Five Ways To Get Cats To Play With Toys

By Category: How To Get A Cat To Play, Why Cats Won't Play With Toys
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Personally, my favorite toys are outside in the woods. But if you want to get cats to play with toys inside, I came up with these suggestions.

Getting cats to play with toys sometimes takes some effort

Do your cats play with their toys?

Thomasina, how do you get cats to play with toys? My cats have a gazillion toys, and they won’t play with any of them. 
— Frustrated

Hi, Frustrated…
Sometimes you have to think like a cat to get cats to play with their toys. To us, play is a lot like hunting, and the fun is in the thrill of the hunt. We love to watch, chase and pounce. Our prey, even if it’s just a toy, is supposed to scoot through the grass (or across the rug), not just lie there on the floor looking at us. That’s so boring.

If you’re ready to think like a cat, here are five ways to get cats to play with toys and enjoy the thrill of the hunt.

You Can Get Cats To Play With Toys That Do Something

    • First, store mice and other toys made of fabric in really good, potent catnip. When you take the toys out, the catnip will get your cats’ attention, and they’ll start playing.
    • Make the toy come to life. Toss it across the room, dangle it in front of the cats or drag it across their line of vision. Make it hop and zigzag while you’re doing that. The cats will want to chase it.
    • Large crinkle balls are great because they make a noise while we’re swatting them around the floor. Bottle caps are fun, too, because they also make noise while we’re playing with them.

  • At my house, we love electronic toys like this robotic mouse because they scoot around and actually do something. 
  • We also love Da Bird and the other interactive wand toys we all play with with our human. Try to make the toy act like a bird jumping and zigzagging across the floor or swooping up and down in the air. Something else to keep in mind is that we’re nearsighted. Your cats will be able to see the toy better if it’s a few inches away instead of right in their faces.

I could go on and on about this, but I think I hear Da Bird whooshing around in the living room as I’m dictating. Gotta go… I need to catch that birdie on a string before Soda does. Hope your cats have fun with their new toys!


I hate to say it, but I think it’s odd…