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She won't play by herself

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have been reading posts at this site for a couple of months and finally decided to register so I can get some help from everyone.

We adopted a beautiful 8 month old female cat from the local shelter a little over a month ago. She came to us in heat, and as soon as it was over she was spayed, at which time the vet said she was very healthy. She had been in the shelter for 2 months.

She's playful, but only if I'm the one doing the entertaining. If I'm playing 'string', or 'bouncy ball' with her, she's as silly as can be. But if I'm not playing with her, she simply lies next to me and stares at me, constantly. No amount of enticement will get her to play with her toys by herself. If I'm not moving it, she totally ignores it.

I certainly don't mind playing with her, she's a lot of fun, but I simply can't be the entertainment director all the time.

Can anyone suggest ways I can get her to entertain herself once in awhile? Or toys that cats absolutely can't resist? She has no interest in catnip or toys containing catnip. I certainly appreciate any suggestions. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 5
The type of toys you are talking about are interactive toys. Playing with string all by herself is pretty dangerous, because cats look at string like mouse tails and they love to eat mouse tails. If your cat eats string, you may find yourself at the vet looking at a hefty vet bill.

About the bouncy ball, most cats don't like the superball type of balls, they prefer balls that make noise like ping pong balls. If you have a large cardboard box- set it up in the corner somewhere and cut the flaps off. Cut a few holes above the floor level that she can jump in and out of and throw a few ping pong balls in there and see what she does.

You have to remember, she is used to lying in one spot all day staring at people who came by her cage. It will take some time for her to understand that she now has true freedom. Let her get adjusted to that, and I am willing to bet that she will be playing on her own in a few months. Right now, she is waiting for what she now knows as her world to change again and be put back in the slammer.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Oops, sorry, guess I should've been a bit clearer. The bouncy ball is actually a fuzzy ball on an elastic. This toy, and the string, are put away at night. But as for other balls or fuzzy mice that aren't attached to anything, she'll only whap them when I toss them around for her.

I like your suggestion about the box and I'm going to try it. She seems nervous of boxes but may be too curious about what's going on in there to resist. I won't force the issue, but it'll be fun to see what she does.

She will play with bugs. Perhaps I should catch her a june bug?
post #4 of 5
Toys I find my cats play with by themselves are my large dice (they love to chase those around the floor, and then claim them for their own), fuzzy mice (not the too feathery ones because well Mischief will eat the feathers if given the oppertunity), and the jingle ball we have for them that Isis broke recently. heh.
post #5 of 5
I used to have this toy for my cat, but she out grew it. It was some feathers or something on the end of an elastic string (like you said), but then it wa sattached to a plastic pole that had a suction cup to attatch it to a window. That way it is all ready hanging, when she pulls at it it pulls back. It works.
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