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How to motivate her to play?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ever since we got Soleil in February, Singa has become very quite - almost lethargic. She used to be very playful and active, but now she just sleeps or sits around and watches Soleil play. Singa is now 2.5 yrs old - not old I would say.
Recently the doc said that with her 5.25 kg she is overweight and needs to go down to at least 4 kg or less. I admit she is a bit on the chubby side - funny she's got a normal head but a rather big bottom. My friend calls her a Rubens-Cat.

Anyway - I have been trying to exercise her, but she is just plain lazy. I play with her with a wand and she swats a bit, then cleans herself, then plays a bit, then gets distracted again....

Laserpointer is the only thing that works right now and even then, she just watches it from afar sometimes insted of chasing it.

And if I think back, she used to play hide and seek with me every evening and go all crazy dashing from one end of the apartment to the other. Playing with everything she could find..... she was never a big jumper, but she would run. Now I can ardly get her to wake up...

She is only 2.5 yrs old... things shouldn't mchange that much at this young age right?
post #2 of 11
You mean she does not even want to play with Soleil? Perhaps Singa is a bit depressed?
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Nope.... they played a bit after they first warmed up with eachother. But other than that Singa will show Soleil clearly that she doesnt fancy playing with her.

Basically they interact in such way that Singa keeps to herself. At some point Soleil comes over to groom her and when Singa has enough she paws
soleil away... sort of like pushing her to keep her distance. If Soleil gets the message then its fine, if not, Singa will bite her. Latest then Soleil will move away.... Singa is not mean or aggressive, just clearly shows she wants to be alone.

So that's about all the interaction I can tell. If they hang out it rarely comes from Singa's initiative...

Can cat's be depressed? I always felt Singa looked a bit sad after we got Soleil... but we only got her so that she is not so alone
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ta-Z View Post
Nope.... they played a bit after they first warmed up with eachother. But other than that Singa will show Soleil clearly that she doesnt fancy playing with her.

Basically they interact in such way that Singa keeps to herself. At some point Soleil comes over to groom her and when Singa has enough she paws
soleil away... sort of like pushing her to keep her distance. If Soleil gets the message then its fine, if not, Singa will bite her. Latest then Soleil will move away.... Singa is not mean or aggressive, just clearly shows she wants to be alone.

So that's about all the interaction I can tell. If they hang out it rarely comes from Singa's initiative...

Can cat's be depressed? I always felt Singa looked a bit sad after we got Soleil... but we only got her so that she is not so alone
Bringing a new cat into a household can bring changes we don't anticipate. It could be that Singa hasn't been able to adjust to having to compete for your attention and has chosen to just withdraw.

Have you tried playing with her with a string? I've found just a plain old string is irresistible to cats. Just make sure you don't leave it laying around cuz they might try to eat it and that can cause serious medical problems.

Does Soleil interfere when you try to play with Singa? If so, it might help to close her in a room so you can play with just Singa.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
Bringing a new cat into a household can bring changes we don't anticipate. It could be that Singa hasn't been able to adjust to having to compete for your attention and has chosen to just withdraw.

Have you tried playing with her with a string? I've found just a plain old string is irresistible to cats. Just make sure you don't leave it laying around cuz they might try to eat it and that can cause serious medical problems.

Does Soleil interfere when you try to play with Singa? If so, it might help to close her in a room so you can play with just Singa.
This is funny I actually just did just that. A plain old white string or thin rope rather... after 30 min of persuasion Singa started more than the one or the other batting.

Yes, Soleil tries to interfere a lot. At the beginning Soleil was sleeping so it wasn't a problem. But when she woke up and saw what was going on she was the monkey in the middle
I don't want to lock her away because then she will feel left out..
Do you think at some point she will respect Singa's playtime?

Singa actually started some pouncing attempts in the end... but when I tried to get her to run after the string she simply walked from room to room (I was jogging more or less!)
I really hope she will become more active now! The string is great!!!
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ta-Z View Post
Yes, Soleil tries to interfere a lot. At the beginning Soleil was sleeping so it wasn't a problem. But when she woke up and saw what was going on she was the monkey in the middle
I don't want to lock her away because then she will feel left out..
Do you think at some point she will respect Singa's playtime?
Not if my Coco is any example.

