How Much Exercise Does A 1 Yr Old Cat Need Cat Behavior – Can Your Cat’s Boredom Lead to Illness?

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Cat Behavior – Can Your Cat’s Boredom Lead to Illness?

Imagine being a cat sitting at home all day with the curtains closed with nothing to do and no one to interact with. If you lived in the wild, your natural cat behavior would lead you to observe birds and insects, wander, chase, jump, hide, jump, and spend half the day happily looking for a mouse to eat. You can also defend your territory and flex your muscles. However, indoor cats that don’t get exercise, stimulation and healthy food can suffer. Their boredom can lead to depression or illness.

Watch for signs of boredom

If your cat’s behavior is not what you expected, it may be because he is bored or lonely. Here are some common signs of cat behavior that you may notice.

1. Moving small items or items of clothing around the house while you are away.

2. Pulling hair or grooming obsessively.

3. Throwing things off the counters.

4. Spray or squat to mark territory with deposits of urine or feces.

5. Expressing himself with excessive vocalizations, most likely letting you know he’s bored or lonely.

6. Behaving aggressively or acting out, especially when you leave.

7. Binge eating when there is nothing else to do that feels comforting.

Boredom and depression can be severe

Boredom can cause depression in cats. If left loose for too long, it can also lead to illness and other health problems for the cat. Lack of exercise and stimulation can lead to unhappiness, weak muscles, a sluggish immune system, and ultimately depression or adrenal stress and disease. In fact, behavioral problems in cats are also said to be the most common reason for euthanasia and abandonment of healthy animals. Do NOT let your cat get bored or bored!

Try these healthy cat behavior solutions

  • If you only have one cat, consider getting a feline companion. According to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive® and commissioned by ARM & HAMMER Multi-Cat Strength Cat Litter, animal experts agree that cats are, by nature, social animals, not loners. When asked, more than 8 out of 10 vets agree that cats do NOT prefer to be left alone. (It’s almost as easy to care for two cats as it is for one.)
  • Offer to play with your cat at the same time every day. Cats love routine. Buy or make toys that simulate hunting, chasing, jumping and hiding fun. Spend 20-30 minutes playing with your cats once or twice a day.
  • Set a regular cleaning time several days a week. Keep a few brushes, combs and curlers handy. A good time to do this is after your cat has played and used up some of his frustrated energy because he is ready to be gentle and cuddle.
  • Before you leave the house each day, hide some favorite toys and treats. He rotates his favorite toys to different places every day. Take a plastic ball and put in some healthy treats that take a little work to get out of the slots. This provides exercise and challenge and the reward for the cat’s good behavior is welcome.
  • Give your cat some freedom to walk. Minimize confinement as much as possible. If you don’t already have one, get a tree or climbing tower. Vertical space is just as important for cat health as horizontal space for exercise and agility. You may also want to grab a cat harness and leash and take your cat outside to explore, get some fresh air, and be alone.
  • Make a comfortable spot near a window. Cats love to look out the windows and see birds, insects and many interesting things. If you can place a bird feeder outside a window, where the birds will be safe and your cat can watch, it will provide hours of entertainment, mental stimulation and emotional satisfaction for your cat.
  • Give your cat a scratcher. This gives them a place to shed the old nail sheaths and allows them to exercise and tone their muscles to stay strong. Scratching also relieves stress, frustration and boredom or helps them “warm up” for some play. But best of all, it gives them a proper way to mark their territory with the pads on their paws. (This is much better than improper spraying or other marks or damage to the furniture!)
  • Most important of all, feed your cat high-quality food with real meat, NOT meat by-products. It may cost more, but it can help prevent disease and promote better health, so it will save you money in the long run. Also, cats will eat less and have better nutrition. Do all these things and your cat’s health and behavior will transform to be calmer and happier. In all likelihood, the two of you will also develop a closer bond. SOURCES: Dr. Stefanie Schwartz, DVM, MSc, DACVB (a leading veterinary behaviorist and author) plus the experts at ARM & HAMMER Multi-Cat Strength Litter, who commissioned a CAT-PANION crossover study.

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