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Afraid of toys.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Niko's a very playful 6 month year old who used to LOVE to chase all the homemade toys I've constructed for him. His favorites were feathers/fake mice/fluff tied to a string on a stick.. until the other day. He got the string wrapped around his hind leg, got spooked, and took off running. Of course, the string, toy, and stick went with him which totally freaked him out. Ever since, he's afraid to give chase anymore and I dunno how else to give him exercise since he's an indoor-only cat.

He won't play with anything unless it's moving. How can I get him unafraid to chase his toys?
post #2 of 10
How about playing with toys w/o strings? My cats sometimes enjoy pawing and chasing a ball with a little bell inside.
post #3 of 10
There are these feather toys that look like dusters, its just a bunch of feathers on a stick without string, also fur mice toys most cats love, you can toss them, or shoe laces.............Maia loves shoe laces!
post #4 of 10
Agreed with the above. Just keep trying different toys until you find what works. It sounds like right now he's spooked by toys with strings. He'll probably get over it so long as you don't try to force them on him.
post #5 of 10
Use things with fatter 'strings' like ties from dressing gowns that are maybe half an inch or more and soft. But just tie fat knots in the end of them, start out by pulling them slowly and unevenly under newspaper sheets on the floor, or under a blanket on the bed. and the emphasis will be on pouncing the hidden 'mouse' rather than anything. Betcha the cat'll come back to playing, just don't tie other toys to the pulls.
post #6 of 10
Same thing happened to Seamus around that age. He kept getting caught on his toys and for a while would not play with anything at all. He got over it and plays with all his other toys except the one that he got caught up on. He loves the laser pointer now too... and the best thing, no strings or anything to get caught on...
post #7 of 10
something similar happened with my kitten. I had just gone grocery shopping and there was a plastic bag on the table she was playing with while I was putting groceries away. She was having a grand time jumping in and out etc. When she got bored, and jumped down, the had gotten her neck in through one of the handles. Of course, the bag followed her to the ground flapping and crackling, and she just took off running scared as can be.

She ran so fast in big circles around the 1st floor, she would take corners so fast she would just slide into the opposite walls really hard. ;( it was pretty scary, especially since I was trying to catch her, and all I saw was this grey streak with a white thing flapping behind it. After about 2 revolutions, it eventually slid off her, and she darted up next to the window she sits by. I have never seen my kitten shake so badly before, she was absolutely traumatized, terrified, curled up into the smallest ball ever and just shaking. I tried picking her up to comfort her but she wanted none of it, just to sit and shake. So I let her be, and she calmed down a bit.

This happened a couple of weeks ago, and whenever she hears the plastic bag noise, no matter how softly, she just bolts to a safe spot. I guess instincts, and things attached to kittens make for some bad situations. I'll have to watch out for her and 'da bird' to make sure she doesn't get tangled and run with that.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well, before this all happened, he wouldn't play with anything else BUT things on strings. I've tried laser toys, fake mice, catnip (unresponsive), fluff on springs on a board things, balls, bells, rattles, sticks with feathers on 'em- you name it, I've bought/made 'em.

He just likes something to chase. And he randomly attacks/pounces on his scratching posts. I've found unless he's thoroughly exercised, he'll start chasing.... nothing. *snickers* It's cute, but he ends up getting into mischief that way.

I'll just wait it out and see if he gets over it. Thanks for all your suggestions and stories!
post #9 of 10
One the worst fights two of my cats ever had started with a plastic grocery bag. Moose got hooked around the handles of one and he went berserk, running a million miles an hour trying to get away from it. One of my other cats (Rocky) chased him and Moose associated his terror with Rocky and I had to pull them apart. It took weeks to reintroduce them. Moose still remembers the sound and takes off when I open a garbage bag. Needless to say all plastic bags are safely locked away.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Update: I took Larke's advice and crocheted a thick "string" for him to play with, no toy, and he seems to like it. He's still a little jumpy if it grazes his back paws, but he's now running around after it like a nut, as he should be. I've also took preemptive measures and cut the handles of any plastic bags I let him play with, as well as slitting air holes in them in case he gets caught up.

Thanks again, guys.
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