Hello much help needed. Cat will not play by herself

Strawbubb

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Hi there.

About a month ago, adopted a domestic shorthair cat, who was apparently from a hoarding situation, and had been recently pregnant. She was stated to be 2 years old. I like many work at home but will likely not after covid - so I knew I needed an adult cat, almost adopted senior and now really wish I had.

After taking her to a vet because it seemed like she was shaking her head a lot, and to get a general checkup, AND because she seemed to be limping/had a sprained leg, the vet said... she's probably still a kitten. Mis-aged. Oh dear. It explains a lot.

She has a......... LOT of energy. It was adorable, then scary. She will sprint at full speed, jump, do flips, for almost an hour at a time. I played with her on most days for 4-6 sessions of this a day until recently, so... up to 6 hours a day. Because if I didn't, she would meow so much it was painful and her throat started getting raspy, or she would start zooming across the room with her tail fluffed like she was scared (??), or start pretend-catching invisible prey on my bed and many sheets have been ruined. I think her sprain was because she went to hard on the play (lol) and I can't stop her. I'll have the wand toy a feet away and she will try and SMITE it like full speed charge, smacking her body into anything nearby with a hard thunk.

I literally don't know how to get her to play softer and not hurt herself again. Her sprain is recovered but like... yikes. This is not what I was ready for. Trying to do a Master's and that needs 10 hours a day.

So yeah. She won't play by herself. I have so many toys for her. So many. It's right there. In front of her. She won't even go look at it unless I walk her over. Then she might play for a second until I walk away. If I stay, she'll play for 2 seconds then look at me expecting me to do something with it. She won't do anything unless I do it for her, and follows me everywhere. Getting another cat isn't an option right now, but I've tried showing her videos of other cat playing with toys (lol). No luck.

These two weeks I tried to lower the playtime, but of course those things previously mentioned happened. Constant meowing. Invisible prey catching (why not just catch the nice realistic expensive mouse toy that squeaks!?!??!) I actually never even look at her when she meows but it's been a month and it's still happening. The past 2 days, she started fully sleeping when I wasn't playing with her, when she woke up from sound or movement around her, she'd follow me, start meowing, then realizing I wasn't going to play she'd sleep. I've been playing at designated times, even with an alarm at the times so she learns. But to no avail.

Anyone know what to do? What do I do :'( Is she actually a demon? Someone help.
 
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Strawbubb

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What is her feeding schedule? Would she like any electric toys?
I feed her at 8am, 12pm, 5pm, and 9pm. Basically after the main play sessions. But now that I'm trying to get the play sessions to 3 times a day, 30 mins each, I do 8am, 2pm, 8pm.
 

Mamanyt1953

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There are any number of battery-operated toys that move on their own, Hekitty likes this one:

1600343892499.png

Chewy carries it, and it's one of those toys that just fascinates her. She has, however, figured out how to turn it on, so I have to take the batteries out at night, as she does NOT turn it back off!
 
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Strawbubb

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There are any number of battery-operated toys that move on their own, Hekitty likes this one:

View attachment 351252
Chewy carries it, and it's one of those toys that just fascinates her. She has, however, figured out how to turn it on, so I have to take the batteries out at night, as she does NOT turn it back off!
Thank you, I'll try some battery toys. :)
 

She's a witch

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You spoiled her with 6h play time a day :D I made the same mistake when my girl was still a kitten. Adding another cat helped, but she still wanted to play with me and wouldn’t play by herself. That hasn’t changed, 3 years later she still requires real interaction with another person/cat, any interactive toys were (still are) waste of money for her. But Scheduled playtime did help, eventually she learned that that’s the time I give to her and that’s it. You need to be very engaged in this time and very disengaged at the time when you don’t play. It took my girl around a month to accept the new schedule (we played at least an hour twice a day, same time every day). But it was easier since she had other cat to play with when I was not at her service. Anyway, with strict schedule and lots of patience she will adjust. If not, time will help :)
Good luck!
 

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It is actually good that she has adjusted so quickly to being with you! You two just have to figure out a way to give her the play she needs without wearing you out! She will get used to things. Just remember, animals from a hoarding situation have suffered from neglect, which, as you know, is a form of abuse. That means you are dealing with a young, abused cat that has had at least one litter of kittens in a horrible situation.

Since you are not able to get another cat at the moment, I would have to agree that the electric toys might help you out in this situation. (A second cat would be best, but electric toys would be second best.)

