Behavioral problems

My Cat Won't Play Anymore, What Can I Do?

Jungla Luque
By Jungla Luque, Ethologist and dog trainer. July 19, 2020
My Cat Won't Play Anymore, What Can I Do?

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Cats can also be very affectionate, but they're known for being very playful. This is usually one of our favourite things about adopting a cat. However, if our cat suddenly stops playing, it's understandable that we begin to worry.

In this AnimalWised article, we're going to explain why your cat won't play anymore. There are different causes and solutions to this problem. Continue reading to learn mroe!

You may also be interested in: My Parrot Won't Stop Screaming
  1. Why doesn't my cat play anymore?
  2. Boring or old toys
  3. Stress
  4. Depression
  5. Trauma
  6. Health issues

Why doesn't my cat play anymore?

Cats are very playful animals, so it is strange to see them stop playing. There are a number of reasons why a cat may stop playing, these include:

  • Boring or old toys
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Health issues

Now, we will go in depth on each of these points and their solutions. So that your cat can get back to feeling happy and playful as soon as possible!

Boring or old toys

The first reason as to why your cat has suddenly stopped playing is simply because they are not interested in their toys. Perhaps they've had these toys for a long time, or no one will play with them. Nevertheless, this is a common reason and very easy to find a solution to.

Cats are fairly easy to entertain, thanks to their curious and playful nature. Many are fascinated simply by a cardboard box. So, if you've noticed that your cat isn't playing with their toys anymore, perhaps it's time to get them some new and exciting toys that will spark their interest.

You can go to your local pet store to get some new toys, fake mouse, ball, feathers, etc., or you can make your own at home. If that's something that you'd be interested in, we encourage you to read our articles on DIY cat toys and DIY cat toys with cardboard.

My Cat Won't Play Anymore, What Can I Do? - Boring or old toys


There are many reasons as to why a cat can feel stressed, from moving to a new location to loud noises or even a new pet in the house. Nevertheless, we need to know what to do when our cat is stressed. It's very important for them to feel comfortable and at ease in their own home. This way we help them live a happy and healthy life. Read more on our article about what to do if my cat is stressed.

The solution to this issue would be to first help them relax and not feel stressed. Then, they will feel more inclined to play again. Spending quality time with them and playing with them will also help them feel less stressed, accompanied and loved. If you're not sure whether or not your cat is feeling stressed, check out our article on 5 symptoms of stress in cats.


Depression in cats is another possible cause to why your cat has stopped playing all out of a sudden. Similar to stress, depression in cats can be caused by a variety of things, such as a new pet in their home, punishment, loss of their principal caregiver, etc.

To deal with depression you will need to be patient and caring as they need you now more than ever. Being social with them, giving them affection, company and playing with them, will help them feel less lonely and depressed. Learn more in our article about depression in cats.

Once your cat begins to recover from the stressful situation that produced their depression, they will begin to be their usual curious, loving and playful cat.


When adopting a cat from a shelter, sometimes these cats are scared, stressed, sad or traumatised due to previous care givers that have let them down. If you've adopted a young or adult cat from a shelter and wonder why they're not playing yet, this may be the reason why.

When dealing with traumatised cats, it's also very important to be patient, soft and loving with them as we don't know what can cause their trauma. With time they will learn to trust us and realise that now they are safe. During this period we must be patient, give them their space but also affection.

Trying to play with them is also important, however, keep in mind that some cats with an unhealthy upbringing may not know how to play. Nevertheless, with time and patience we can help them recover and live their best life. If you need some toy ideas for your cat or how to play with them, read our article on cat toy ideas.

My Cat Won't Play Anymore, What Can I Do? - Trauma

Health issues

Lastly, your cat may have suddenly stopped playing due to a health issue. To be sure, it's best to take your cat to the veterinarian for a check-up as this can be a clinical sign for an underlying disease or other health issue. Some of the most common health reasons why a cat has stopped playing include:

  • Obesity: overweight cats may have a hard time moving around and playing. They may lay around and sleep more than usual since being active is physical painful. The best thing to do in this case is to speak to your veterinarian about the right diet for your cat and how to make them more active, helping them lose weight and be healthy again.
  • Arthritis: this, along with other health problems related to old age, can limit how much a cat can exercise and move. If you notice your cat has symptoms of arthritis, you will have to take them to the veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
  • Anemia: this can cause cats to feel tired as their body isn't receiving the nutrients it needs to properly function. You will also need professional help as the veterinarian will need to properly examine your cat and find the correct treatment for their condition.
  • Visual impairment: as cats age they may begin to lose their vision. This may cause them to be less playful. Read our article about adopting blind cats to learn more about caring for these cats.

If you believe that your cat has stopped playing due to health issues, it's best to take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian can even help you figure out how to help you stressed, depressed or traumatised cat.

Although these problems require time and patience, they have solutions and will help your cat recover and live their best life.

If you want to read similar articles to My Cat Won't Play Anymore, What Can I Do?, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.

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My Cat Won't Play Anymore, What Can I Do?