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Pet Peeves: Kitty Hates Toys?

Q: I have spent nearly $75 on a variety of toys for my new kitten, brought them home, presented them to her with much fanfare, and . . . nothing. She sniffed at the catnip toy, gave a bell-filled ball a swat, and walked away. Seriously, I may be reading too much into this, but I swear she even gave me a disdainful look as she stalked off. Did I stumble upon a cat toy snob? Help!

A: I am just imagining a kitty-voice narration to the scene you described as, "This is the best you could do . . . I scoff at you, silly human." While some pets just don't take that much interest in toys, I think cats can often be the pickiest of them all. It's possible that she will show a strong preference for what some people call found items, but I like to call D.I.Y. toys. Before you go out to buy any more fancy stuff, try some of the suggestions pictured here offered up by PetSugar readers like you. Also, try rotating her toys, leaving just a few different ones of different types out at a time around your home. Some cats don't like toys presented with great fanfare, and would prefer to find these items on their hunts around your house – so you can also test out this kitty hide and seek idea. Finally, try to get your kitten interested in a toy by mimicking catlike behavior with it – batting paper around, dangling strings, etc. This may not work immediately but could hopefully gain her attention . . . if not to just watch you with disdain. Good luck!


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TheBorgiasDevil TheBorgiasDevil 7 years
My cat Pharaoh LOVES hair scrunchies. Whenever he finds one, no matter what time of the day it is, he runs downstairs to me with the scrunchie in his mouth, meowing up a storm till I take the time to recognize his achievment and pat him on the head, then he carries it around the rest of the day. My other cat, Hiei, however, loves his big plastic donut with the ball on the inside that he can bat at. My mothers cat, Virginia, will only ever play with the feather duster.
amh678 amh678 8 years
My cats RARELY play with store-bought toys. Everything they play with is totally random. Their favorite is a shoe string with a elastic hair band tied on. Just run it around the floor and they're fascinated for hours. Their other favorite - the safety things that you have to peel off of milk caps. The love to bat those around. We switched to soy milk about a year ago, and they love the caps on those just as much! It's the little things!
peachesmel9 peachesmel9 8 years
My cat is downright OBSESSED with aluminum foil balls. If she hears us even take out the container to use it for legitimate food storage she freaks out. She actually fetches it when we throw it,and wakes us up in the middle of the night by dropping it on us and meowing until we wake up. Hilarious.
smcose smcose 8 years
I went through the same thing with my cat a few years back. Unill one day I recieved a gift in a bag that had that fuzzy marabou (sp?) stuff on the edges. She loved it! so I wnt out and picked up some fuzzy mice for her, and they are the only toy she will go near. If I pick up mice that are not reallyfuzzy she dose not want any part of it. Some are just picky I guess
Alisha_Stiletto Alisha_Stiletto 8 years
Im not surprised. Some animals just dont take to toys. My pup has no interest in chewing on anything.
reills reills 8 years
My cat has a lot of fancy toys too. Some which she likes a lot and others not so much. Some of her favorite items, however, are my ponytail holders, you know the no ouch elastic bands, she goes nuts over them!!! And like Schaianne's kitty, mine also has an affinity for twisty ties and bottle caps. You might also try packaging peanuts for hours of entertainment. Good Luck!!!
mandielynne mandielynne 8 years
My cat loves to play fetch with bobby pins(and bobby pins only)! I had no idea until one day she brought one to me and dropped it. (I guess I threw, she went after it, and brought it back- I'm not sure how that came about exactly). If she hears me open the drawer she knows I keep them in she comes running. She could play for hours. It's really cute!
silvermoon silvermoon 8 years
My cat loves the laser pointer. And he loves cardboard boxes. I leave a couple empty boxes around the house because he loves to jump in them and roll around. I'll put catnip in the bottom of the box too and he goes nuts for it. He also likes playing with rugs. =)
mellie_608 mellie_608 8 years
My kitty loved the Fat Cat kitty hoots toys that come in all different kinds but are the fabric ones that have a plastic crinkle in them (the butterfly one was his favorite - Other than that he just adored a balled up piece of paper!
Schaianne Schaianne 8 years
One of my cats hated toys .. but loved a crumpled up peice of aluminum foil!! Bottle tops, bottle top rings, twist ties ... all have become favored play toys in my house!
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 8 years
