Is your cat frequently running in circles, trying to catch imaginary objects, zooming (aka cat zoomies) back and forth around the room or even climbing the curtains? Even though cats are well known sprinters, such sudden bursts of activity, at their extremes, can raise a lot of eyebrows. When you say “my cat is running around like crazy !” What should you do? First, let’s understand what’s going on.
Table of Contents
- Why is your cat running around frantically?
- What causes hyperactivity in cats?
- Why does your cat run around like a maniac?
- Why is your cat suddenly running around crazy?
- My cat is running around like crazy summary
Why is your cat running around frantically?
Hyperactive behavior, though normal and cute for kittens, is also commonly seen in adult indoor cats. It is expressed as sudden bursts of activity which usually appears to start out of nowhere and directed at no one in particular. Finally, they normally end their cat zoomies abruptly. And then they eventually start their crazy behavior all over again.
What causes hyperactivity in cats?
Since hyperactivity is commonly seen in indoor cats, it must have something to do with their forced confinement and sedentary lifestyle. In fact we’ve found that our patients admit that as much as they love their cats, there isn’t enough room or stimulus to keep their kitty entertained and they have tons of excess energy.
NOTE: While hyperactive cat behavior is most commonly linked to inadequate stimulation, it can also be caused by medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, infectious peritonitis, feline immunodeficiency virus, feline hyperesthesia, and other conditions that affect brain function according to a Cornell Feline Health Center research paper. No need for panic, but it is wise to visit your veterinarian if your cat displays unusual behavior. This is especially true if it develops suddenly and if you observe other signs as well.
Why does your cat run around like a maniac?
Inadequate activity and stimulation is the most plausible explanation for increased activity in your cat if you are sure that it has nothing wrong medically.
Being super-active and appearing crazy is so cat-like. These animals naturally have tremendous amounts of energy. Their ancestors had to hunt for their food, evade predators, and look for suitable mates. Since domestication, we keep cats indoors for their own safety and our peace of mind they won’t get hurt and sick. So what does a kitty do with all that energy that their ancestors gave them? They usually release all that energy explosively.
This is how a wild cat hunts: They slowly approach their target prey. They use their stealth to creep up on their prey, getting closer and closer. Once they are in attack position, they attack their prey in just a few pounces. During this hunting process, their tension builds up and gets released in a cycle that is repeated periodically throughout the day. This is how your cat is wired internally.
Now let’s look at our four legged fur babies that we know and love. These are household cats who do not have to hunt for every bite of food. Their cat food is brought to them on silver plates, or in some cases, it’s even accessible to them at all times. As a result, their energy doesn’t get released periodically; it only builds up. And up and up and up.
Once your cat’s energy builds up to a certain point, it becomes too difficult for them to hold it all in. What happens next? Your cat starts running around, seemingly for no reason. Or on the surface, it appears that there is no observable reason for them to get those all familiar cat zoomies.
Why is your cat suddenly running around crazy?
If your cat engages in sudden activity bursts, you must assess the situation. Does it seem unusual or abnormally intense? As a loving cat owner, time to do a little detective work to understand what is going on with your cat. For example, the first thing to look at is, do you have young cats, adult cat, or an older cat? Age can have an impact on the frequency and cause of their cat zoomies.
If your cat makes quick sprints from time to time, it’s most likely normal behavior. They are most likely just releasing their energy through healthy activity instead of directing it towards furniture, other pets, or people. Now, if your cat climbs your walls, that’s disturbing. You’ll want to do something to direct their activity to more appropriate targets. Such as letting them go crazy with a new cat tree instead of clawing your new couch to shreds.
To reduce your cat’s hyperactive behavior, you must provide them with avenues for expressing its natural hunting and stalking behaviors in as many ways as you can possibly think of.
For example, try using a cat toy and letting your cat experience the thrill of hunting. Let them stalk the toy, chase it, and better yet, catch it from time to time. However, you don’t have to invest your time in long play sessions. The reason for this is that cats are natural born sprinters, so short but frequent play sessions are sufficient for them.
In addition, since you may not be available for all the playtime your cat needs daily, there are other ways to provide them with activity opportunities. For example, you could create more places for your cat to climb, such as cat trees, shelves and furniture tops. For more ideas on climbing opportunities that you can create for your kitty, please refer to our article on Best Cat Wall Shelf.
You could also provide them with solo play toys and activity centers, and you could let it work for its food by using food puzzles or feeding games. One toy that many of our patients have had great success is an cat treat toy. These are toys that you put cat food kibble into holes and your cat then has to figure out how to get the food out. This replicates hunting for their food so most cats take quickly to it. It also helps slow down the rate at which your cat eats which can help with weight loss. To give you further help, here’s a list of more ways to keep a cat active.
My cat is running around like crazy summary
At the end of the day, it’s obvious that you don’t need to reduce your cat’s hyperactive behavior. Just let it happen at the appropriate times and direct it towards appropriate targets. Even if you or your cat aren’t suffering from activity outbursts, you both will benefit from a broader range of alternatives. Besides, it will also help to stop other cat behavior problems. So when you cry out in panic “My cat is running around like crazy!” now you know why, and have some ideas on what to do about it. This way you will be happy and your cat will be happy. And keeping your pet happy is what we are all want.