Cats naturally become less playful as they get older, and this is because of their genetics. We all know that senior cats have less energy to spend, their joints are more prone to soreness when participating in play. But sometimes our healthy cats become lazy and behave like old or do not like to play and just sit the whole day.
So, in that condition, how do you get your lazy cat to play?
There are multiple ways by which you get your cat to play. The most common and best among that is providing new interactive toys. By varying the toys, you may be able to get your inactive cats to engage in play. Unknown equipment/toys will always excite a cat’s interest more than familiar equipment/toys. They may use their instincts, such as climbing, digging, and hunting, by playing with toys. To make toys more appealing to cats, food or catnip scents can be added to them.
Other ways include introducing a new mate, enhancing food quality, stimulating their instincts, etc.
Continue reading to learn all the ways to get your lazy cat to play in detail.
Most cats will be attracted to participate in play if just a small amount of encouragement is provided. Many cats will go to tremendous lengths to secure a favorite toy or treat of their own. If your cat continues to show little interest in playing, you should consider that it may be suffering from a medical ailment.
How to Indulge Your Lazy Cat Through Playful Activities?
Cats who lose interest in toys may find themselves in a difficult situation. When many cat owners look at their senior cat, they recall a boisterous kitten from their youth; they are not alone. As the cat grows older, they become less interested in wasting their energy on activities that aren’t strictly important to their survival, such as playing with toys.
Not all cats are naturally driven to engage in playful activity, and others are not even interested. Cats play at this age to build social relationships with their littermates and learn about their environment.
Cats get more and more independent as they get older. You should consider the possibility that your cat may never learn to play since it did not grow up in a litter. Because of this, you’ll have to persuade your cat that playing is both amusing and beneficial.
It is crucial for a cat’s physical and mental well-being that they participate in a play. The act of having a good time entails much more than simply having a good time. The feline brain is a duplicate of hunting, and it delivers the same sense of joy that hunting does. A cat that does not play may be frustrated by its hunting instincts, which is why it is not playing. Unfortunately, this can lead to unwanted behaviors such as bunny kicking and other improper behaviors.
You should check to ensure that nothing else is wrong with your cat if it prefers to sleep rather than play. The boundary between sleepiness and lethargy in cats may be razor-thin when it comes to their behavior. If your cat engages in any of the following actions or displays any of the following symptoms, get medical assistance immediately:
- Excessive aggression
- Using the restroom in a location other than the litter box
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty in walking
- Clinginess and an excessive amount of verbalization
If a cat appears to be in good condition but cannot engage in play, it is likely due to lack of motivation. In terms of their health, some cats, particularly elderly cats, will always prefer sleep over play if they choose. Those cats that are not accustomed to playing with toys and games will require encouragement to engage in such activities.
Fortunately, several ways may be utilized to entice cats to engage in playful behavior. These are given below.
9 Ways By which You Get Your Lazy Cat To Play
1. Make playing with a cat a routine activity
When it comes to fostering play in sluggish cats, the most basic technique is to include it into their daily routine. Generally speaking, cats are creatures of habit, and this is no exception. If your cat understands that it will be played with at a set time every day, it will be more accepting of the situation. However, the cat will gradually grow to look forward to the activity as the game progresses.
The most important factor in doing this is to schedule the performance properly. It is not essential to force your cat into the carrier when it would ordinarily be sleeping in the carrier. Cats have a unique internal body clock that is not shared by any other species. The cat will be upset that his nap has been postponed so that he may play with the other cats. When attempting to force playtime on a sleeping cat, you should never stir him up.
Immediately after you get home from work and before you eat is the most productive time to play. This helps your cat to develop used to your being around. If the cat has been kept in near-silence for several hours, it may need to be re-acclimatized to the sounds of the house. It will be happy to engage in conversation after it has completed its preparations.
In the mornings, especially first thing in the morning, cats like playing with one other. Your cat will be waiting for you in the morning with bated breath when you return home from work. It had been looking forward to the food and care it would receive. When it comes to offering the latter, play is a wonderful tool.
Furthermore, your cat’s memory of being fed after a short play will become permanently carved in his or her brain. A domesticated cat would believe that it is on a food hunt in the same manner as a wild cat would believe it is on a food search. As a result, the cat’s appetite to consume food will be increased as well. In turn, it will feel as if it has earned its food and will love both playing and eating much more due to this experience.
2. Increase human Interaction
Cat toys that encourage autonomous play are available in a range of designs. If your cat is left alone for a lengthy period, it may become depressed and lazy. So, try to give max time to your cat. It is generally agreed that most cats enjoy spending time with their human owners.
