7 signs your pet is BORED!

A terrier laying on a bed with its chin down looking bored

Life with a pet is always interesting but sometimes you might be left scratching your head over their strange behaviour. When your normally placid pooch starts tearing round the house and chewing up furniture you’ll obviously get concerned. And the same goes for cat owners. Those cute kitties can also play havoc around the home for seemingly no apparent reason.

A common answer to changes in behaviour in both cats and dogs is the fact they’re feeling bored. Read on to find out the clues that’ll let you know your pet needs some more excitement in their lives.

However, sometimes changes in behaviour can be a result of a more serious medical issue requiring treatment. Having adequate insurance for your pet in place means you’ll always be able to get professional help as soon as you notice something untoward.

Why do pets get bored?

Dogs and cats are intelligent creatures who like nothing better than exploring interesting places and smells and investigating their environment.

If you have an indoor cat or a dog who is sitting around the house all day waiting for you to come home, then they’re likely to get bored.

Remember also that cats and dogs are unable to communicate their needs to you and have to develop other behaviours in order to show you what is wrong.

Indeed, if their needs for mental and physical stimulation are not met for long periods of time, they can even become depressed and anxious.

A bored looking pug laying down with its chin on the floor

Warning signs of boredom

Spotting the signs of boredom means you’ll be able to take action before any damage is done to your precious pet. Here are the top seven signs that your pet might be feeling bored and needs some TLC.

  1. Destructive behaviour

Scratching the back of your expensive designer sofa or chewing table legs when you’re not around is an expensive way to let you know they’re in need of attention. Some of this behaviour is to be expected, particularly if they’ve lost their favourite scratching post or chew toy. However, if it becomes excessive or is taking place in other areas of the house then there might be a problem that needs addressing.

  1. Repetitive or obsessive behaviours

Just like their human owners, pets can develop such behaviours as a result of boredom, stress and anxiety. In dogs you might notice pacing, tail or shadow chasing, spinning or excessive licking, scratching or biting. While in cats look out for excessive grooming, pulling or ripping of fur, chewing fabric and excessive vocalisation. These behaviours may seem harmless but they can easily develop into something more serious if left unchallenged.

  1. Over- or under-eating

Some cats and pooches do eat more or less than others but a noticeable change in appetite could be a cause for concern. Begging for food more frequently can also be a sign a remedy for boredom is needed.

A cat eating out of its food bowl

  1. Toilet issues

If your house-trained pet suddenly changes their toilet behaviours then they could be telling you they want more attention.

  1. Sleeping more than normal

While cats and dogs sleep far more than humans (up to 16 hours and 14 hours a day depending on their age) it’s worth keeping an eye out for over-sleeping. Check for any potential health issues first before moving onto boredom as a possible cause.

Arranging pet insurance through Purely Pets means you have round-the-clock access to a Vet Helpline to get advice and guidance for any pet-related questions.

  1. Fighting and aggression towards other pets

Pets often enjoy playing together but sometimes boredom in one or more of the animals can lead to something more serious. Look out for excessive chasing, harming another pet, over alertness, hissing or barking.

Animal bites and scratches can cause serious harm to your beloved pets. So, if it seems like things are getting out of hand then you’ll need to step in as soon as possible.

  1. Pawing and attention seeking

We love getting attention from our adorable furry friends but sometimes it can become too much for even the most loving pet parent. Constant whining, nudging, pawing and otherwise begging for attention could be signs of boredom.

An owner leaning down to stroke a cat in a kitchen

Top tips if your pet is bored

There are plenty of ways to make your pet content in no time.

  • Toys – Pet stores are full to bursting with stimulating toys to give your pet some much needed fun and engagement. From tough squeaky toys to squishy puzzle toys you and your pet will have hours of fun choosing and playing with these boredom busters.

  • Tasty surprises – Hiding small treats around the house or inside puzzle toys is a good way to provide your pet with some extra interest while exploring their territory.

  • Activity and scratching posts – Providing cats with an acceptable place to scratch and something to perch and climb on is vital. Dogs also can benefit from activity posts or other items to let them test their agility.

  • Regular playtime – A few bursts of regular daily play with your pet will do wonders for their mental wellbeing.

  • Exercise – Getting your dog or even your cat out for a walk and some exercise will help put boredom to bed. If that’s difficult to fit into your schedule then hire a dog walker or cat sitter to pop in and give them some time.

  • Time for a friend? – Getting another furry friend to keep them company is always worth considering if you have the budget and room.

How insurance from Purely Pets can help

Whether it’s boredom or something more serious, a trip to the vets is a good way to put both your minds at rest.

However, it’s all too easy to incur unexpected costs such as vet bills when taking care of your pet. That’s why Purely Pets is here to help cover the costs.

The caring team of pet lovers at Purely Pets make finding pet insurance both simple and transparent. Choosing award-winning cover from Purely Pets means you’ll benefit from:

  • 15 levels of lifetime cover to choose from

  • Excess starting from £60

  • Online claims

  • Lifetime cover from £1,000 up to £15,000

Get a pet insurance quote today.

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.

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