How Much Attention Do Cats Need

Perhaps pet parents of cats have wondered why you’ll be serenely patting your cat, and the next minute he’ll be snooty and unsociable.

Some days he’ll rub against you all day and night, but on other days he won’t have anything to do with you.

Plants benefit from attention, people seek it, and so do cats. The trouble is that cats need our attention more than anything, but they stick their furry noses in the air and won’t admit it. How much attention do cats actually need?

What Cats Are Not

To many people, animals are nice, furry things you see on TV shows or in the homes of friends and family. They chuck chins, rub their ears, and everyone is happy. To these people, animals are part of the scenery.

Other people like the idea of having animals about, but the animals don’t touch their hearts. And if the animal gets depressed when he senses this, the owner simply thinks that’s part of the animal.

Cats are not part of cute woodland animals wallpaper. They are not stuffed animals that look cute on the chair or the bed. They’re real, and they have feelings just like you and I have.

They get depressed and hurt when their people don’t pay any attention to them. This is how much attention cats truly need.

Do Indoor Cats Need More Attention Than Outdoor Cats?

Yes. How much depends for a large part on the breed of cat. You also have to factor in the cat’s personality, if he was adopted, and how he was treated by his previous pet parents.

Lots of cats want, need, and crave attention. They will always act within the “cat credo,” though, with nose in the air and tail swishing even as they seek it.

We don’t see many outdoor cats. They mainly stay to themselves, and if they get attention from humans, then they get it somewhere else. Cats are sociable creatures, and they’ll get attention from each other or from their human pet parents.

Indoor and outdoor cats meow to each other through windows or doors for attention.

If you have a job that keeps you out all day and half the night, then your cat will be lonely. If you work the overnight shift and sleep all day, your cat will be lonely.

In these instances, it would be a good idea to get another cat, so your cat will have something or someone with which to interact.

Cats form a bond with whomever they are closest. If you’re in your home alone, then obviously your cat will bond with you.

This bond could begin in kittenhood, or it could begin when you adopt your cat. However it began, you are the only person from whom your cat wants attention.

Cats Are Emotional Creatures

Have you noticed how a cat will hover over or near you when you’re ill? Have you ever seen a cat whose furry face was a mask of concern when he smelled, heard, or sensed something wrong?

Do you remember the famous meme of a firefighter carrying a traumatized white cat from a burning house?

Cats don’t give their love easily. If you’re standoffish, chances are good your cat will be, too. Another thing to think about is that cats respond well to emotionally happy, laughing pet parents.

Cats will rub against their pet parents in order to ask for attention. They’ll meow all day, or get into mischief just to get your attention.

On the other hand, when your cat walks away when you try to pat him, he’s just not in the mood. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you, it just means “later, dude.”

Learn Your Cat’s Moods

When does a purr mean something other than happiness? Cats purr no matter what, but purring while they’re sick is a method of keeping themselves calm and handling the pain.

Are cats playing when they hide beneath the bed? No. Cats hide when they’re sick. In the wild, a sick animal is prime prey, so cats hide in order not to become supper for something.

Cats rub their cheeks against people, furniture, toys, anything that will scratch. It’s not that they can’t scratch their cheeks with their claws. They can.

That’s their method of saying, “hi, wanna snuggle?” When they flip over onto their backs, yep, that’s their way of asking if you’ll rub their belly.

It isn’t hard to decipher a cat’s moods. If he’s off his food or sleeps for too long, get him to a vet. When he wants affection, he’ll come to you. He’ll purr, rub against you, and pat those velvet paws on your arm or leg very straightforwardly.

When A Cat Isn’t Seeking Attention, But Something Else

How do you know, when your cat is meowing, that he doesn’t want attention? Look at his food bowl, his water bowl, and his litter box. If these things are full, look at his toys. Maybe he needs a new one.

Some people give an animal food because he barks, meows, chatters, or whatever. Animals know that, so they engage in the behavior that gets them more food during the day and night.

Bored cats will do anything to get entertainment. They’ll use you for entertainment, play with you to get some exercise and to burn off all that energy.

Signs To Look For When Cats Need Attention

You’re a very well-informed pet parent, aware that your cat is different when he’s ill and when he’s perfectly normal. You know why he gets emotional and what he looks like when he’s bored.

You understand that your cat tries to communicate with you in different ways. There are signs that your cat wants attention:

Meows Too Much

Cats don’t meow after they grow up. They don’t even meow at other cats. They only meow in order to communicate with humans.

Now you know that, you know to keep an ear out for your cat. He’ll be telling you something with each meow. So if he’s meowing too much, sounds desperate, or meows when you’re asleep, then pay some attention to him.

Scratching The Wrong Things

Scratching clears deadwood, so to speak, off a cat’s nails. It gives them a chance to stretch, too. They seek out appropriate surfaces that gives their nails what they need.

If your cat picks threads loose in the carpets or rugs, or scratches the sofa or chairs, then he’s trying to get your attention.

Getting Where They Aren’t Supposed To Be

Cats are curious, but they also know the places from which they are supposed to stay away. For example, he knows he isn’t supposed to be on the kitchen counter or the dining table, especially when food is present.

The snag to that is that you have new canisters, salt and pepper shakers, or a new spoon rest or something he needs to check out. To do that, he has to jump to the area he isn’t supposed to be.

Curiosity is 99 percent of a cat’s life. On the other hand, he also knows that if he does this when you’re around, you’ll pay attention to him. It doesn’t matter to him if you’re yelling, it means that you’re focused on him at that moment.

Patting You

When a baby uses you to pull himself up, when he pounds his tiny little fist on you, and when he pats you wherever he can reach, it means he wants you to look at him, to pay attention to him. It’s the same with a cat.

He’ll paw you, pat you, and tap your legs and arms to get you to pay attention to him.


Cats are standoffish, yes, but that’s just a pose. They need love and attention just like every other creature does. They will only meow when they want their pet parents to know something.

It’s a sure bet that meow means “I need attention.”