Does your cat have the habit of running around like crazy at home? Cats that have zoomies and exhibit hyperactivity can be quite a handful for cat owners. However, there are methods that you can do to pacify your cat.
Tips to calm a hyper cat:
You can calm a hyper cat or a hyper kitten with the following tips:
1. Structure playtime by providing her with some toys.
Provide stimulating toys for your cat so she can burn energy and keep herself busy. Animal behaviorist Jennie Lane suggests food dispensing toys as it entices your cat’s hunting instinct. Other toys that you can offer to your cat include balls and interactive LED lasers.
Cat experts note that if you are using laser pointers always include ways for your cat to catch the prey like landing the laser on a treat so your cat can pounce on it. If this is not done, the laser pointer play could lead to behavioral issues like shadow chasing. Play sessions should only be around 10 to 15 minutes to avoid overstimulation.
Try different timeframes to see which calms your crazy cat the most and remember that cats are nocturnal animals.
2. Provide harmony in the household.
Cats tend to act up and become hyperactive if there is chaos in the household especially when there are multiple cats. Behavioral issues tend to increase if there is a considerable number of cats in a home. Cat experts recommend consultation with a behaviorist or your vet to evaluate factors like the cat’s history and certain triggers that led to hyperactivity.
Additionally, cat experts suggest adding another cat if you only have one cat. A cat companion can help calm her since she will have someone to play with instead of directing excess play behavior on you.
3. Provide safe outdoor activities.
Cats tend to use pent-up energy on their own if there are no safe and structured ways to entertain them. Indoor cats could suffer from cabin fever from being isolated from the outdoors resulting in restlessness. You can prevent this by providing safe outdoor activities for her such as walking her on a leash so she can experience the outdoors. A catio and outdoor cat enclosure are also ideal to allow your cat to enjoy the outdoors safely.
4. Address and treat health-related issues like hyperthyroidism.
One reason why your cat is hyper could be due to health-related concerns and an overactive thyroid gland. This disease affects middle-aged and senior cats and is caused by an increase in thyroid hormones T3 and T4 due to enlarged thyroid glands. Contributing factors may include diet deficiencies and chronic exposure to certain chemicals. Aside from hyperactivity, your cat will experience weight loss, increased thirst, urination and increased appetite.
Treatment options for hyperthyroidism include surgical removal of the thyroid gland, radioactive iodine therapy, and medication like Methimazole.
5. Allow the behavior if this only entails sudden energy bursts.
You do not have to stop your hyper cat if she is merely running around for a few minutes. Cats with high energy levels often have energy bursts that are short but sudden. Cat experts note it is not necessary to stop them unless the behavior becomes dangerous such as when your cat starts to jump off household fixtures and appliances. Redirect the behavior by giving her toys like balls or a cardboard box that she can tinker with.
Kittens under six months old tend to be more hyper but their activities like play wrestling are essential to prepare them for adult life.
Feeding your cat a big meal just before bedtime can also calm your cat. Your cat will also be less likely to be awake in the middle of the night. Pheromones like Feliway can also alleviate restlessness among cats and help them become calm and relaxed.
6. Take care of the basics
Taking care of the basics in your cat’s normal life such as feeding your cat healthy cat food, cat trees, a scratching post, cat toys and remembering to clean the dirty litter box can go a long way in helping with feline hyperactivity.
7. Use calming solutions
You can also use calming products such as Feliway or CBT oil.
Why do cats become hyper and act crazy?
These are the reasons why cats become hyper and act crazy:
Due to their predatory instincts.
Cats can have too much excess energy with nothing to use it on especially if they are kept indoors. Since they cannot do their natural behavior such as hunt prey freely and climb trees and high places they become hyper and resort to running and jumping around, meowing nonstop, and disturbing you in your sleep. Being hyper may be their way of exhibiting fighting maneuvers, hunting skills or escape techniques. Address this by giving your cat some toys like catnip mice and food puzzles to practice her instinct to chase, jump and grab just as she would with actual prey.
Due to their nocturnal instincts.
While cats are crepuscular creatures some of them tend to be more active at night time. Cats that do not get enough exercise during the daytime become hyper at night. Kittens are extra energetic and can exhibit crazy behavior especially when you come home in the evening since they want to play with you.
Your cat has cognitive dysfunction.
Senior cats can become hyper due to senility or cognitive dysfunction. As cats become older their brains tend to function differently. There is a decreased responsiveness to stimuli and changes in awareness as well as deficits in learning and memory.
Your cat has fleas.
Cats can also become hyper and act crazy because they have fleas. The itchy bites could be too much for your cat which is why she is running around and biting her tail. If she is meowing nonstop she could also be hypersensitive to flea bites. Treat your cat with flea medication and consult your vet to check for skin infections and allergies due to flea bites. Vacuum and clean your household to eliminate further flea infestations.
Your cat has feline hyperesthesia syndrome or FHS.
FHS can also make a cat act crazy and become hyper. Cats with this condition tend to overgroom themselves and will run frantically around the house. Other signs of this condition include rippling of the skin at the back while a cat is running about and frequent biting at the back of the tail even though there is no sign of fleas. Cats with this condition are treated with a serotonin-enhancing drug to stabilize their moods and anti-seizure drugs like phenobarbital.
Having a hyperactive cat around can be quite a bit to handle but it can be addressed by providing her with stimulating toys to keep her busy. You can also take her outside to explore her surroundings safely by putting her on a leash or a cat enclosure. Providing her with a cat companion can also help calm her since she will have company.