Bored cat.

Watched Aeon Flux, Serenity, Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire. Albertsons delivered around midday. Snoozed on the sofa. I totally managed to avoid doing any coding or game playing. Feels goooood.

Apparently I failed to avoid firing up the laptop tho.

Tried to pet the cat who has been sulking since. Poor thing is bored. She’s scared of noisy toys and big toys. Doesn’t like her little mouse-on-a-wheel toy, she’s gotten lazy about chasing “string” (thanks, Hoof, it lasted a good while).

For a while she seemed to enjoy playing with my hand, but she would always get upset when she hurt me – i.e. often (sharp, sharp claws). I bought a feather on a stick, she seems to be afraid of that. She used to be an outdoor cat, so this has all been a bit of a hit on her. And since she’s started losing interest in the few things I’d found that amused her, she’s gotten more grouchy.

Any bright ideas? (Other than: “skin her”, “feed her to a croc”, “feed her to the neighbors dog”, “don’t feed her”, “feed on her”, “get a dog”, “get a croc”, “crossbreed a dog and a croc to make the swimming death-dog”, etc…)

26 Comments

This may seem like a silly question, but do you talk to her?

My cats expect me to talk to them and they get crabby if I don’t. Of course, they also try to talk back, so if your cat is a very quiet one, that may not be what’s going on.

She doesn’t seem big on being talked to – its just more noise. She’s not a very people person, she’s one of those cats big on maintaining the appearance that she just happens to be in the same room as you sort of thing.

You say “she used to be an outdoor cat” does this mean she doesn’t go out anymore, or can’t go out?

ps, my cat is looking at me now with that “I not only know what you are doing, I also know I could do it better” kind of expression!

have you tried buying a toy with catnip in it?
Some cats just cant leave those alone…

//Gasol

Yeah, catnip works on most cats (for 10 min every hour or so).

Laser pointers are great.

Most cats like a substance of some sort, and if it can be made into a ball, you’re lucky. Try things such as a ball of paper, tin foil, and rubber bands.

She was abandoned for at least 6 months, probably more like a year, probably as a kitten, and it took me about 6 months to get serious about adopting her, and about a year before she started spending more time in the house than out.

These days she sits on a little cat-scratch-post thing and looks out the patio door. She’ll go outside when I open the door, but recently only if I say “I won’t close the door”, and lately usually only if I’m not lying ;)

She doesn’t scratch the post thing, by the way. I also tried one of those 30degree angled sisal scratcher things. If I turned it on its side so it was 60deg and sprinkled some catnip on it, she’d rub on it for a bit, and then be in a very difficult mood. She did like that. But then I changed catnip and she didn’t like it. I had some of the old left and that always worked. But I couldn’t ever find it again.

I actually bought her one of those “cat spa” things, that you sprinkle a bit of catnip on and they go wappy over. She was scared of it. I figured, “give her time”. But occasionally other cats steal into the house when I’m leaving the door open for her, and every single bloody one goes up to the thing, no matter how timid, and loves on it.

Oh, and she hates other cats, male and female.

I’ve tried rolling bits of stuff up like paper and etc. She’s not a mouser, it seems. If I had tiled or wooden floors it might work out a bit better, but she’s only interested so long as they are within fairly easy range and/or they keep moving. Bottle tops, paper balls, fluffy/crinkly things… All lose interest about 6in away from her. So I tried rolling them at her, and she gets scared and runs away (and no, I didn’t “hurl” them at her :-P)

The only successes so far have been:
– Hiding spaces (cat tunnel, boxes arranged to sneak under…)
– Bits of strap-wrapping, elastic and string (she won’t play with those indoors any more, and it’s really hard work to get her to play with them outside, she’ll give them a moments interest for a few seconds if another cat is around, kinda like “Hey look, I can play too. And I’m bored now”)
– Insecting my hand/fingers on the steps of my spiral stairs while she’s sitting there, this works for a while until it starts to feel like hard work for her, at which point she starts to hiss, bite and make real use of her incredibly sharp claws :(
I had some serious cuts on my hands/arms thanks to baby – they were concerned about me at work.

Table Tennis ball + empty Bath tub.

If you think she’s having fun when she’s shredding your arms, try playing with her with a rawhide glove and the kind of leather arm protector that falconers use. Then you won’t cut the game short by starting to yelp and bleed all over.

If OTOH she starts shredding you in order to get you to go away and stop bothering her, then armoring yourself probably would just lead to her becoming scared of you or finding other ways to hurt you.

Cats that have been psychologically scarred early so that they are antisocial are really difficult to make happy. If the only friend she has is you, all you can do is maximize your presence. I had a cat for a long time that I adopted off the street, and she was that way.

