Cats have a reputation for being independent, rebuffing your attempts to spend time together and cuddle only to demand your attention as soon as you’re busy with something else. It can be easy to assume that cats don’t require our attention so long as we continue providing them food and emptying the litter box.
While all cats will have different personalities, almost every one of them needs to know they are loved by spending regular one-on-one time with their person. This helps them reduce stress and anxiety, avoid unwanted behaviors, and stay happy.
Often the signs of a lonely cat are considered behavior problems since they can be destructive or irritating. But if your cat knows you’ll talk to them if they perform a behavior you don’t like, they learn that continuously doing that action is a way to get your notice. Frequent attention-seeking behaviors include:
Some of these can also be a sign of stress, anxiety, or a physical illness, but spending a bit more time with your cat is the place to start if you can rule those factors out. The need for attention is also likely to increase during times of change, such as a new pet or child in the home or you spending increased time away from the home.
On average, vets recommend dedicating at least 20 minutes a day to your cat. While this can be a relatively small requirement when compared to other pets like dogs, it goes against the idea that cats require little if any care and attention. Some cats do enjoy spending hours alone, but if your cat has displayed any of the symptoms of attention-seeking, consider ways to give her more attention:
Learning how much attention your cat needs to stay happy and healthy depends on her personality. By taking some time to observe her and consider what she is saying with her behavior, you can develop a relationship with plenty of love and care.
And of course, if you find you're unable to give your cat that extra attention she/he loves, contact FurBabies Home Pet Care for home visits.