Unlike other home pets, cats are self-sufficient creatures who do not require the company of people in the same way that other pets do. Cats, on the other hand, are still sociable creatures who enjoy being around other cats. They just like it if it is done according to their specifications. This indicates that you must join in the things that your cat enjoys doing on its own time.
As you provide your cat with food and attention, you will become a source of joy for him as a result. The cat will likely think that you are having a good time with it if you express an interest in playing. An unexpected but beautiful side benefit of having a cat is that your bond with your cat will become stronger.
The best games for this purpose are those that include chasing and hunting animals. Invest in toys that can be connected or a laser pointer to keep the kids entertained. For this reason, indoor cats, in particular, are at risk of becoming inactive since they do not hunt live prey.
It is far from simple to engage in interactive play by just dangling a toy in front of the youngster. You should give your cat a treat every three or four times they successfully grab a toy. If they routinely “win,” there is no longer any sense of competition. This becomes tiresome for the cat after a while. Hunting is not considered to be a sports activity.
However, a cat should be allowed to catch the toy on occasion. If this is not the case, it will get unhappy and will look for another option. Cats are not the type to waste their time and energy on a fruitless quest for food. It is common for cats to choose a more easy prey when they know that they will not catch live prey.
3. Stimulating cat instincts
Every cat is unique, and they all place a different emphasis on their instincts in various situations. Some cats like climbing, while others prefer to keep all four paws firmly planted on the ground. Cats may be classified into two categories: climbers and ground dwellers. It all depends on the cat; some are natural diggers and scratchers, while others are very protective of their claws.
Providing the improper sort of toy for your cat may be the reason for his or her lack of interest in engaging in interactive play. As much as humans like pursuing and hunting, many cats enjoy these pastimes as well. On the other hand, it’s possible that your own cat needs something different.
The use of cat trees and scratching posts should be a regular part of your cat’s routine. This may be used in conjunction with more traditional toys to provide a complete experience. You could, for example, use a laser pointer to build a course that includes climbing obstacles to complete. Your cat may quickly come to the idea that pursuing the dot up a tree is pleasurable.
You could even have to coerce your cat into digging out a toy that has been sunk far down. Permitting your cat to hunt using his or her sense of smell, or providing him or her with loud toys, will help him or her survive. Your cat’s senses will be heightened, and he or she will become more interested in what you are doing. A sandbox may be used to build a fun game for cats to play, which they will enjoy.
4. Provide New and Distinct Toys
The most important consideration is the variety of toys available when it comes to playing with cats. It is natural for cats to get bored when they are provided with the same toy repeatedly.
You should not feel intimidated to change up your playing style. If your cat enjoys hunting, you may want to use a combination of string toys and laser pointers to keep him busy while you are away. In addition to mechanical and electrical toys, youngsters like playing with clocks and other timepieces. Anything that looks to be moving on its own can be chased and killed if it is discovered.
During a single season, you can also alter your approach to the game in several ways. If your cat is older, it will grow weary more rapidly as a result of the exercise. As a result, it will be less probable for people to continue playing the same game for a lengthy period. To make a 20-minute play session more tolerable, break it up into many 5-minute games during the session. The cat is more likely to remain engaged if the food is tasty.
It is also possible to excite a cat by bringing new and different scents and sounds into the game at specific points. Now and again, soak a catnip-filled toy in water to keep it fresh. You may also try using a food scent instead if your cat is not interested in this plant. The usage of this strategy should not be misused; yet, when done well, it has the potential to make something old feel like it’s fresh new again.
5. Stimulate the Cognitive Processes
The act of playing with cats does not have to be physically hard at all times. They may include puzzles and other mind games. Many cats find food puzzles fascinating and engaging.
These puzzle-type games will satiate a cat’s need to earn its way up the food chain by working hard. If a cat living in the wild, it would have to scavenge for its own food. In the same way, an easily domesticated cat would derive joy in completing the same action.
Puzzle food will undoubtedly have no favorable influence on the physical fitness of a cat. They can, on the other hand, aid in the preservation of an aged cat’s cognition. Because senior cats are at a larger risk of cognitive degeneration than younger cats, this is crucial. According to the research findings, the higher the time a cat spends thinking, the slower the deterioration of its vital abilities will be.
Additionally, food puzzles may be a subtle reminder to children that playing may be pleasurable and entertaining. As a consequence of their cooperation, the cat will be rewarded right away with something special. The cat may be encouraged to take a more active position in socializing in the future due to this.