Is CRS pet-friendly…could you take her to work and keep her in your office? If she could tolerate the travel, she might like the change of environment combined with spending more time with you.

it could be diet related.

Have you thought about what you’re feeding her?

JW: She does show an affinity for being “around” me, although she’s rarely keen on being near me. She will, for instance, hop up and sleep curled up right next to me as long as the chances of me petting her are minimal. If she’s not asleep when I go to bed, she’ll often come thru, but if I’m not in bed when she comes into the room she cancels her plans and behaves most put out.

Unusual: When she first started visiting she was interested in everything I ate. I’d hand-feed her bits of ham from a sandwich and she loved it. But then she got a bit fussier and wanted it on a bowl. Eventually I tried serving her friskies (dry) and she liked those. She seems to have a passion for crunchy food. Moist food she invariably just licks. She will only eat non-sliced foods if she’s really starving. She detests Salmon. Not crazy on turkey.

Most of the time what I feed her is one of Meow Mixes pouches, she seems to really like these: Red Snapper, Beef, Tuna and the one she likes most consistently is the Mackerel. I occasionally give her Fancy Feast trout, chicken less often because she’s about 50-50 on eating or or not.

And she has an auto-feeder full of crunchy stuff — I put in Iams stuff for urinary tract, Iams weight control stuff, Purina catchow and one other I can’t remember. I drop in the occasional treats into that too.

Keep a bowl of water clean and topped up regularly. Once every 3-4 weeks she might get a drop of milk, occasionally some cheese which she totally adores.

That seems ok, though you might want to check how much magnesium and phosphorus is in the crunchy stuff, especially if the urinary tract stuff you’re giving her is aimed at keeping the urine pH acidic. Eating ad libitum as she does is the best option to avoid stones, crystals or plugs.

Laser pointer.

Interesting, will give that a try, Snail, thanks!

Hiya! this might be a bit too late but… ohwell.
my cat acts quite like yours, i buy a lot of toys but hes just not interested!?! someties he looks as though he’s gonna pounce but then forgets what hes was doing. Anyways if your cat isnt as active than it might be to do with her wieght, my cat used to be quiteplayful before he turned fat. also neutered cats are often less active!
hope it helps and pls give sujestions for a more playful kitty

Thank you, Seesee :)

She’s actually relatively slim, she could be a couple of pounds slimmer but otherwise she’s pretty healthy. She was neutered probably some time not long before I got her.

Lately she’s stopped pretty much all play activities, her only real activity being the walks she goes on with me :( And even those she’s becoming less interested in since other cats started joining us for the walk.

my cat looks out the window alot,i figured he might want to leave the house sometimes because he looked so unhappy and bored.
none of the toys seemed to help so i tried taking my cat out at night for a walk, but he was too scared even to leave the bag.
You can try to cover a row of chairs with a blanket so that it makes a tunnel thing, my other cat really likes to run through it and the other bored one likes to sleep ontop! And they tend to be more playful at night :D

Hehe – I did actually buy a tunnel, and for a while she liked sleeping in it, but I left my balcony door open once and a male cat got in, and hid in the tunnel, and despite washing it several times, she won’t ever go back in it.

I do occasionally do things like make little cubby-holes out of boxes and things, but I’m always wary of putting a box down in a way that she might take to be a litter tray of some kind.

The taking her for a walk thing was pretty natural, I don’t have her on a leash or anything, and we make a couple of pit-stops — I found a tree for her to scratch her claws up against, ending her reign of terror vs my sofa, and she found an out of the way bit of grass to do a number 1 on, and I won’t take her for a walk unless she’s recently done a no. 2 in the litter tray, which means I’ve never had to scoop after her :)

That is awesome that you can take your cat with you on walks.

I used to be a dog person, but have lived with some great cats while working from home and have gotten very attached :-)

I’ve found the best quality time with cats = laying in bed on a rainy Sunday morning.

They also seem to like playing “mousey-mousey” when I drum my fingers on the side of the box, door, etc, while they are on the other side of it. Or chasing string tied to clothes-lines (the rotating Hills-hoist kind).

But oftentimes, both parties simply find it a pleasure just hanging in the same room.

My brother-in-law recently bought a new pair of shoes, the shoebox from which has become the #1 all-time favorite toy (if that’s the right term) of their cat.

