Is your cat a nighttime zoomie? Does she go nuts sometimes? All kittens and cats are playful, but sometimes, even as they grow older, cats may be hyperactive to the point that it disrupts your household.
There are several things that cause this behavior and also several solutions to try to calm your kitty down.
Feline Hyperactivity? But My Cat Doesn’t Eat Sweets
Your children may be hyperactive at times and sometimes it can be because they have overloaded on sweets and sugary drinks. Cats can have feline hyperactivity, but it has nothing to do with what they eat and drink.
The most common reason for the crazy half-hour behavior of running, jumping, and climbing on everything is because they don’t have enough stimulation.
This occurs very often in house cats who need some stimulation and fun to channel all their pent-up energy into.
There is actually a name for this action. It’s called a “mad half hour.” This can usually occur once a day or night in most house cats.
How to Calm My Hyperactive Cat?
You should first rule out any things causing your cat to act like this with a visit to your vet. Some cats have hyperthyroidism and, despite an increase in eating and drinking, they still appear to get thinner and lose weight.
Your vet can do a test to determine if this is the case or another medical reason. Your cat may need medication or surgery and then will return to her loving self.
Don’t Stop Her Behavior
The pent-up energy of fluffy has to be channeled somewhere and it’s best not to repress her behavior when she goes nuts.
She is merely burning off her excess of energy and if you try to catch her and stop her, you will likely get a good hard bite or a scratch for your efforts.
Your kitty does need a safe place to play and act like a wild cat to expel the extra energy. Cats enjoy having a safe and secure outside area to play, with grass to roll in and trees to climb. Make sure the area is secure and that your feline family member can’t jump over the fence.
One other alternative if you don’t have a fence around your yard is to use a dog run between two trees and put your cat on a long leash on it.
She will be able to run the length of the cable between two areas where it’s secured to trees or other items and also as wide as the leash is long on each side of the run. Your kitty will have a larger area if the dog-run cable is mounted lower to the ground.
Toys, Toys, and More Toys
If you can’t take your cat outside for playtime, create playtime inside of your home or apartment. Cats of all ages love toys that hang in the air so they can jump up and get them. I guess it gives them a feline sense of satisfaction to actually catch the item.
Scratching posts provide some fun for cats with zoomies. They are even better if they are attached to a cat house or condo that they can climb in, play with toys, and then have a great place to take a nap.
Cats love plastic wands with feathers or feather-like objects in bright colors on the end. You can secure the wand end to a table or chair by placing something heavy on the end and your cat can play with it even if you aren’t home.
Keeping It Quiet on the Homefront
Cats can be very sensitive to different things that stimulate their senses and make them go crazy.
Rough play with a human, loud noises and music, and excessive petting when they are anxious can all cause your cat to be hyperactive. Try to keep it a bit quieter and it may calm your cat down.
The Pursuit of Food
Many people free-feed their cats and leave food out 24/7 so the cat can eat whenever it wants. Some have noticed that just before their feline friend eats or right after is when they have all the playful energy.
It might help in this situation to feed them once a day instead of free feeding. They may eat the same amount, but all at once, and having a full tummy may help them to take a nap, like after lunch on Thanksgiving Day for humans.
Another idea is to use a cat feeder interactive toy. You can put the hard food in the toy and your cat has to figure out how to roll it or move it to dispense the food. This will satisfy the kitty’s hunger as well as offer playtime all at once.
Double Trouble or Double Fun
Everyone knows cats take a lot of cat naps for short periods during the day. But they may need more exercise and playtime to prevent them from knocking down expensive vases in your living room or sharpening their claws on your furniture while destroying it. These behaviors when they are overly excited can get destructive indeed.
You might consider getting your cat another cat to play with. This idea usually works very well with kittens or young cats.
They can play together and tussle about during the daytime and then they will be relaxed and sleep at night when you return home from work.
Why is My Cat Driving Me Nuts at Night?
Cats are naturally nocturnal and they really like to burn off energy at night when you’re trying to sleep. This is generally the time when we don’t really want attention from our cats.
Your fluffy friend may bite your toes, put whiskers in your face, paw at your eyes, or run around on top of you to wake you up. If you are tired of nighttime energy displays, you may be able to combat them with a few things.
Play with your cat before your bedtime to wear her out really well. The chances are that she will fall asleep before you and won’t have more pent-up energy for about 24 hours.
Try feeding your cat just before you go to bed after playtime. Full tummies translate to deep sleep for kitties. Cat’s schedules are playing, eating, and sleeping, so try to mimic it for your cat’s nighttime routine.
These methods may help you to re-program your cat’s sleep schedule so that she sleeps at night when you do and stays awake more in the daytime.
Catnip to the Rescue
Cats usually love the taste of catnip. It’s a harmless herb that belongs to the mint family and it causes cats to relax, be calm, and usually take a nap.
If you want to head off a crazy cat session, you’ll need to notice the triggers in your cat to offer catnip before it goes hyper. A hyper cat won’t usually stop eating catnip.
Some triggers to look for before a hyperactivity session are twitching ears and tail and looking around like she’s trying to find something to get into. This is the time to offer catnip to your cat.
Other Calming Measures
There are several cat calming solutions on the market today that are all-natural and won’t harm your kitty. There are sprays to reduce stress and calming collars with essential oils to relieve stress as well.
Calming chews are like a cat treat with calming ingredients in them and calming supplements that your vet can prescribe.
Managing Night Time Cat Zoomies
If your cat annoys you so badly that you can’t go back to sleep after all the crazy playing and yowling at night, don’t get up and give her any type of attention.
If you get up and offer her cuddles or food, she will think she’s being rewarded for her behavior and it will become a vicious nightly cycle.
You can try putting your cat in a different room at night where she can’t reach you in your bedroom. The bathroom works well and adds a litter box and water in there too.
Put a nice soft bed down for her to sleep and stick a towel under the door at the bottom. The towel will muffle noises of a rattling or banging door if she jumps on it or paws at it. Also, close your bedroom door as well.
You may have to try several different tricks and techniques to calm your hyperactive cat down. Not all cats respond to the same things as well as others.
However, please refrain from punishing your furry family member, as she is naturally a playful pet and nocturnal as well.
She may have this urge that she can’t dismiss by herself but with your help, she will cope very well.
Also, keep in mind that her area for play needs to be safe as cats do hurt themselves often when bouncing off the walls or landing on objects while they are playing roughly.