Cats from hoarding situations have to relearn how to behave, especially if they become the only cat in the household. Do you know what type of hoarding situation it was? Sometimes the cats are free to roam, and then other times, they are kept in crates or cages. Both types of situations have their own sets of problems. My guess is that her need for your constant attention stems from her trauma of neglect and from the fact that she does not have another living creature with which to interact. That might seems to be easier to manage and adjust than when the cats are too fearful to show affection or interact with humans. Too often cats that are from hoarding situations behave in a way that makes them almost like ferals.

I have 13 cats in my home at the moment. Three are going with my son and his fiancee when they move into their new house at the beginning of October. 13 sounds insane to some, and, to some, it IS is a hoarding situation, but our cats are extremely well cared for and spoiled. My vet and I agree that the three kittens I took in this past late June (Cassian, Xanthippe, and Iroh) were likely from a hoarding situation or an unethical breeder because they were definitely kept in cages. They used to pile on top of each other in a corner and sleep in their litter box huddled together. Iroh has had the hardest time adjusting.
 
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Strawbubb

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It is actually good that she has adjusted so quickly to being with you! You two just have to figure out a way to give her the play she needs without wearing you out! She will get used to things. Just remember, animals from a hoarding situation have suffered from neglect, which, as you know, is a form of abuse. That means you are dealing with a young, abused cat that has had at least one litter of kittens in a horrible situation.

Since you are not able to get another cat at the moment, I would have to agree that the electric toys might help you out in this situation. (A second cat would be best, but electric toys would be second best.)

Cats from hoarding situations have to relearn how to behave, especially if they become the only cat in the household. Do you know what type of hoarding situation it was? Sometimes the cats are free to roam, and then other times, they are kept in crates or cages. Both types of situations have their own sets of problems. My guess is that her need for your constant attention stems from her trauma of neglect and from the fact that she does not have another living creature with which to interact. That might seems to be easier to manage and adjust than when the cats are too fearful to show affection or interact with humans. Too often cats that are from hoarding situations behave in a way that makes them almost like ferals.

I have 13 cats in my home at the moment. Three are going with my son and his fiancee when they move into their new house at the beginning of October. 13 sounds insane to some, and, to some, it IS is a hoarding situation, but our cats are extremely well cared for and spoiled. My vet and I agree that the three kittens I took in this past late June (Cassian, Xanthippe, and Iroh) were likely from a hoarding situation or an unethical breeder because they were definitely kept in cages. They used to pile on top of each other in a corner and sleep in their litter box huddled together. Iroh has had the hardest time adjusting.
Thank you all for the insights. This makes me understand the situation a lot better. And I think having only had her a month, some things may take longer to adjust to.

Unsure what type of hoarding situation, but she has what looks like little nibble bits missing on her ear - as if some other cat had bit her... and now that I think about the situation from her perspective (lol)... she may have a lot of trauma around her ears. It's been difficult because on top of her adjusting I've had to give her ear infection medicine which she haaaated, and her ears would flatten, twist 360 degrees to avoid the medicine or even a cloth touching them.

Hopefully we'll work better together, because I think she definitely has neglect in the past, she's already developed an anxious attachment and if i close the bathroom door to use it, she'll sit outside meowing, and if I leave she'll meow 'till she falls asleep lol. Maybe one day she'll feel more secure.
 

Elphaba09

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Thank you all for the insights. This makes me understand the situation a lot better. And I think having only had her a month, some things may take longer to adjust to.

Unsure what type of hoarding situation, but she has what looks like little nibble bits missing on her ear - as if some other cat had bit her... and now that I think about the situation from her perspective (lol)... she may have a lot of trauma around her ears. It's been difficult because on top of her adjusting I've had to give her ear infection medicine which she haaaated, and her ears would flatten, twist 360 degrees to avoid the medicine or even a cloth touching them.

Hopefully we'll work better together, because I think she definitely has neglect in the past, she's already developed an anxious attachment and if i close the bathroom door to use it, she'll sit outside meowing, and if I leave she'll meow 'till she falls asleep lol. Maybe one day she'll feel more secure.
You are welcome. I did a little looking and found an article that might be helpful for you. Good luck and keep us informed as to how things go!

Understanding Separation Anxiety In Cats | MedicAnimal.com

(On a side note, my little Iroh who used to find the smallest spaced to hid was sleeping in my bed with my husband and me this morning! He was so afraid before that he had broken all of his whiskers while squeezing into hiding places. He started seeking my attention about two weeks ago and was hiding less, but only with me. Him being near my husband is a big deal!)
 
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