What attention do cats need? 5 tips to keep them happy

Last updated on: August 28, 2023 by Crystal Uys

Owner hugging her cat

Although cats can live independently without human attention, they rely on us for love, companionship and food when they live with us. Cats have long had a reputation for being reserved and requiring less time and effort than dogs. But most cats enjoy being with their favorite people and are happy when they feel safe and included.

When it comes to physical activity, cats have relatively modest needs; most are content with about 20-40 minutes a day, divided into two or three play sessions. Even though cats are more independent than dogs in some respects, they still require a lot of time and attention!

In short, all cats need regular physical activity as well as daily love and attention. The exact amount and type of attention your cat needs is specific to her, so pay attention to her behavior. Scroll down to learn more about how to give your cat the attention it needs.

The 5 best ways to give your cat attention:

1. Game time

Cat playing with its owner
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Cats do best when their basic physical activity needs are met. Getting enough exercise helps them maintain good physical health and manage anxiety and stress. Most adult cats need about two or three short daily exercise sessions, and they get bored after 10 or 15 minutes chasing after objects. Playtime is usually the easiest way to get cats moving, and it has the added benefit of being a great bonding activity.

2. Grooming

woman brushing persian cat
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Most cats benefit from regular brushing. Short-haired animals can usually be brushed several times a week, but long-haired cats require more attention. Many cats love to be groomed and can get excited when they see their owners with a brush. Establishing a grooming routine where you brush your pet at the same time every day or every week will benefit your cat and keep him happy.

3. Training

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Some cats love to train, and most cats are relatively easy to teach basic tricks like answering their name, shaking hands, or walking on a leash. Clicker training generally works well with cats because it allows them to identify precisely what you want them to do.

Reward-based training techniques are the way to go with cats; they are usually motivated by treats and petting, and both at the same time are even better! To teach your cat to come when called, stand nearby with a treat and call their name. Give the gift to your friend when he answers. Over time, start to back away a bit until your cat gets up and walks over to you for a snack when you call her name.

4. Relax with their owners

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Most cats enjoy spending time with their owners, but not all cats enjoy being picked up. Cats often sit next to or on top of their favorite people when their humans are watching TV, reading books, or just chatting. Some like to snuggle up to their owners in bed; Cats are known to sleep on people’s heads and get slightly annoyed when there is too much human movement during their sleeping hours.

Whether your pet is a companion cat or prefers to sit next to you, cats enjoy spending time with their owners and feel safe when their owners are around.

5. Talk

Woman playing and talking with her cat
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Many cats love to “talk” with their humans and respond with soft meows when spoken to. Siamese cats are particularly prone to non-stop talking with their owners. When you get home from work or come back from a long trip, your quiet cat probably gets louder to greet you.

You may not have a talkative cat, but most felines like humans to talk to them, and even if your pet is calm, they will appreciate your conversation.

How do I know if my cat is getting enough attention?

Cats often start showing signs of stress and anxiety when they don’t get enough attention. Stressed and anxious cats show a variety of signs, ranging from aggression to hiding. Nervous cats often become restless, shaky and hypervigilant. Excessive grooming is another common indication of feline anxiety. Unfortunately, cats that don’t get enough attention often become destructive.

young cat owner playing with her pet at home
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Do some cats need more attention than others?

The amount of attention a cat needs to be happy often depends on the individual, their level of socialization and their companionship needs. But some breeds, such as Siamese, Burmese, and Bengal cats, often require more attention than others.

Siamese and Burmese cats generally need more attention to be comfortable. Most prefer to spend a lot of time with their human companions and become anxious when left alone for long periods of time. Other breeds, like Bengal cats, have serious exercise needs, generally requiring more activity and interaction than other cats.

Older pets generally require less exercise but often prefer to spend more time napping near their favorite people. Cats benefit from different types of attention; some prefer hugs and others want to play. Your pet’s behavior is the best indicator of whether he is getting enough attention.

cat resting with owner on sofa at home
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Are there ways to keep cats busy when you’re busy?

By giving your cat something to occupy itself with, you are supporting their mental health and reducing the amount of attention they need from you when you come home!

Food puzzles are a great way to provide cats with a fun and entertaining challenge. They require cats to use their paws and problem-solving skills to obtain treats or pieces of kibble. There are many ways to get your cat to have fun, from build diy toys on the purchase of commercial products in specialty pet stores.

Plush toys filled with catnip also offer cats a fun way to spend a few hours. Cats often spend a lot of time napping when left alone, so consider providing your pet with a bed and vertical perches to take advantage of this. They often prefer to sleep high up so they can monitor and react to potential threats, which makes cat trees and shelves fantastic options.


Cats require daily love and attention. They need more than food and a litter box to be happy and healthy! All cats have basic needs for physical activity, also known as playtime. A few short daily sessions are usually enough, but cats also benefit from other types of attention like petting, talking and even to be brushed.

Some cats prefer to bond with their favorite humans during playtime, and others like to spend their evenings snuggled up next to their owners on the couch. Observe your cat’s behavior is the best way to determine if they are getting enough attention.

Featured Image Credit: Wanwajee Weeraphukdee, Shutterstock

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