Parrot Won’t Play With Toys (Here’s What You Should Do About It)

As parrot owners, the vast majority of us love nothing more than to play with our lovely parrots.

Even if it’s for a few minutes, it’s challenging to find a more fun and rewarding time than to see our parrot thrilled with joy as we play with them.

Still, it’s not always possible to play with them, making toys necessary to buy parrots, so they have something to play with when you’re not around.

Toys are great for parrots, and there are plenty of options to consider, some of which every parrot owner should get for their parrot.

Plus, parrots love toys, making it an advantageous purchase as soon as you see your parrot having the time of their life with whatever toy you got them.

As great as it is to buy a parrot a toy to see them play with it, sometimes parrots refuse to play with one.

If you’re a parrot owner, you more than likely will run or have already run into this issue before.

Rather than scrapping the toy entirely, realize there’s a lot you can do to try and help your parrot play with the toy.

As a result, down below, we’re going to go over several tips and things you should do to help your parrot play with a toy.

We’ll also discuss other vital factors you should be aware of when it comes to making sure your parrot is okay with a toy you got them.

After all, you never know when an issue might present itself, and you need to help them.

Let’s take a look!


Check to Make Sure They’re Okay

First and foremost, if your parrot is acting odd around a toy, double-check to make sure they’re okay.

Especially check on them if they typically play with toys and you without any problem.

If a parrot feels ill or is physically injured, they tend to get timid and avoid everything around them at all cost.

If this happens to be the case with your parrot, try not to overreact too much.

Do what you can to bring them to the vet and get them the help they need.

If your vet feels everything is fine, and your parrot seems back to normal.

It more than likely is one of the other scenarios on this list.

Still, try to not be neglectful with issues like this as you never know when something more severe is going on.

Regardless, do what you can to help your parrot or, at the very least, make them feel more comfortable so they can comfortably play.

Your parrots’ happiness and well-being are paramount, so don’t neglect them.


Play with Your Parrot

Sometimes all a parrot needs to feel more like themselves is a bit of encouragement.

Thus, get down to their level and play with them.

Once they’re in the mood and spirit of playing, they more than likely will go to the toy to play with it.

As you can imagine, if a parrot isn’t in the mood to play, they might not play with a toy right away.

The toy itself might not be enough encouragement for your parrot to play.

Since your parrot has a natural bond with you, you might as well do what you can to encourage them and have fun.

Worst-case scenario, you’ll just end up playing with your parrot, which is always a fun effort.


Play with the Toy Yourself

Besides playing with your parrot to help them get in the mood of playing, try playing with the toy yourself as a way to encourage them to begin playing.

Parrots aren’t dumb, and if they start to see you having fun, they more than likely will want to get in on the fun and enjoy the toy themselves.

Thus, playing with the toy yourself is always an intriguing effort to do as it can prompt your parrot to see it’s okay to play with whatever toy you’re trying to get them to play with.

Even if it doesn’t end up working, your parrot will at least start playing with you, thus putting them in a good mood.


Make a Mess Around the Toy

If you found playing with your parrot and toy doesn’t work, this is where you’ll need to get creative.

That creativity can lead you to make a mess around the toy and playing near the toy, causing the scene itself to have a playful feel.

Parrots typically tear things apart as a way of playing, so consider ripping up paper around the toy to encourage them.

Keep in mind, making a mess around the toy doesn’t mean to be a slob.

All it means is to rip up some paper around it to help set the scene of what your parrot thinks playing is.

Your parrot will more than likely react to this somehow, so be mindful of what they end up doing.


Encourage Your Parrot to Play

Besides playing with the toy, your parrot, or making a creative mess, encouragement goes a long way with helping your parrot play.

All encouragement means is to be overly friendly and loving to your parrot while the toy is nearby, so they’re in good spirits before you try to get them to play.

Try calling their name and moving the toy around to entice them even further.

Whatever you end doing, be aware of what you’re doing and if it’s working or not.

Try to not be too assertive in getting them to play as it’s never ideal for forcing them into anything.

Do it slow and see what happens.


Leave Your Parrot Alone

In some instances, parrots only will play if they’re entirely alone.

As odd as it might sound since parrots are typically social creatures, it’s widespread for parrots to want to do nothing when they’re around people.

As your parrot gains trust around you, you won’t have to worry about this all that much.

Still, if your parrot is an overall shy bird, definitely try leaving them alone with the toy.

If you do it, you might get to walk in on them playing with the toy.

Do what you can to try to get them to relax and have fun.

It might take a more considerable effort than you’d initially hope for, but try it out.


Try Getting Your Parrot a New Toy

Worst-case scenario, you might be left with the notion that your parrot will never use the toy.

If this happens to be the case, consider getting them another toy.

If your parrot has played with toys in the past, you can make a note of what they’ve played with before.

Just like humans, parrots have preferences, meaning they might not play with a specific toy if it doesn’t fit their interest.

As a result, do what you can to ensure whatever toy you’re trying to get them to enjoy fits their preference.

Every parrot is different, so it really depends on your specific parrot.


Is Your Parrot Afraid of the Toy?

Now that we’ve gone over a comprehensive list of scenarios and solutions you should try on your parrot, let’s discuss a few other areas that are worth highlighting.

First off, you need to double-check the toy you got them isn’t scaring them in any way.

Forcing them to play with a toy that frightens them is never a good idea, so be mindful of what’s going on with your parrot and what you should do about it.

Usually, you can tell if your parrot is afraid of a toy if they back-off when you set it near them.

Other examples may include them trying to run away from the toy, or they make noises.

If they’re scared of the toy, try playing with it by showing them the toy is excellent.

Sometimes all your parrot needs is some reassurance to know something is okay for them to play with.


Do You Have the Right Toys for your Parrot?

Besides analyzing whether or not your parrot is afraid of a toy, you need to make sure you have the right toys for your parrot.

There are specifically made toys for parrots, so don’t try to buy a cat or dog toy and hope it’ll work for your parrot as well.

Even with a toy that’s deemed for parrots, your parrot might not like it, as we discussed earlier.

Thus, it becomes essential for you to do what you can to ensure your parrot has a toy they like, as well as knowing if something is off and you need to help them.


Is Your Parrots’ Toy Clean?

Although we discussed the importance of making a mess around your parrots’ toy with paper, this doesn’t apply to their toy’s actual cleanliness.

If your parrot has a toy they’ve played with for a while, it more than likely needs some cleaning.

On the other hand, if the toy is brand new, it might have an odd odor to it that is annoying your parrot.

Thus, take the time to wash the toy and see what it does for your parrot.

To your own surprise, you might see your parrot begin playing with the toy.

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