Your cat may be running around like crazy to release some pent-up energy, as an expression of its age-old instincts, or in some case due to a medical condition.
Why does my cat run around like crazy?
A cat running around like crazy is said to have the crazies or zoomies. As a cat parent, you may be wondering if this is something that you should be worried about.
A cat may be running around like crazy for the following five reasons:
1. It may be your cat’s way of releasing pent-up energy.
Another probable reason why your cat gets the crazies is to express and release pent-up energy. Indoor cats, for instance, have very limited environmental stimulation. They have restricted abilities to exhibit natural cat behavior.
Cats normally run at a speed of more or less 30mph if they are given ample space to do it. However, since an indoor cat stays inside most of the time she cannot do this. As a result, cats resort to running around like crazy to express their frustration.
You can help your cat to divert the zoomies by providing interactive play sessions. Give her fishing rod-style toys such as the PURRfect Cat Toys that will encourage her to chase, jump, and unleash her predator instincts. You may also provide a puzzle feeder like Catit Senses Cat Treat Maze to mentally challenge her.
2. It may be your cat’s way of running away from “invisible predators”.
Cats usually do the crazies after they use the litter box. There is a theory that when cats go on their private business, they dig and bury their waste deep into the sand and skitter or run away like crazy. This behavior is believed to be their way of hiding any traces of their scent so that predators will not be able to track it down. This is part of a cat’s instincts that have been passed on from their ancestors.
3. It may be a way to purify themselves after using the litter box.
Cat experts theorize that felines may run around like crazy as a means to purify and get away from the stink of their poop. Cats are so particular with cleanliness and endlessly groom themselves. They are known to stop using their litter box if they detect odors that they do not like.
4. It may be an indication of stress and anxiety.
If your cat gets the crazies when she previously does not show any indication, your feline may probably be stressed or anxious. There may have been current changes in your home or there was a new addition to the family like a new pet or family member. Cats hate sudden changes because they thrive on routine.
You can help alleviate your cat’s stress by keeping her busy through interactive playtime. Also, try to calm and relax her further by using synthetic pheromones like Feliway Classic Diffuser in your home.
5. Your cat may have an underlying medical problem.
A cat that suddenly has the zoomies without any obvious triggers may be a sign that your cat has an underlying medical problem.
These are some of the probable health concerns that could be causing your cat to run around like crazy:
1. Flea infestation
Flea bites are very annoying for cats and the discomfort and itch caused by these parasites may lead your cat to run around like crazy.
This medical condition is caused by an over-production of thyroid hormones from enlarged thyroid glands. One of its symptoms is hyperactivity which may explain why your cat has the zoomies. Other symptoms of this condition may include weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, increased appetite, and increased thirst and urination.
3. Allergies and itchy skin problems
If your cat has skin problems or allergies, she may also tend to run around like crazy to try to escape from the discomfort and itchy feeling.
4. Changes in hearing or eyesight
Senior cats are prone to this condition and their failing eyesight or hearing may elicit unfamiliar sounds or sights. As a result, a senior cat may become spooked or agitated and may run around like crazy.
5. Senility or cognitive dysfunction
Cat dementia or senility is one of the conditions that affect senior cats. Your cat may become disoriented, stare at walls, or walk aimlessly and may suddenly run around like crazy.
6. Feline hyperesthesia
Feline hyperesthesia is a medical condition that is also called the rolling skin disease and the nervous cat syndrome. Cats with this condition become highly sensitive and may act as though they are experiencing pain just by simply petting them. Affected cats may chase their tails and tend to run around like crazy. Other symptoms may include salivation, excessive grooming, and aggression towards people and animals.
Cats may experience these crazies or zoomies not only during the day but also at night time when everybody is asleep. It may result in loud noises caused by falling things like decors. Your cat may also push things as she runs around like crazy. If this happens, you should consider adjusting your cat’s feeding schedule or increase interactive playtime and better yet, to consult the vet for a thorough assessment.
Your cat may be having the crazies or zoomies to release pent-up energy, as a way to escape from imaginary predators, or as a means to purify themselves. However, it may also be an underlying sign of stress or a serious medical condition like senility or feline hyperesthesia. If this queer behavior becomes frequent, bring your cat to the vet immediately for a proper check-up, diagnosis, and treatment.
Image: istockphoto.com / adogslifephoto