How Much Attention Do Cats Need?

How Much Attention Do Cats Need?

Cats have a reputation for being standoffish and independent, but some people think this means they don’t need much attention.  Yes, cats typically require less work than dogs, however, this doesn’t mean they don’t need your attention on a daily basis.

If you’re thinking about getting a cat and are wondering how much attention do cats need, this article will answer that question and provide examples of things you can do to give your cat regular attention.

How Many Hours A Day Should You Spend With Your Cat?

You should give your cat a minimum of 15-30 minutes of attention a day. One of the pros of owning a cat is that they are lower maintenance than some other pets, but they still need social interaction, love, and attention from you regularly.

Knowing your individual cat is important here, as some cats require more than 30 minutes of attention daily, a lot of this depends on your cats personality. While some cats are fine being independent most of the day, other cats want more interaction.

How Do You Know If Your Cat Needs Attention?

Cats are good at letting you know they want something. Here are some things your cat may do to get your attention:

  1. Pawing
  2. Nudging
  3. Meowing
  4. Sitting on your chest or lap out of nowhere
  5. Getting in the way
  6. Becoming destructive

Things You Can Do To Give Your Cat Attention

The wonderful thing about cats is that they don’t require long hour walks to be satisfied. Here are some activities you can do with your cat to give them attention on a regular basis:

  • Petting – One of the easiest ways you can interact with your cat daily is by giving them a nice petting session. Cats are simple, so often times a 10-15 rub will satisfy their desire for attention and then they will go back to being independent.
  • Toys – Cat toys are another great way of interacting with your cat. Toys like teasers, charmers, and lasers are great options for cats who have a little more energy and like to run, pounce, and chase.
  • Tricks – Teaching your cat tricks is another great way of spending time together and getting a better-behaved cat in the process. Grab your cat’s favorite treat and start with some simple tricks like sit, come, and high-five. If they learn those quickly, you can move on to more advanced cool tricks.
  • Grooming – Another way of giving your cat some one-on-one time is to groom them. Many cats are soothed by being brushed as it is kind of like they are getting a massage. If your cat seems to enjoy brushing, this is another way you can give them attention.
Cat Being Brushed
  • Talking to them – Most cats like the sound of their owner’s voice as it is soothing to them. Another thing you can do to interact with your cat is to talk to them while you are doing other things. This is a great way of giving your cat attention when you are busier and don’t have time to just drop everything you are doing.
  • Take a nap – Some cats really enjoying sleeping with their owners. It is a way of bonding in addition to getting some rest. If your cat is one that likes to snuggle, bring your cat with you to bed for a nap, they will love all the extra closeness and attention.
  • Walks – Although cats don’t need walks, some cats really enjoy being outside and could benefit from an outing every now and then. If your cat likes the outdoors consider leash training them and taking them on short walks outside for some fresh air.

Things To Keep Your Cat Entertained When Your Busy

Sometimes we get busy and don’t have as much time to give our cats as much attention. In these cases there are some other things you can do to help them keep themselves entertained.

  • Create cat perches – Cats love to look around outside and be high off the ground and watch everything. Creating some cat perches in your house ideally by some windows will give your cats hours of entertainment every day.
  • Scratching posts – Cats need and like scratch. Getting them a scratching post will not only help give them something to do but will also keep them from scratching up other items in the house.
  • Cardboard boxes – For some reason cats like boxes. Giving them a large cardboard box can provide them with lots of fun all by themselves. Be mindful that some cats like to eat cardboard, so it is best to give your cat a box to play with when you are close by to supervise if your cat likes to eat cardboard.
  • Fish tank – Not everyone will want to take care of fish in addition to a cat, but if you don’t mind, have a fish tank can provide your cat with lots of entertainment watching the fish swim around. Make sure there is a lid on the fish tank though!
  • Puzzle toys – There are a variety of different kinds of puzzle toys that will give your cat some mental stimulation and allow them to hunt to solve the puzzle and get the treats. They have varying difficulty levels so you can start easier than build up as your cat gets the hang of things.

Can You Give Your Cat Too Much Attention?

If you have a cat that welcomes attention from you then you can’t really give them too much attention in most instances. However, if you have a more independent cat, they may not want to be smothered with attention regularly.

Knowing your cat is key, if you have a more sociable cat, give them as much attention as they desire, but don’t force attention on a cat that doesn’t desire it.

Another thing to keep in mind is to not get your cat used to a level of attention that you can’t keep up. This could lead to destructive or jealous behaviors if your pattern changes.

For example, if you get a new job, have a baby, or get another pet, you’ll have less time to give ALL of your attention to the cat, and your cat may decide they aren’t happy with the new routine and act out.

Try to create a level of daily attention that you can keep up long term even with life changes so your cat knows what to expect from you.


All in all, cats don’t usually need more than 30 minutes of attention daily, but some more sociable cats may need more. Find some things your cat enjoys and use those things to give them attention. Cats are usually pretty simple and are happy doing the same thing day after day. Don’t overcomplicate giving your cat attention, they are just happy to be spending time with you!