Singa needs to learn that she can still play even if Soleil barges in. It is possible that she will although it might take a long time (with my Toby ~1 yr). It's also possible that she always stays on the sidelines as long as Soleil is around.

I don't think it will hurt Soleil any to be closed up for a bit while you play with Singa. I'm only talking about for a short time (15 mins). Just so Singa can relearn how much fun it is to play and maybe not want to back off when Soleil butts in.

Is there someone else in the house that can distract Soleil while you play with Singa?
post #7 of 11
Try reducing the grains in her diet. Cats can't digest grains; it just turns to fat. It also makes them lethargic.

As always when introducing new foods, mix a little new in with the old, and keep working towards the new proportion. Add more canned to the menu; that's all digestible elements and will keep her from being hungry.

She didn't get this way overnight, so she won't change back overnight, either. But it's very difficult to get a cat to lose weight by cutting back on their food; they overeat because they are hungry. It's better to feed them a diet which is more like they eat in nature.

When she feels more energetic, she will be more energetic.
post #8 of 11
She really does sound depressed--and yeah, cats can get depressed; just ask anybody when a kitty in the house has died and the others are bereaved.

The kitty version of therapy: Attention, good food, and as much physical activity as you can get out of her. Feliway diffusers could calm her and help her feel better too. Sunlight helps--try a window perch. And as a last resort, your vet can prescribe an antidepressant.

Behavior changes can be a sign of illness, though; is she getting regular checkups? Did she have one since the behavior change?
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Werebear View Post
Try reducing the grains in her diet. Cats can't digest grains; it just turns to fat. It also makes them lethargic.

As always when introducing new foods, mix a little new in with the old, and keep working towards the new proportion. Add more canned to the menu; that's all digestible elements and will keep her from being hungry.

She didn't get this way overnight, so she won't change back overnight, either. But it's very difficult to get a cat to lose weight by cutting back on their food; they overeat because they are hungry. It's better to feed them a diet which is more like they eat in nature.

When she feels more energetic, she will be more energetic.
Thats what my mom said too.. Well she put it differently but she said when a cat is fat and lazy she won't feel like excercise... just like humans...

I am feeding mainly wet - Natural Balance mixed with a bit of Tiki CAt (else they wont touch it). Occasionaly they get a bit of Royal Canine dry - usually if I have little time to prepare the wet mix.

My vet said to feed raw, but they won't touch it at all - plus I don't think the raw I can get on a wet market in Singapore is any ood as it is somewhat out in the heat... The vet gave me raw dehydrated DOG food by addicition to add to the diet. I sometimes to it thouh not often as I heard dog food does not have the right nutrtions...

Any ideas on what to change?
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
She really does sound depressed--and yeah, cats can get depressed; just ask anybody when a kitty in the house has died and the others are bereaved.

The kitty version of therapy: Attention, good food, and as much physical activity as you can get out of her. Feliway diffusers could calm her and help her feel better too. Sunlight helps--try a window perch. And as a last resort, your vet can prescribe an antidepressant.

Behavior changes can be a sign of illness, though; is she getting regular checkups? Did she have one since the behavior change?
Actually yes, I have been to the vet with both cats on a very regular basis - there are several posts on that as well. Soleil brought in a bug when she first came, which the vets didnt diagnose properly and it all resulted in 2 very sick kitties and a lot of wasted time and money... but they are better now

Singa has an occasional sneeze and is now on L-Lysine better said Appelin B12 which contains L-Lysine. She doesn't sneeze as often but the med also increases er appetite apparently.. so not so good for the diet

After I used the string to play with Singa yesterday she became much more alert... but when Soleil butts in she still looks at her as if she was giving up.. or maybe she looks a bit envious because Soleil is much skinnier and a lot more agile and faster when it comes to 'hunting'...
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ta-Z View Post
After I used the string to play with Singa yesterday she became much more alert... but when Soleil butts in she still looks at her as if she was giving up.. or maybe she looks a bit envious because Soleil is much skinnier and a lot more agile and faster when it comes to 'hunting'...
"Envy" is a human emotion. I don't believe there is any reason think cats feel it.
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