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Why Isn’t My Cat Interested in Playing: 8 Likely Reasons

Melissa Gunter

By Melissa Gunter

A munchkin breed cat nonchalantly stares at a dangling toy

Cats are creatures that we are constantly trying to figure out. Some cats live for running through the house, climbing your curtains, and getting into everything they possibly can. Other cats, however, prefer to lounge around in their favorite spot, waiting on you to dote on them and living out their lives in luxuries. Whether you have the athletic kitty in your home or the lounger, playtime is a part of every cat’s routine. If you pull out their favorite toy and tease your kitty, even the most docile feline will spring into action in hopes of a little fun.

Unfortunately, at times, even the most energetic cats may seem uninterested in playing. When you notice this, instantly the worry sets in. There are several reasons your cat may be disinterested in playing. Understanding these situations can help you better care for your cat and even bond with them more. Let’s learn some of the likely reasons your cat isn’t playing so you can better understand the fickle creature in your life.

The 8 Likely Reasons Your Cat Isn’t Interested in Playing

1. Age Affects Your Cat’s Interests

old ginger house cat is resting on the couch
Image Credit: shymar27, Shutterstock

Kittens are normally into everything and ready to explore the world around them. This curiosity often remains with them for several years. Older cats, however, have been there and done that. As cats age, their interest in certain things may change. This is natural. If your cat is 7 or older and you’ve noticed a steady decrease in their playtime, don’t worry. They are simply settling down. Playtime may happen less frequently but your cat should still be alert and aware of what’s happening around them.

2. Health Issues

No pet owner likes to see their best friend feeling down. One way of noticing this in a normally active kitty is when they decide they don’t want to play. If your cat suddenly doesn’t like their favorite toy or isn’t trying to interact when you initiate play, it could be feeling under the weather. Keep an eye on them for a day or two. If their lack of interaction continues, you may need to take a trip to the vet for a wellness check.

3. Injuries

Injured Cat
Image Credit: HeungSoon, Pixabay

We can’t be with our cats every second of the day. For active kitties who like to run and jump, hurting themselves is a big possibility. When you come home from a day out to find your active kitty laying around, not wanting to engage with you, they could’ve hurt themselves while exploring the house. Like with health issues, injuries could require a visit to the vet. Always check on your cat when they are acting differently so you can be aware of what’s happening and get them proper care when needed.

4. Breed

If you’ve owned several cats throughout your lifetime, you know every breed is different. Not only do they have their own look, but they also have their own personalities. According to the breed of cat you own, your kitty may not be into playing as much. This doesn’t mean anything is wrong, but they still need activity and exercise. Always try to engage your kitty and get them to exercise to keep them healthy. For those who own more active breeds, play and exploring will become part of your cat’s routine. When you notice these cats aren’t playing, you should take notice.

5. Your Cat Is Bored

Just like us, cats can get bored. Honestly, they may get bored easier than us humans. Your kitty may have a favorite toy today that they could care less about tomorrow. If you want to keep your cat happy and playing, always have several options around the house for them. Multiple toys or outlets for their energy are a great way to keep your cat happy and free from the burden of boredom.

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6. Stress

Cats are susceptible to stress. Changes in their lives can strongly affect how much they play or interact with you. If your cat is new to your family, don’t expect them to play immediately. Cats need time to acclimate to their environments. The same can be said when you move, bring a new pet into the house, or even have a child. Understanding that your cat will react differently when they are stressed is necessary to be a great cat owner. They may not play as much when they are upset, but eventually, things will get back to normal.

7. Time of Day

cream colored maine coon cat jumping from a couch
Image Credit: Nils-Jacobi, Shutterestock

Have you heard people say their cats only want to play at the break of dawn and late in the evening? You may have thought those people were exaggerating a bit, but that’s not necessarily the case. If you’re trying to convince your kitty to play during the middle of the day and all they want to do is lay around, don’t be alarmed. This is normal. Just don’t be surprised when they exude high levels of energy when twilight sets in.

8. Weight

Unfortunately, cats can be prone to obesity and being overweight. If your cat packs on a few extra pounds, you may notice its energy levels lowering. This isn’t good for your kitty. They need play and exercise. Try to keep your cat engaged and playing. If that doesn’t work, switch over to puzzle feeders. Anything you can do to get movement out of your cat can help with their weight issues. You may also need to speak with your veterinarian about how to help them lose the extra pounds and get back to their ideal weight.


Not every cat is the same. Some cats love to play, nonstop. Others aren’t big on rushing around the house and would prefer to lounge peacefully. Still, even the laziest of cats needs a bit of exercise in their life. If you notice nothing you do is getting your cat to engage in play, there could be an underlying issue that should be addressed. If your cat’s lack of interest lasts for more than a few days, schedule a trip to the veterinarian. Whether there’s an issue or not, you’ll feel better knowing you put your kitty’s health and well-being first.

Featured Image Credit: Samray, Shutterstock

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