Originally Posted by Dusty's Mom
I have 2 cats and the one we got as a stray won't play at all either. I think she is smart enough to know that there is no point, since she can't eat it. She used to be an avid hunter and would bag at least 1 bird a day and eat the whole thing. But she hasn't been healthy in the last couple of years, so she has retired from hunting, but still won't play.
My other cat Squeak, is a playing fool! She will chase a ball or a felt mouse around the house for hours. And her favorite toy is the mouse tied to a fishing pole with fishing line. She goes "cat-fishing" lol!
Cats don't play for the sake of finding food. Yes, their play emulates hunting, but cats play because it is fun!
Amalthea5 when a stray kitty is rescued, and his history is not known it's hard to know why he doesn't have a sense of fun. Perhaps he's never learned to play, perhaps he was abused.
Don't ever give up trying to interact with him. Try different things. Drag a string on a stick under a newspaper to entice him to pounce. Sit at one end of the room with a pile of used envelopes with cellophane windows (the kind that bills and some junk mail come in) and crumple them up one by one and toss them around.
Give him a Box Fort and a paper bag, cats love both these things. (cut any handles on paper bags)
Just try a certain Game every night for say..a week, then go on to the next. Do it at the same time every night, so he comes to expect this bonding time with you. Even if he doens't play, he'll know this is his time with you.
Do some sort of Game period every night, for his whole life, because you never know when a cat will begin to blossom. Sometimes it can take years.
Thank you for rescuing this boy. Do you know how old he is?
PS catnip is a good idea and worth a try.