• December 17th, 2020
    Written by: Kimberly

    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.

    Signs Your Cat Is Not Getting Enough Attention

    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:

    • Vocalization
    • Pawing or Scratching
    • Jumping on Tables or Counters
    • Knocking Items Over
    • Getting in Your Lap
    • Excessive Eating
    • Reduced Eating

    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.

    How to Spend More Time With Your Cat

    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:

    • Petting - As long as your cat enjoys it, use your 20 minutes to simply pet him. This builds the bond between you and your cat and can reduce stress for both of you.
    • Training - You can train your cat to do simple tricks, such as a high five, to spend some quality time together. Use treats or attention as a motivator. Learning a new trick can also relieve boredom.
    • Toys - Choose toys at the petstore (or make your own) that involve both you and your cat, such as objects on a string or a feather wand.
    • Go Outside - If you have an enclosed area or your cat is comfortable on a leash, a trip outdoors can give you both a chance to experience new sights, smells, and sounds.

    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.