Trainer shares five signs your cat is struggling with boredom — and number four surprised us!

Cat lying on bed looking bored
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Has your cat been behaving strangely? Do they not seem themselves? While it's easy to jump to the conclusion that your feline friend is unwell (and we certainly recommend getting them checked over by a vet if you suspect this), cats can engage in several challenging behaviors when they're feeling bored.

Learning how to play with a cat correctly is a great skill to master, but according to Maria, certified cat behaviorist and trainer, and founder of Cats Explained, it's important to first learn the signs of boredom so that you can be sure this is what's actually driving your cat's behavioral changes.

To help you do just that, Maria has put together a handy Instagram post in which she outlines the top five signs to be on the lookout for that may indicate your feline friend is in need of some extra stimulation. You can check out the post below or read on for a summary of what she has to say...

1. Sleeping more than usual: "A cat who is not getting needed stimulation may become lethargic and spend more time sleeping," says Maria.

2. Eating too much (or too little): "A bored cat may sit at the kibble bowl and eat to pass the time — or they may lose interest in food altogether."

3. Destructive behavior: A lot of pet parents find themselves trying to figure out how to keep cats from scratching furniture, but often scratching is related to boredom. "Boredom can lead to destructive behaviors," explains Maria, "whether from depression or trying to get your attention."

4. Going to the toilet outside of the litter box: If you're asking the question 'why is my cat peeing outside the litter box?', it's worth considering that a lack of enrichment could be the cause. "Changes in bathroom habits are a telltale sign that something is off with your cat," Maria says.

5. Excessive grooming: "Cats who are suffering from boredom may develop nervous habits, like overgrooming."

If you think boredom might be behind your feline friend's out-of-character behavior, our guide to the best cat toys is full of fun playthings they're sure to love.

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.