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Adopted cat doesn't know how to play...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I could use some help teaching my wonderful new cat, Cory, how to play. I think he must've been owned by a wonderfully affectionate person before he became a stray. He's a total lovebug but has absolutely NO IDEA how to play!

He's around 5 y/o -- way too young to be a couch potato only! HELP, please!

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 10
I'll move this to the Behavior forum for you.
post #3 of 10
You can't teach a cat to play, they either want to, or they don't. If he was an outside kitty- born on the streets and not in a house, he will have no concept what toys are. But put a mouse in front of him, and my guess is he will fully engage his preytime instincts. You can try and use objects he will find outside, pine cones, leaves, small rocks and see if he wants to play, but sometimes, they have no desire to entertain us and just want to be left alone.
post #4 of 10
Often outside cats are less inclined to play with toys. They use all their energy staying alive and feeding themselves! You can try him with various toys, but maybe he just won't want to play!

Try a string, a drinking straw, some crinkle balls, a paper grocery bag left open...but if he just won't play, he just doesn't like it. Sometimes that happens with inside only cats, too. Just watch him, and you will learn what he likes!
post #5 of 10
Yeah, all the advice above is really good Sometimes it is really just a case of givin them the options and seeing what becomes of it. Don't take those options away though if he doesn't take to it straight away. If you leave toys around for him all the time, it's possible that curiosity might jsut suddenly get the better of him one day and then he'll start to explore what they are. If he doesn't, well, at least the option is still always there. You could findthat his toys move in the night though..... Tosca doesn't touch hers in the day, and we thought that she didn't really play much, but we did discover that she plays at night when we're both crashed out. Good luck!
post #6 of 10
Although five years may seem young, in cat years he's actually a teenager now, so that play probably doesn't interest him anymore.

You won't be able to teach him to play if he's not into it - and if he prefers cuddles then all the better!!! Sounds like such a sweet boy...

I usually find that my kits like everyday things around the house to play with much more than actual toys - you know, scrunched up paper balls, hair elastics (especially!) etc. Try getting out a box, even my Sunday, who wouldn't play if her life depended on it (too busy sitting around looking pretty and headbutting everything she sees...lol) will go a bit spazzy when there's an empty box around.

Oh - and have him in the room with you when you are trying to put fresh sheets on your bed - I have never, and I do mean never, come across a cat that can stay calm when this is happening! It might put him in the mood, so to speak
post #7 of 10
Get a thickish (1/8") 5' long cord and tie a knot in one end. Put 1-2 sheets of newspaper over it on the floor and jiggle/pull it slowly out from under, but not all the way. If he doesn't pounce, you have a weird cat! You have to keep doing it though for him to stay interested.
post #8 of 10
Have you tried something with catnip in it? That might intrest him....but if not....then maybe you`ll just have to be happy with petting and loving. At least , if he does`nt like to play, he`ll probably leave your "stuff" alone!
post #9 of 10
Pearl does not play, either. She does not like catnip, the other cats, and will only cuddle ossasionally on her terms. She was born a barn cat, then adopted at 6 weeks by someone that abused her until I got her at 5 months old. She is 5 years old now, and even though she is much better than she was, I have accepted that she will always be my closet baby. It is a real treat when she comes out to snuggle and get petted. We adore her, and she will always have a closet to feel safe in. I was so proud of her yesterday when she got on the couch where the other 2 cats were and cuddled with me. That is the first time she has ever done that.
post #10 of 10
Rowan didn't really play with toys when he first adopted Bella and I. He might have been a feral kitten, I have no idea, but he had no concept of what he was supposed to do with toys. He's a lot better about playing now, even though he really prefers to play chase than play with mousies or balls, but if he sees Bella going after a mousie or a ball, he tends to go join in, and sometimes he'll chase after a mousie even if Bella ignores it.

Is your cat the only one in the house? A friend would probably help a lot if you're worried about him becoming obese.
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