #2
    Cats require a LOT of sleep, much more than a human or even a dog. One week I was home sick with the flu and pretty much immobilized on the couch. I discovered that cats do absolutely nothing all day. The cat most bonded to me had a very consistent routine. He'd wake up around 6 and watch us (actually my husband, since I was out flat) getting ready for work. Within 15 minutes of hubby going to work he had gone back to bed. He'd stay sleeping most of the day. He'd wake up again in time to greet hubby at the door after work. He'd putter around watching the humans until around 9 PM, at which point he'd put himself to bed again. I'd say he slept around 19 hours a day, every day.


    • #3
      Cats do sleep up to 20 hours a day. Since I've been pretty much couch-bound with the cold from hell, I watch them.....well, sort of, when I see them. A bathroom trip will reveal one stretched out by a window, another on top of the step-ladder, a third on the fridge and the fourth in the porch. The Spotted Wonder will sometimes join me on the couch until the coughing makes it unbearable for her and she buggers off to her window perch. Mine are most active when I get up in the morning, at supper time, and just before I go to bed. These guys are 2, 4, 8 and 12 and the most activity comes when the two youngest get into Bad Goil Mode and chase each other. Louie will sometimes join in but not often.

      What you are seeing is perfectly normal for cats older than a year.
      Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

      Member: Incredible Invisbles


      • #4
        cats do sleep a lot.
        Why can't you take them for walks? I used to walk my cat on a leash, she loved it. Harness, leash, off we'd go. You have to keep in mind that cats don't really respond to "pressure" the way domestic animals do. Domestic animals naturally "give" to pressure and wild animals (and cats) tend to go into a panic instead. So you'll have to strongly suppress anything you learned about training from working with horses n dogs when you move on to cats.
        You can teach cats tricks too- they are very quick to learn if you use cat-appropriate methods, namely, no aversives or punishment, nothing but positive reinforcement.


        • #5
          They do get bored, but it kind of depends on age/personality on how they deal with it. They do need stimulation, whether it comes from you, other cats, playing with toys, etc. Some need crazy play to be content (kittens!) while others are really happy to lounge on your lap and have their ears rubbed.

          Some cats can develop neurotic behaviors from boredom, similar to horses. Over grooming, pica, inappropriate marking, etc.


          • #6
            I wonder this too! I have a 6ish year old cat (not exactly sure his age) who doesn't seem to lead a very entertaining life!

            He and I live alone, so he is by himself during the work day. He always appears to be waking up from a nap when I get home from work, and hangs out with me until bedtime, when he finds the most uncomfortable spot on my body and proceeds to lay on me and purr until we both fall asleep. Rinse and repeat.

            He has 1000 toys, hates all of them, hates catnip, is interested in the laser pointer for a maximum of 5 minutes (we do play with it though) and is just generally unimpressed with most forms of play. He is a gentleman - very well behaved, uses his litter box properly, eats well, drinks well, doesn't jump on anything. He seems to be pretty content, but sometimes I wonder if he's bored or if he hates his life. I keep having to remind myself that he's not so SMRT, so sleeping all day and getting pet by his human might be the best life ever!


            • #7
              my ancient cat loves car rides, goes from window to other window in the back seat. i plan to take her to Petco for window shoppingbirds, mice and fish before o have to puther to sleep. her trip tk the zoo, so to speak


              • #8
                >"Some cats can develop neurotic behaviors from boredom, similar to horses. Over grooming, pica, inappropriate marking, etc."


                They can get bored, especially if they are solo.

                Does he have windows to look out of? How about a bird feeder?

                you can mix up the toys- rotate so they forget about them, then they seem new again. I have some pop-up tunnels that I put out for a week or so, than put away. When I am going to be gone for a long day or whatever, I will pull them out again.

                Vertical challenge (cat tree or otherwise)?

                You can get slow feeders that they can bat at to get kibble.


                • #9
                  Some days I wish my cats would sleep for 20 hrs.

