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Why Do Cats Get the Zoomies?

Learn why cats suddenly zoom around like crazy.

Does your cat sometimes suddenly act super crazy, racing around the house, jumping on furniture, and pouncing on everything in sight? Some people call this the zoomies, cat crazy time, or the cat crazies. Here are a couple of things to know about why cats get the zoomies.

Cat Crazy Time Is the Release of Pent-Up Energy

The zoomies in cats is more frequently seen in kittens and cats that live in small spaces or that are alone a lot. It's the release of pent-up energy that hasn't been spent on hunting or playing throughout the day. Remember, cats are predators, so when they live indoors and don't have to hunt, that energy can build up and needs to be released.

If your adult cat frequently gets the zoomies, it could mean that she needs more interactive playtime with you. Set aside two 10-minute play sessions per day, and engage your cat with an interactive wand toy. Be sure to put the toy away between sessions, so your cat doesn't try to play with it alone and become dangerously entangled.

Kittens probably need significantly more interactive playtime than older cats, and some very active cats might need more too. Increase your cat's playtime as needed.

If you are gone and your cat is home alone a lot, you can provide puzzle toys and automatic cat toys to help release her mental and physical energy during that time.

Add scratching posts and trees to your home to help your cat get out extra energy throughout the day. Scratching is very good for cats' mental health, and it can also decrease the chances that your cat will scratch inappropriate items in your home because she is not getting her energy out elsewhere.

Zoomies Can Indicate Anxiety in Cats

If your cat has suddenly begun to engage in cat crazy time when she never did so before, it could indicate that she is suffering anxiety for some reason. This is sometimes the case when you moved to a new home, get a new pet, or have a new schedule that impacts the time you spend with your cat.

Many times, anxiety and cats can be relieved by employing some of the methods above, including extra interactive playtime. You may also wish to use a Feliway diffuser to help calm your cat. Feliway is a substance that mimics a calming pheromone produced by felines, and it can help decrease anxiety and stress in cats.

Cats May Run Around Like Crazy from a Medical Problem

Medical problems can cause this crazy running around behavior that some cats engage in. You should be especially suspicious of a medical problem. If the behavior begins suddenly, with no obvious triggers. Here are some of the medical conditions that can cause this feline behavior:

  • Hyperthyroidism. In older cats, hyperthyroidism can cause increased energy levels and that might result in the zoomies.
  • Flea infestation. Cats receiving flea bites might zoom around like crazy, trying to get away from the sensation.
  • Allergies or other itchy skin problems. As is the case with flea bites, cats with other uncomfortable skin conditions might race around like crazy in an attempt to escape from the irritating feeling.
  • Changes in hearing or eyesight. This is especially the case in older cats. Changes in hearing or eyesight might cause them to be spooked by sounds or sights they can't identify easily.

Zoomies after Visiting the Litter Box

Some cats zoom away from their litter box after using it, and that's especially common after defecation. This might be because the litter box isn't clean enough and is unpleasant to the cat. It could also indicate a medical problem resulting in discomfort for the kitty when she goes, like constipation or an anal gland infection. Cats might also zoom away from the litter box due to innate urges telling them predators might find them through the smell so they should get out of there.

If your cat suddenly begins zooming away from the litter box, check the contents and see if there is diarrhea, abnormally hard stool, or blood in the stool or urine. Call your veterinarian if you find anything unusual, and be sure to keep the box as clean as possible.

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