What Should I Do if My Cat Won’t Play with Me?

“My cat is sooo boring! She never wants to play with me!”

Have you ever said that before?

I thought so. 

But your cat isn’t boring and she most definitely will play with you. 

Let’s get into it. 

Why Playing with Your Cat is Important

Playing with your cat is important because it benefits both their physical and mental health. Along with being great exercise for your indoor cat, playing each day helps your cat to fulfill the instincts of the tiny panther living inside of them. It gives them a sense of purpose as they “hunt” and “catch” their prey. 

Playing with your cat can also help the two of you bond and build trust with one another. That’s right—you can earn a better relationship with your cat simply through play. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

Picture of gray tabby cat playing with ball and text how to get a cat to play with you

5 Tips for Getting Your Cat to Play with You

But how do you get your cat to play with you? It’s easier than you may think. Follow these five tips to get started:

Give Them Your Undivided Attention

Stop looking at your phone while you’re half-heartedly dangling a feather in front of your cat. They know you’re not giving your full effort, so neither will they. Seriously. Just put your phone away and focus on your cat. You can finish looking at funny cat videos on Instagram later. 

Mimic Their Prey

A ball that rolls back and forth in the same track will only keep your cat’s attention for so long. Vary up the speed and height of the toy you’re using to play with your cat to mimic a bird, snake, or other type of prey. Your cat should go wild for this!

Cycle Through Their Toys

Just like humans, your cat gets bored of the things they see all of the time. Make toys exciting and enticing again by rotating through them. One day, play with a ribbon wand toy. The next day, go for a rattling ball that lights up. Your cat should notice the change and become interested. 

Reward Them with Food

Also just like humans, cats can be very food motivated. After they play for a little while, reward them with a treat or, better yet, a meal. After a few sessions that end in yummy food, your cat should become more willing and happy to play with you. 

Be Patient

It’s a cat’s world and we’re all just living in it. If your cat doesn’t want to play and won’t even lift a paw at your efforts, try again another time. Be patient with your kitty and follow her cues. She will let you know when she’s ready to play!

Your Cat Will Play with You. Eventually. 

It’s important to remember that every cat is an individual, and what works for one may not work for another. Finding the play routine that’s right for your kitty may take some time, but it’s so rewarding in the end. 

Trust me.

I know a lot about cats, but I’m not a veterinarian. Please don’t take any of the statements I give as medical advice and do always consult your trusted vet, especially if your cat is experiencing behavioral or physical challenges.

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