If you are a new cat parent, or you are planning to become one soon, you probably have a lot of cat-related things and concerns on your mind. What food do cats eat? How many toys do they need, what bed or litter box do they prefer, or how much attention do cats need?
Well, in today’s article, we are going to answer the last one!
It’s no secret that most cats are attention seekers. Even though they are low-maintenance and can pretty much fend for themselves, they love to be the center of everyone’s attention and everyone’s favorite pet.
I know my fluffs do! All three of them love when I shower them with affection, each on their own terms, of course. They love when I come home with their favorite treats, when I casually throw their favorite ball, or when I find some time during the day to cuddle with them on the couch.
But, how much attention do cats really need? How much is too much? And what can we do if we end up giving them too little? Let’s find out!
Are cats prone to boredom?
Right off the bat, we have a resounding yes. Our feline companions are prone to boredom.
It’s important to note that indoor fluffs are more likely to get bored than their outdoor counterparts. That’s because there’s nothing much to do inside, as opposed to the great outdoors.
Outside cats can stalk their prey, hunt, explore the territory, climb on trees, and do much more. While inside, they are doomed to play with their toys, interact with their humans, and of course, sleep all day every day.
If cats are not provided with a variety of toys, and if their owners continuously neglect them and their needs, they can become extremely lazy and inactive, which can later result in obesity. That’s not something any cat parent should ever let happen.
Boredom, laziness, and generally being ignored by their owners can also cause cats to withdraw and develop separation anxiety or depression, another thing responsible cat parents should never allow to happen.
The only way to avoid this is to ensure your cat is active and entertained and to provide her with all the attention she needs and deserves.
How much attention do cats need?
Well, if I were to ask all three of my fluffs “Hey, how much attention do cats need?”, the answer would probably be, “All of it! We demand attention 24/7! Meow!” or something along those lines.
However, every feline is different in her own unique way. Some felines are very clingy, and they demand a lot of attention, while others are perfectly fine with being left alone and unbothered.
But, there has to be a middle ground, right? Of course!
On average, the majority of cats require around 30 minutes of their owner’s undivided attention. That includes grooming, playing, and cuddling with them.
Your cat might need more. As I said, mine certainly do. It all depends on how well you know your little fluff and how you truly understand her needs.
How to give your kitty the attention she needs?
If I have learned anything about felines in my life, it’s the fact that they love to be on the receiving end when it comes to attention. Sure, it has to be done on their terms, but they adore it! Especially when it comes from their favorite human.
One way to give your kitty the attention she needs is cuddling. That’s probably the easiest way to show your fluff you care about her. Just make sure you’re not forcing her into anything she’s not comfortable with.
When you want to cuddle with her, you have to play it cool and let her come to you. Choose a comfy and safe spot, like your living room couch, and wait for her to make the first move. Sure, you can bribe her with some yummy treats, but other than that make sure you’re not really going out of your way.
Once she comes to you, make sure you don’t overly squeeze her because that will definitely make her change her mind and go away. Let everything happen slowly – your kitty will prefer that much better.
Another way to shower your furbaby with some attention is by grooming her. One thing is certain – cats love to be brushed! Of course, if that’s something they’re used to. This can be a great way for you two to bond and spend some time together.
The third way in which you can give your cat some attention is by playing with her. By doing so, you’ll not only spend some time with your fluff and show her how much you care but also keep her active and provide her with a way to spend the energy she has stored in her little furry body.
Is there such a thing as too much attention?
Despite what my cats might say, yes – there is such thing as too much attention.
Cats are very sensitive and even though they enjoy being pet the majority of the time, they can get overstimulated. Some kitties get overstimulated way easier and faster than others, and hence can react violently and aggressively.
Their aggressive response has nothing to do with their personality or temper. It’s a natural or psychological response to something that happened to them, that they don’t approve of.
They don’t have full control of their actions, and it’s up to us to keep an eye on them and the signs of them being overstimulated by the amount of attention we gave them.
Some of the warning signs of overstimulation include:
- Wagging tail – When dogs wag their tail it means that they are super excited and happy. But in the feline world, twitching or wagging tail is a big no-no.
- Ears turned back – When you notice your fluff’s ears have gone back, brace yourself for some inevitable scratches.
- Observing your hand – Uh-oh! When your cat’s stare is fixated on your hand, I suggest you run.
- Skin twitching – This only happens when cats are nervous or irritated. So, if you catch your kitty doing it, just know she’s about to attack you.
What is a Velcro cat?
Some cats get easily overstimulated by the attention their owners give them, while others just can’t get enough. Those needy babies are also known as Velcro cats.
This kind of feline meows excessively, follows her owner around their home, and always has to be in his presence. She is overly clingy and will stop at nothing until her owner’s attention is completely dedicated to her.
This can be cute at times, but it can also be very problematic and unhealthy. A Velcro cat will regularly interrupt her owner’s work by jumping on top of his laptop, purposely waking him up in the morning, demanding he watches her as she eats, and so on.
This type of behavior can get very annoying. However, it should also be concerning, especially if it comes out of nowhere. If your cat starts to behave overly clingy, and you feel that’s so unlike her, I advise you to take her to the vet to check whether she’s sick or in some kind of pain.
Sometimes cats become needy when they’re suffering or are in some kind of pain. That’s just their way of letting you know something’s wrong.
6 signs your kitty needs more attention
It’s one thing to wonder how much attention cats need, but something entirely different is to question whether or not we as their owners are doing enough or not.
Maybe cats don’t speak our language, but they sure know how to communicate their feelings. Here are 6 signs your kitty needs more attention than she’s receiving.
1. She is constantly in your way
Does your kitty hop onto your lap, get in your face, follow you around your home (even to the bathroom) while weaving between your legs, or even climb you like a tree? If the answer is yes, then she definitely needs more attention than you’re giving her.
2. She is either too quiet or too vocal
If your fluff is unusually quiet, then she’s giving you the cold shoulder and trying to get back at you because you neglected her. Or if she becomes chatty all of a sudden, she’s probably trying to tell you something, like, “Hey! When are you going to start paying attention to me?”
3. She regularly engages in destructive behavior
When a feline starts engaging in destructive behavior, like knocking things over the table or scratching the furniture, she’s doing it out of boredom and because she lacks proper attention.
4. She experiences the zoomies… more than usual
The reason why your kitty is experiencing zoomies is that she has a lot of pent-up energy inside which comes as a result of her inactivity. Because of this she’ll run like crazy, jump on top of things, and do everything to spend her energy and get your attention.
5. Every once in a while she gets aggressive
When all else fails, scratching you or biting your toes will definitely work. How can you possibly ignore her after that?