My cat prefers playing with anything but her toys. Why does she do this?

She likes to bite my fingers for fun, or play with paper, pencils, and bottle caps. But she refuses to play with her cat toys like her balls. I'll roll them and she either watch or follow after it and then she'll paw at it and back away. After that she just loses interest and leaves.

Asked by Nikki on Dec 24th 2008 Tagged toys in Other Behavior & Training
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Sassy (2001-2012)

Some cats just don't like certain types of toys so you should just try some different types of toys to find what she likes. Xena goes crazy for ping pong balls but is not interested in toy mice but Sassy is just the opposite. They both like the fishing pole toy which is a piece of fleecey material on a stick - they'll chase the material if you flick it around and they also like the stick if you tap it on the ground.

You need to teach her that your fingers are not toys. Easiest way is that once you've found a toy like a toy mouse that she likes any time she bites your fingers immediately give her the toy instead. If she keeps nipping your fingers just get up and ignore her and she'll soon learn that if she wants to play she needs to leave your fingers alone.

Sassy (2001-2012) answered on 12/24/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I have 5 and they each like different toys but I don't have any toy that they all like. Allie will only play with the laser pointer or these things called "loony loops" that are a ring of plastic like you get off a milk carton. Bailey rarely plays but will go crazy for feathers on the end of a stick. Chelsea will only play with crinkly mylar balls which look like balls of foil. The 2 youngest like little mice and plastic balls with a bell inside. I did just buy a pretty cool toy for Christmas that had everybody's attention for a while and hours later, Kira still can't walk away. It's a "crazy circle" which is a ball stuck inside a plastic ring. You just have to find the toy that Nikki likes the best.

Allie answered on 12/25/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


My opinion is that it is perfectly normal behavior. I've bought to Sergei a lot of toys produced for cats to play with but he won't even look at them. He just prefers more to play with a shiny rope or little Christmas balls, or like your Nikki with some paper!
So don't worry, cats find what is amusing to them and they can play for hours with it. Don't worry if your cat doesn't play with balls. It would be bad if she doesn't want to play with anything!

Sergei answered on 12/25/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Us cats are very smart. Kind of like toddlers or small children who explore, invent and create. And the human kits like our toys too! What wonderful worlds we explore.
P.S. try the cat dancer - haven't met a cat yet who doesn't like it.

Bibi answered on 6/2/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Captain Jack

I have a 5 year old mix and a 7 year old Rex and they both enjoy different toys as well! I would definitely agree that you should try a variety of types of toys till you find something your kitten is into. My cats love the Panic Mouse; it takes 3 AA batteries that last a while, and it can be set to only run for a certain amount of time (5 minutes, 10, etc.) and then shut itself off so you can set it up and walk away. It flings a little toy around erratically on the end of a plastic arm. My Rex loves feathers and balls; my mix loves ribbons and soft, stuffed mice (she pretends these are kittens). Between them they probably have over 100 items! Cat toys can be expensive, but they can also be really cheep (some come in packs) so shop around, you don't have to spend a fortune. Catnip toys work with most cats but not all. I am not home often so most of my cats' toys are the play-alone kind, but being involved with your cat's play time is a great way to bond. Just keep trying!

Captain Jack answered on 8/2/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer