Is your usually-active cat not her playful self lately? Has she been ignoring her toys for days and won’t play with them? Cats are normally energetic and frisky. They are easily piqued by moving things around and will willingly chase them because of their prey drive. However, if your indoor cat loses interest in her toys it can be a cause for worry.
Why is my cat not interested in toys?
A cat may not be interested in toys because of health concerns, play and toy style, stress, depression or trauma.
1. They may have health concerns.
Cats may not play and lose interest in their toys because they are not feeling well or are in pain. Overweight or obese cats are less likely to play because they feel lethargic and lack energy. Recent data reveals that at least 59% of cats in the US are obese which is quite alarming. When a cat is overweight, she becomes more prone to breathing issues, arthritis, fatty liver disease, hypertension and feline lower urinary tract infection.
Other health issues like anemia, arthritis and visual impairment may also cause your cat is to not be interested in playing with her toys. Arthritis causes extreme pain while anemia causes cats to feel tired since their bodies are not receiving the nutrients that they need to function properly. Visual impairment may also hinder cats from playing with their toys. This is usually observed among senior cats that are beginning to lose their vision.
2. It may be due to play style and toy type.
Cats may become uninterested in their toys and refuse to play because of the type of toys and the style of playing. Cats have unique personalities and each one has a personal preference for toys and play style. Some cats prefer playing a game of fetch or chase, others like to interact at a distance while still others may prefer to play on their own with interactive toys.
Your cat may have also gotten bored with her usual toys. She may have these toys for quite a while now and has lost interest in them. It may be time to get her some new toys that will pique her interest once more.
Here are the different types of cat toys:
- cat tunnels
- cat fountains
- rattling cat toys
- cat exercise wheels
- fishing pole toys
- cat lasers
- cat climbing toys
- cat puzzles
- toy mice
- cat toys with catnip
3. It may be stress-related.
Another probable reason why your cat is not interested in her toys is that she is stressed or anxious. Cats are sticklers for routine and any changes or disruptions in their daily schedule may be detrimental for them. Common reasons why cats become stressed include home relocation, the addition of a new pet or new family member or simply just by moving furniture around.
4. It may be due to depression.
Cats may also become detached and uninterested in their toys because of depression. Just like stress, cats may become depressed due to a new pet, because they were punished or their owner or sibling passed away.
5. They may have experienced trauma from their past owners.
If you adopted your cat from a pet shelter, it may be that she was traumatized by her previous owner.
What to do if your cat is not interested in playing with her toys?
These are the measures that you can take if your cat is not interested in her toys:
- If you suspect that the problem may be health-related, bring her to the vet for a thorough check-up. Also, a healthy diet for your cat is essential to supply her with energy and keep her body in top shape.
- Provide engaging toys and rotate them so your cat won’t get bored. Try to place the toys in interesting locations like a cat perch and infuse toys with catnip since cats find it irresistible.
- Make playtime a routine as it makes cats safe and be sure to play with your cat before mealtime.
- Be patient and caring especially if your cat has been traumatized, stressed or depressed. Show them love and affection and socialize with your cat and they will eventually learn to trust you.
- Consider a cat toy subscription box membership so your cat can receive new and engaging toys regularly.
- You may also try harness training for your cat for her to explore the sights and sounds of the outdoors as it can reawaken her interest in hunting behavior and encourage her to play with toys again.
- Provide healthy treats for your cat to encourage her to play with her toys. It will help your cat to associate playtime with a positive and tasty experience.
Recommended cat toys to keep your cat engaged and entertained
Here are some recommended cat toys for your cat:
- Petstages Tower of Tracks
- Easyology Kitty Cat Tunnel
- Cat Amazing Maze and Puzzle Feeder
- SmartyKat Catnip Cat Toys
Cats are playful and active and playtime is part of their instincts as an outlet for their hunting behavior. If your cat becomes uninterested in toys and playtime, it can be a cause for alarm and the possible reasons include stress, depression and trauma. However, it may also indicate physical health concerns and your cat should be assessed by a vet.
Image: istockphoto.com / Irina Nedikova