The shoebox sits on a window ledge with a panoramic view of the back yard, and gets varied light including some sunlight. The cat uses it like a couch…curled up in it with his head on the box-edge to lazily watch the yard, or half-sleeping on his back with various extremities hanging over the edges, or sitting in it and meowing for attention, etc., etc. My sister’s conclusion is that his perspective is that they finally got some decent cat-furniture.

my cat has a noddle carton to sleep in. i put it my room porch so he didnt have to sleep on the floor. he seems to like it in the mornings best, when the light isnt strong but warm. he would lie on his back, show his big belly and open his legs (yes he’s a real sexy beast!)
he’s only 4yrs old and already obese even my older cat would play once in a while
now i’m starting to put him on a diet, im hiding his food tray and hoping he would play more!
Today im going to hunt for more kitty toys, such money drainers :p

This may sound wierd, and may or may not work for you. My cats really respond to me when I talk to them in a whisper. Also, do you brush your cat daily? Since I started brushing my two every day they seem to sleep with me a lot more at night. Contrary to popular belief, cats are not loners. They are social creatures. I suspect brushing mimics the grooming they receive from the other cats in their social group. Grooming each other creates bonds. Since you are the only member of her social group and you aren’t “grooming” her, she may feel a little detached from you and a little depressed from this lack of interaction. Oh, one more thing. When you pet her, do you wait to see if she’s given you permission first? If you put your hand next to her head and she rubs against it, she’s saying she feels like getting some love. If she doesn’t do anything or turns her head away she’s saying no thanks, not right now. If you just reach out and pet her whether she likes it or not, this probably puts her off. And if you’ve pet her consistently when she’s not been in the mood, that’s created a negative reinforcement. She just automatically pulls away each time you reach for her. It may take a while, but if you change your behavior, she will ultimately change hers. She’ll trust you more if she is confident she’s not going to get unwanted or unsolicited affection.

Most of the time *everything* I do with the cat I present as a choice at first. I do kinda whisper but I mostly adjust the pitch of my voice to one I’ve found most cats respond to. I generally try to use gestures or stock-words to indicate things to her as options.

And I frequently offer my hand to her before petting but I don’t think she knew what petting was, she’s *never* rubbed it just doesn’t occur to her.

I’ve always had a strange thing for “nosing” a cats head, I try to simulate the grooming I used to see my cats do, and I’ve always found it to be one of *the* most helpful bonding methods (as long as you aren’t looming in from infront of them, although in the case of this cat it helped make her less aggressive towards my face, early on she was terrified of having my face near her and actually bit me in the face once when I was holding her and she turned to find it right up close to her)

I do have a nasty tendency to pick her up without getting consent, and that may have gotten out of balance lately because she had started to learn she could come sit on my lap, but she’s almost stopped doing that again now; and she’d also picked a few bad times to make the choice, which I think gave her the signal that it wasn’t OK to “choose” to come be with me.

The real big issue we have at the moment is, I think, that she’s very lacking stimulation. She’s bored. She is very timid about playing. She’s not a swatter. She seems to be afraid of playing on her own. In 2005 I was sitting up in my little loft and I heard her running about. I tried very cautiously to peer down over the balcony and see what she was doing but she heard me and sat down and looked at me.

For a while she stopped participating in the one form of play I’d found her keen on – chasing little bits of string or string-like things. She doesn’t like feathers or feather lures. Just string. And she’ll chase it for a few minutes and then lose interest.

Lately she’s started pawing at some video cables I’ve left on the floor, until she tried biting the end of one the other day. I asked my vet to check if she had mouth/gum issues because she always seems to act like she’s the one being hurt when she bites, although she *adores* eating anything crunchy – from dry cat treats to fries!

Lately she’s started picking a spot in the room I think she feels will be in my center of view and sitting down facing me with an expectant look. I’m getting worried because there’s a just ever-so slight amount of rocking, could just be her breathing, but I think being cooped up in my little 3 room apt is starting to get to her. It’s been too cold to go out for walks, and it could just be that she misses the walks. (She follows me as I do circuits of the various blocks in the apt complex, and I usually stop by a tree just behind our apartment so she can get a good stretch and scratch off on it)

I’ll try getting back into offering attention again, but the main problem was she didn’t seem to know what was on offer to accept it.

The hand sign for me and my orange tabby for “come get some love” is to turn my palm down and make a kind of scurrying spider type action with my fingers. He responds very well to this, but my siamese still doesn’t get it- he’s responds more to vocalization. I will concur on the small space thing. My big pile of orange cat is much more active and seems much happier since we moved from our tiny apt into a spacious house. My siamese seems less bored too. Do you have anywhere to set up a bird feeder or even just some suet outside to where she could watch? They also make bird and squirrel videos for indoor cats. I also buy pots of grass and parsley for mine. They enjoy grazing. Do you have anywhere to put up a cat enclosure outside? Manufacturers can come up with just about anything – even ones that are practically invisible. Cat Fancy magazine has lots of ads for this type of stuff. It may also serve as a resource for ideas on other activities for her.

my cat loves to be massaged. when i have the time or think of it, instead of just patting her, i give her a fingertip massage….. starting at her head between the ears, moving to the neck, shoulders, between the shoulder blades and the whole way down her spine. SHE LOVES IT!!!!!

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