6. Provide Different Treats and Incentives
Cats have a strict fundamental philosophy. Their participation in events will be limited to those that they consider are worthy in their opinion. Playing without obtaining a reward, according to some felines, is a waste of time and energy. The energy they have saved is energy that they may require in the future. You’ll probably need to give your cat a treat when it’s finished playing.
As soon as your cat starts playing, reward him with a small treat. This will encourage him to continue playing. This might be in the form of food or attention, among other things. Make your approach unique to the things that your cat enjoys doing the most. Following the awarding of the prize, the youngster should return to the game.
It is not necessary to continue to supply your cat with sweet and harmful treats. Sluggishness is associated with the accumulation of more calories than is expended by the body. Small pieces of prepared meat, such as chicken, are great for this dish since they cook quickly.
In addition, use caution while petting a cat that has become very enthusiastic. With felines, there may be a delicate line between engagement and overstimulation when it comes to socialization. Your cat may scratch or bite you if it becomes upset. Follow these safety procedures to keep yourself and others safe while you are playing.
Catnip is one of the most popular catnip treats available, and this is the loveliest reward you could offer him. After your cat has finished playing with you, give him or her a drink of this herbal tea. However, catnip should be used with caution because frequent exposure to it may result in tolerance to its effects. A high-effect reward, catnip, should only be given on rare occasions to ensure that it has a possible positive influence.
7. Shift to Superior Food
Cats may become lazy and are unable to play because of insufficient or wrong nutrition. Senior cats, in particular, require a specific balance of vitamins and minerals to keep their health in good condition.
Cats need special nutrition as they age, and old cat food formulas are available to meet their needs. Make ensure that the youngster is fed a dish that is appropriate for their age. This method will make it easier for your cat to acquire the nutrients it needs from a meal. Senior cat food is often higher in protein and has no fillers than adult cat food, which is the case with adult cat food.
The effect of this is that your cat’s tummy will not be loaded with unnecessary calories. Because the cat’s supper contains protein, it will have enough energy to fuel both its body and its brain. Because of this, it will be more probable for people to participate in physical activity. Cats will only want to sleep if they feel bloated, and they will do so until they feel better.
8. External Environmental Stimulation
If you’re having difficulties motivating your cat on your own, you may want to consider using an external stimulus to assist you. Adapt your cat’s environment as necessary to activate their innate impulses.
Many cats get intrigued when they observe birds via a window. A chirping cat implies that the cat’s hunting instincts have been awakened, suggesting that the cat is on the hunt. There is a requirement for these to be transmitted to another site.
In addition, there is an extensive collection of videos available on the internet that are specifically designed to appeal to the senses of feline viewers. Whether you play them on your computer or in front of the television with your cat, he will be entertained. Once the cat’s blood supply has been refilled, it will be bursting at the seams with enthusiasm. Participating in several leisure activities can help to alleviate this problem.
According to a study, cats were disinterested in listening to human music, so don’t bring your workout playlist with you to the gym. On the other hand, older cats will respond to music specifically tailored to their age and breed. Sound will almost certainly cause your cat to become more active if the sound awakens it.
9. Introduce Younger Playmates
Another alternative is to introduce your cat to a younger, more energetic feline partner as a last resort. A kitten, for example, will have a strong desire to play practically all of the time. Hopefully, this will motivate the slow cat to get involved in the fun. However, it is conceivable that it will have the opposite effect. Before taking any action, thoroughly consider your alternatives.
An elderly cat will have formed its own set of routines and rituals throughout its lifetime. If a kitten is introduced into the household, it is conceivable that there may be conflict. Your adult cat may develop feelings of resentment toward the kitten and the attention it receives as a result of the kitten’s presence.
You should expect your cat to be uninterested in the game at first. When confronted with a boisterous kitten, it will become increasingly irritated. Kittens are incapable of establishing boundaries. Because of the kitten, your cat will be concerned until they lose calm and physically responds to the kitten. Physical injury may arise as a result of this.
Make sure you’ve tried all other possibilities before considering pairing your cat with a kitten. Some lethargic kittens will benefit from a new friendship that will supply them with motivation and inspiration. It is important to remember that this is the exception rather than the rule. It is more likely that the cats will fight at the beginning of the game rather than fall into a rapid and uncomplicated dynamic.
Inevitably, all cats undergo a decrease in their activity levels and a loss of interest in their toys as they age. Cats develop at an alarmingly quick rate. Some owners believe the car is too rapid for their tastes. If given the right incentives, most cats, on the other hand, will be willing to engage in playful behavior. This will increase the health of your cat as well as your bond with him as a result of your actions.