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Saba Won't Play~~Rescue kitten adjustment issue?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
She's fine - she's healthy as a little ox and in wonderful spirits....but she has a very difficult time relaxing and playing. We have tons of toys for her and she's partial to a little red mylar ball, a gift from Pat , and an old torn up string and Freddie's fishing pole, but she'll play for about 20 seconds and then stop dead in her tracks. It's almost like she won't let herself have any fun! and feels she still has to be on guard "in the wild". We praise her when she plays and kiss her a lot, but she's gotten to a plateau and now just won't go further...... any suggestions or experiences to share please?!? She does like to chase Sasha around and play tag but again, only for 20-30 seconds and then she stops and looks so forlorn.
post #2 of 7
Don't force her to play. If she was born outside, her momcat wouldn't let her play because it exposes the litter to predators. Just let her be with you- if she is satisfied by not playing that's fine. Some cats just don't have that hunter prey instinct=
post #3 of 7
I think kitties from the streets/the wild have to LEARN to play...play just for the joy of playing...everything for them before they came to you was soooo serious and they had everyday living at stake...
In domestic horses, a lot don't know HOW to eat treats...they've no concept of eating a round apple or an oblong carrot...I've seen that lots of times....they don't realize it's food....all their food has been grassy/grainy....
When one of my rehab ferals/tames starts to learn to play for the joy of it, it's such an awesome, moving thing to see...brings tears to my eyes....
My new little blind kitty, Sweet Missy LaPurr, has even cocked her head to the side a few times, like she's gonna break out playing...she's hesistant to run into anything and feels with her front paw/extends it to know what's in front of her...as she develops more trust, I know we'll find her favorite thing to play with...probably something soft...so her fear of running into something/feeling pain is eliminated...
Take Care and Hugs to your kitty,
Ellen and the Herd
post #4 of 7
Maybe Saba isn't an interactive player? Ophelia was a feral kitten, even though we got her at an early age she definitely held on to her feral upbringing. Even 5 years later, she barely plays when we can see her. She isn't particularly fond of playing with Trent (but that's because he's a typical guy and doesn't know when enough is enough!). But when she thinks no one can see her, she plays. But it took quite a while for her to really feel comfortable doing that. She will play with us, but she does exactly how you describe Saba. She'll play for a tiny bit, and then get ahold of herself. We always love it when we actually get her to lose her composure.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate all your insights and they're super helpful. Just today, Saba has shown us she woudl rather play tag - a LOT - than play with her toys. She does play with her favorite thing, Freddie's old fishing pole, but it's "limited". But tag...without props or toys or anything was something she appeared to truly enjoy for a logn time! We're learning.....
post #6 of 7
Since she enjoys tag, will she interactively play with you if you dangle a long piece of rope or a belt or a thin piece of leather and drag it after you on the floor for her to chase?

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi Kathryn,
Funny you should mention that because this is where she doesn't relax. Yes, she likes being interactive with us but then she'll just stop in her tracks ---but she can chase Sasha around w/o any "stopping", and as Ellen said, probably because it's more natural for her than human play. She's just a luvvie -- there aren't really any behavioral issues here that worry me, I am interested in other's feedback in similar circumstances and what became of their experiences. But as Hissy mentioned we won't force her.
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