Play time is essential for felines; it reinforces social bonds and relieves tension and stress. It also boosts cats’ confidence and exercises both body and mind. Apart from playing with other cats, most cats really enjoy playing with toys. However, not all cats are the same and do not take to toys at all.
How to entertain a cat that does not like toys
Give her some cardboard boxes.
Cardboard boxes are an instant hit with cats. They make perfect hiding places and your cats can use them as a fort or a sled. Some may even try to chew them. They are easily accessible and do not pose a risk for your cat or the furniture. Boxes are also easily disposed of and can be replaced with new ones.
Provide some paper or paper bags for your cat.
If your cat doesn’t like regular toys, perhaps she would go for the low-budget kind, like paper or paper bags. Most cats are curious about the crinkling sound they make, and their ability to change shape. Scatter some pieces of paper or paper bags around the house and your cat will probably play with them or tear some holes in them. You could also provide plastic drinking bottles or ping pong balls for your cat to chase around.
Install some cat-specific furniture.
Your cat deserves love, attention and furniture! This can include a scratching post, a cat tree or a scratching bench. A cat tree combines a scratching post, hidey-hole, jungle gym and other features, and some even include a cat bed. If your cat does not fancy toys, this can keep her engaged and happy for hours. It may take some training and coaxing before your cat gets used to these items.
Provide rooms with a view so your cat can watch birds and other animals outside.
Your cat will be entertained just by watching the world outside, especially from an elevated area or a cat perch. Leave the blinds open so your cat can view the birds, squirrels and other animals outside the home. You could install a shelf or place a piece of furniture near a window to give your cat the best view.
Buy a fish tank or an aquarium and place it in a secure spot.
This is something for your cat to feast her eyes on! Colorful fish swimming around a tank can provide visual stimulation and keep your cat entertained. However, make sure the fish tank or aquarium is properly secured: there should be no way for your cat to get near it.
Get another cat.
If your cat is often home alone during the day, having a feline buddy may do her good. You can adopt from your local animal shelter or contact a cat breeder. See to it that the new cat buddy is properly introduced to your resident cat, to avoid altercations and catfights.
Provide a special space or cat zone.
Just as kids have playrooms, cats should have their play zone, too. It could be a small nook at home or part of a windowsill. Your cat could also explore your yard if you place a cat enclosure to allow her to move around safely.
Provide videos for your cat to watch.
You can entertain your cat despite her dislike for toys, by letting her watch cat videos on YouTube and other social media sites. There are videos that show animals like birds or cats playing. Showing these to your cat will surely pique her interest and entertain her for hours.
Hop on a video call with your cat.
If you are working in an office and your cat is alone most of the day, you can still keep an eye on her and even call her via Skype. Various gadgets are now available on the market that let you monitor and communicate with your cat despite the distance.
Cats that do not enjoy playing with toys are usually those that were orphaned or weaned too early from their mothers. These cats did not develop “play skills”, and it is then up to cat parents to teach them how to play with toys. While some cats like toys, others may prefer household items like paper, plastic or boxes.
Cats respond to toys that imitate the motion and action of their natural prey. Wand toys, laser dots or feather toys awaken a cat’s hunting instincts, especially if used before mealtimes. Cat experts note that felines tend to make their own toys, and some cats prefer unconventional playthings such as pens, the phone, your sunglasses or even your lipstick.
Cats are playful animals and any moment is a good time for them to play. However, some do not like playing with toys, and prefer other things such as regular household items. To entertain a cat that does not like toys, you can try giving her cardboard boxes or rolls of paper, or you could install cat-specific furniture such as a cat tree or cat shelf.
If your rooms have a view of the outside world, your cat can watch birds and other animals outside; otherwise, a fish tank or a cat enclosure could keep her entertained.
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