Skip to Content

Why Is My Cat Not Playful Anymore

Do you have a collection of cat toys collecting dust? I heard the same story from so many cat owners. A lot of effort goes into getting your cat a good toy and when they don’t take any interest in it, it’s frustrating.

It seems like my cat would rather nap than play with their new toy. While it is annoying when your cat won’t play with their toy, is there room for concern?

If your cat isn’t playing at all despite all your best efforts it’s worth taking a look into the matter. As kittens, cats are extremely playful, so it leaves the question: why is my cat not playful anymore?

Why is my cat not playful anymore? There has to be a reason why. Well, there could be a couple of reasons behind this that may range from stress to the wrong selection of toys.

Do check out this post if you would like to find out more about these unusual cat behaviors.

Why Is My Cat Not Playful Anymore?

When they are young, cats have lots of energy and love to play. They might even keep you up all night with all that energy and playfulness.

However, as cats age, that playfulness seems to fade. Adult cats are in no way nearly as playful as when they were kittens. The good news is that that is completely normal! Adult cats are not as playful as kittens and if you notice that is the case with your cat, there isn’t any reason to worry.

A kitten’s intense curiosity causes them to be interested in everything. As adults, cats are more aware of their environment and aren’t as interested as kittens.

Although it is normal for adult cats not to be super energetic and playful, a decrease in energy and playfulness should be noted. If your cat doesn’t play at all, or you have noticed that they aren’t playing with anything lately, there may be a few reasons behind this. 


If you notice that your cat isn’t playing like usual, it may be because he or she is stressed! Just like us, cats can get stressed. If your cat is stressed, you may notice more than unwillingness to play.

Cats can become stressed for a number of reasons. One of the most common contributors to a cat’s stress is a change in the environment.

If you just moved or had an addition to the family this may be causing your cat to stress out and not want to play. There are other symptoms that come with a stressed cat.

These may include lack of appetite, urinating out of the box, excessive grooming, excessive meowing, and more. If you notice any of these symptoms, it may be that stress is behind your cat’s unplayfulness.

If you recently adopted your cat, they may need some time to adjust to their new environment. Trying to find what is stressing your cat out and dealing with it accordingly can help get your cat playing again. 

Health Issues:

Sometimes the thing that is keeping your cat from being their usual self, are health issues. Since cats can’t talk, it can be hard to know how they are feeling and what is bothering them.

Interesting READ  How Long Does It Take For a Cat To Get Used To a Dog?

Being aware of changes in your cat can help you find any problems that may arise. There are many health issues that may be hindering your cat from playing.

A cat experiencing an infection and another that is experiencing lethargy could both be unwilling to play. There are a few common health issues that may cause a cat’s lack of interest in playing.

Obesity: One very common health issue that prevents a cat from playing is obesity. It’s hard for overweight cats to have the energy and overall ability to play with toys with a lot of weight on them. 

cat obesity

Anemia: Another health issue that cats may experience is anemia. Anemia is a condition that causes tiredness and fatigue. A cat may not be playing because their anemia makes it hard due to a lack of energy.

Arthritis: When cats reach a certain age, you will notice their lack of interest in playing. However, some cats may want to play but their arthritis is making it hard. Old age will cause cats to slow down but arthritis can make it more difficult and make cats give up playing.

The last thing that’s on a sick cat’s mind is to play with some feathers or a ball. If you think that your cat may have health issues, take them to the vet to get checked. The quicker your cat is treated, the quicker they will be back to playing!


Unfortunately, cats can get depressed. A cat that experiences depression may not want to play or do much other than a nap.

Many things may cause a cat to get depressed. Something like a loss of a caregiver or an addition of a new family member or pet may be causing their depression. There are other symptoms and signs that can help to distinguish a depressed cat.

Keep an eye out for your cat’s body language, backward-facing ears, and a tucked-in tail is a sign of an unhappy kitty. Other signs, such as a decrease in appetite, increase in sleeping, and excessive grooming can point to a sad cat.

Similar to dealing with a stressed cat, a depressed cat can be helped by figuring out what is bothering them and finding a solution. Taking your cat to the vet can provide resources and a possible treatment plan for your cat.


Toys Are Boring Them:

Cats are very unusual creatures. You can buy them an expensive toy and they end up playing with the box instead!

Cats are particular with what they play with. If your cat was super playful but is not so much anymore, the culprit may be the toys!

Cats grow bored of toys pretty quickly and if the toys you are providing your cat are not stimulating them, they rather not play. If you are playing with your cat with the same toy you have been using for months, it’s only natural for cats to outgrow them.

Cats enjoy toys that heighten their hunting skills. Toys that resemble prey are toys that cats are more inclined to.

Cats like to chase their prey, so toys that will allow them to do this will hold their interest longer than a shiny ball will. Trying to figure out what toys your cat enjoys and getting similar ones will keep them playing!

Rotating cat toys every couple of weeks will keep your cat from getting bored of the same old ones day after day.

Interesting READ  Do Cats and Iguanas Get Along?

Tips To Get Your Cat To Play

Cats, especially indoor cats, need regular exercise. Playing with your cat is a form of exercise that will help to entertain them but is important for their health and wellbeing.

However, just because you want your cat to play, doesn’t mean that they will want to. It’s common for indoor cats to be somewhat inactive and getting them to start being active can be a little bit of a challenge.

Here are some tips to help get your cat to play.

Find Your Cat’s Schedule

You might find that your cat is more energetic at certain times of the day. When your cat has more energy they will be more likely to play.

Figuring out what time of the day your cat will be open to playing and trying out some toys on them is a great tip. If your cat is sleeping, and you wave a ribbon in front of them, they might just turn over.

It’s important to know when your cat will want to play and release energy and when they won’t want to. If you stick to a regular routine, your cat may realize this and be ready to play at those times.

Switch Out Toys

Cats get bored very easily and don’t like to play with the same toy over and over again, who would? It’s vital that when you play with your cat, you switch out toys every so often to keep things fresh and your cat entertained.

Cat toys can get pricey and not everyone has the luxury to get toys every time their cat gets bored. Well, you don’t have to break the bank just to keep your cat entertained.

Switch out toys for cats

The dollar store is a great place to get affordable toys to keep both your cat and wallet happy. Cats can’t tell the difference between a $15 toy and a dollar one.

Either way, they lose interest pretty soon. This way you can afford for them to lose that interest!

If you rather not get toys from the dollar store, you can make some yourself! There are lots of DIYs and tutorials for cat toys that are worth making!

Use Treats!

A great way to persuade your cat to play is to hand out some treats. Rewarding your cat after playing will help them associate play as a good thing.

Catnip is a kind of treat that cats love. Catnip will give cats a burst of energy and you can give your cat some before playing.

Sprinkling some catnip on toys is another way to pique your cat’s interest in playing. Just be careful not to get scratched in the process!


Adult cats aren’t as playful as kittens however, it is important that they play. If you notice that your cat isn’t playful anymore there could be a few things causing this.

Those may include stress, health issues, depression, or boring toys. Taking your cat to the vet to get them checked out is important to get to the bottom of unusual behavior.

By following some useful tips, you can encourage your cat to play. Playtime is a great time to bond with your cat and make great lasting memories!

encourage your cat to play