Yeah, catnip has never affected my cats (two Siamese rascals), so don't worry - just be amused. And they're not big on traditional "toys" but absolutely LOVE to find all the stray balls of yarn that my mother has lost over the years and drag them around the house yowling as loud as possible, and then bring us what they've "killed" as presents... Like other people have said, they often like to play with "forbidden" items (as in the instance where my Smashbox fantail brush "magically" transported itself from my dressing table to the basement *grrrrr*)... Good luck!
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 8 years
Play up her stalking instinct! I recently made my kitties one of those fishing rod type toys by braiding together a few pieces of yarn (leaving a little tassle at the end) and safety pinning it to one of those dry cleaning hangar rods they use for pants. It got my older cat who only plays with tennis balls really going!
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Like hottpink said, kittens don't respond to catnip (and not all grown cats do). Give the little stinker some time and I'm sure she'll be tearin' up the house in no time. :)
Arielrb38 Arielrb38 8 years
My cats don't generally like toys unless they are made with real animal fur (usually rabbit). While this grates on my vegetarian ways, I have to remember that my cats were not born to share my beliefs, they are carnivores and hunters. One of my cats loves the small furry mice and will happily play with them until he has lost it under an appliance or a piece of furniture. My other cat loves anything with feathers. Neither of them like things that make noise. On the catnip front, most cats have to grow into catnip. I have never had, or known a cat who liked catnip as a kitten, but both of my cats are now grown and love the stuff. I can also attest to the awesome (and entertaining for you)quality of a cheap laser pointer as a cat toy. Many cats, especially kittens want to interact with you. When my cats were kittens they were far happier when I tied (you can tie some yarn to the tail, or sew a knot to the fabric/ fur) the toy mouse to a string and dangled it for them than when I just threw it for them.
hottpink hottpink 8 years
Most kittens will not react to catnip until they get older but like schnappycat said, not all cats like catnip. One of my kitties LOVES those little mice and any kind of empty box. He could play in them all day long! My other kitty loves to chase the laser pointer around!!
taffetacupcakes taffetacupcakes 8 years
Your cat may not like toys, may like the hunt and kill approach to play, may prefer an object that seems like something they shouldn't play with (Yes, I've met cats that are this conniving.), or might like a good game of hide under the covers and chase my owner's hand above the cover. Some cats prefer an accompanied walk around the neighborhood instead. Be creative, and you'll stumble over some sort of bonding moment.
schnappycat schnappycat 8 years
Contrary to popular belief, not all cats like catnip. Neither of mine really did, whereas my mom's cat was obsessed with it. And while my cat likes a few toys (little mice mostly), he seems to prefer empty boxes (like the ones from Costco) and paper the most. Or pens or the stick ends of dangly toys. So maybe think outside the box, so to speak, to find something more unusual your kitty might prefer. :)
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 8 years
Cats have different toy personalities. You just have to find what she loves - trust me, there's something! She may be more into interactive toys like one of mine. He won't play with anything unless it's powered by me. He'll also bring me toys to throw for him, but only specific types of toys. My other cat will only bring an entirely different type of toy for fetch. I didn't even know she would play fetch until I brought some of those toys home. :)
Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 8 years
Give her a Christmas Tree. Best. Cat toy. EVER!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I have the opposite problem, my kitten thinks everything is a toy and plays 24/7, Nothing is safe. he does have his favorites though, like his catnip stuffed squirrel and my other cats tail. I have had kittens that cared less about toys, sometimes you get one that doesnt have that instinct.
james-bond-girl james-bond-girl 8 years
My cat has never shown an interest in toys. He enjoys the ocassional batting of a ballpoint pen, pencil, etc... off a table or counter ocassionally but that's about it. He likes to run around like a crazy man sometimes, but he has zero interest in toys. It's cheaper and cleaner that way anyway!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
Hahaha awwww poor little kitty! Mine LOVES her toys with a capital L. She loves new ones and has like about a billion little leather mousies that she carries everywhere with her. She also has this wierd habit of putting toys in her water dish. Like her strings or catnip doggie. She is a weird-o.
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