cat play

Wondering why your cat doesn’t like to play? Picture it: you just got your cat the coolest feather toy from Amazon. You unwrap the box and get set for some excitement from your cat…only to see Princess look away, disinterested. Or, your adopted male cats, who should be a great match for playful companionship, are always relaxing…separately. They are completely disinterested in each other. What gives!?

Our feline companions may not always participate in providing the playful romps and pounces we’d like to see. Why is it that some adult cats love to play while other cats won’t play? Why do some just not seem to enjoy toys or games? Let’s take a look at this mystery of the disinterested cat.

Possible Reasons for Why a Cat Doesn’t Like to Play

Your cat may not be ignoring you just because he thinks humans are ridiculous. Sometimes, though, a lack of interest in play can mean your cat isn’t feeling well. Or it could be that his preferred playtime may not fall when you’re at home. It’s also possible that he’s stressed or anxious.

If your adult cat never seems to want to bat the mouse around or run, jump, or other normal feline behaviors, first set up an appointment with your veterinarian. Exercise is vital to the health of your cat. If there is no interest in play or exercise, your cat may be feeling unwell, stressed, or be in pain. Being proactive can help get to the root of a health concern earlier rather than later.

Cats have preferences, just like us. Whatever activity or toy you have introduced to your fur friend simply may not interest him. Try out a few new toys and activities. If your tendency is to just leave toys lying around, maybe your cat needs interaction with you. Try more direct stimulation like a laser pointer to see if that engages your cat.

Take the time to figure out what type of play he enjoys. And, of course, rule out any underlying health or behavioral concerns that can be at the root of it. If there’s still no interest, let’s try some playtime inspiration.

Ways to Inspire Playtime with Your Feline

Sure, most kitties love to sit on your lap or lie in the sun, but behavioral enrichment and play are a part of overall good health. Let’s get your adult cat into action with a little inspiration! Here are ways you can create a more interesting playtime routine for your favorite kitty:

  1. Change out the regular food bowl with puzzle type bowls to challenge your cat during mealtime.
  2. Ditch old, tattered, and ignored toys and get a collection of new toys that you think your cat will enjoy.
  3. Spend time interacting with your cat each day. While toys can be good enrichment, there is no better way to encourage activity than for a pet parent to be part of the fun.
  4. Cats, as a part of their behavioral drive, need to climb. If you don’t have a vertical space for your kitty, try adding a cat tree or scratching post. Make sure there is enough height for him to get in some climbing. Window perches are also great!
  5. If you are gone during the day, turn on YouTube playlists that feature birds or other animals to pique your cat’s interest.
  6. If your cat is friendly toward other cats, you may want to add another feline to your home to perk up a lonely kitty. Just remember, that this is not a quick fix. Any new pet will need to be in their own room during the first few weeks for a slow introduction.

What have you tried to encourage playtime fun for your feline? Have you tried any of the above methods, or something new? We’d love to hear about it.

Our cat loving team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services knows that exercise and play are essential to a healthy, happy life for your fur friend. If your pet is despondent or seems “off” somehow, we encourage you to speak to your regular veterinarian.