                  The joys of the sphynx. lol

                  As for do they get bored? Oh yes and especially if you have a high drive breed...they get bored very easily and will become annoying if I ignore them for more than 10 minutes. I had only the one for awhile but broke down and got another when he started having what seemed to be separation anxiety. Now they are peas in a pod...sleep together, eat together, groom each other...and curl up in my lap together while giving me the death glare for daring to work on homework. Add in to it that they both have to sleep under the covers glued to my side....I never wanted children but now I feel like I am living with 2 needy toddlers as it is.


                  • #10
                    And old vet prof explained why cats sleep so much: Unlike people and horses, cats have no "stay" mechanisms-- they can't lock their knees or stifles to stay standing up. That means that cats are using muscular energy to just hang around in a way that we don't. And we can stand or go without sleep as long as a horse.

                    IMO, a bored cat gets more active gets more active, not less active. I suppose it might be different if you kept the cat completely isolated, Romanian Orphanage style.

                    Seriously. I think this is a White Person's Problem. Don't be startin' the kittehs on some self-improvement kick where they have to stay awake and perhaps learn to type or get a job. That's not what they were born to do.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat


                    • #11
                      Wellspotted, sounds like you have normal contented kitties to me.

                      If they were bored there would be chewing. Or constant meowing. Or furniture destruction. Or peeing on stuff just because it's there.

                      I think the majority of cats like to chill, and to (as pointed out up thread) Watch Things. They seem to enjoy having a buddy around to Watch as well.

                      And it is a wonderful feeling to wake up sandwiched between sleeping kittehs, is it not?


                      • Original Poster


                        Oh, no, MVP, do you mean I am going to have to cancel the typing teacher? Shoot. Well, maybe she'll give me my money back ....

                        Thank you, everybody, for your feedback. I was thinking of enrolling the kittehs in the neighborhood daycare. The local Yuppie Puppie has just opened a cat branch. Not sure what they're calling it.

                        Years and years and years ago, before even The Old Man was a twinkle in his daddy's eye, and the young girl was still a star (and she still is), I had an only kitten who must have slept ALL DAY LONG while I was at work, because at night when I needed to sleep she would school the Grand National over my bed, over me, down the side, under the bed, up the other side, and over me again.

                        I finally got her a buddy so they could play all day together. Then we all slept at night.

                        I guess I will just let the kittehs sleep when they want to, and still offer toys and games when I want to. After all, even the young one will be 8 next week (where has the time gone?). She is a lot like you describe your kitty, Blondie22.

                        I think the idea of taking the old kitty window shopping at Petco is brilliant! Better than the midway at the cat fair!

                        I think kittehs must have wonderful vivid dream lives. Mine never seem to have nightmares, anyway--although once in a blue moon Little Star Kitty will wake up suddenly, meow, and look surprised to find herself not wherever she just was in her sleep.
                        Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
                        People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
                        "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


                        • #13
                          Your "To Do" list for the cats

                          1. Do your part to prop up the post-Crash economy by spending on cat daycare. You should take the kittehs to the cat branch of your local doggie daycare place. Then blog about it. Inquiring minds want to know.

                          2. I do think there's something to be said for getting animals tired. Clearly it worked to get your nocturnal Grand National cat a buddy. Have you thought about getting a hot walker to help you out? It seems like the obvious lazy-man's solution to the badly behaved animal (or toddler).
                          The armchair saddler
                          Politically Pro-Cat


                          • #14
                            I think cats just happen to be more active at night when we are asleep. My year old kitty is a huge bum, sleeps the whole day away. But since I suffer from insomnia I'm often up til late hours and that's when "his" time is. We usually hear him starting to get revved up around 11pm-we turn out the lights and head for bed, and are kept awake with CRASH! BANG! SCRATCH! He plays for a good part of the night.


                            • #15
                              My cats sleep when I sleep. Hell, I think they sleep all day, too, since they sleep on me if I stay home sick.

                              If they get bored they chase each other around. Sometimes it's during the day. Sometimes it's at night but I've had cats for so long even them running over my body won't really wake me up. One ran across my forehead once. That got my attention - but unexposed body parts, not so much.

                              I have one girl that will massage my head while I sleep. That's pretty cool unless I've forgotten to clip her claws. LOL!
                              "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com