If you’ve ever been woken up at 3.00am by your feline friend jumping on you with that crazed look, you’ll know all about cat zoomies! In this article you’ll discover what are cat zoomies and if you should be at all concerned.
Whether you have one kitty or a house full of felines you will have experienced that half hour of madness! Don’t worry though as it’s perfectly normal, and most times nothing to worry about.
The typical zoomie
You’re sitting quietly watching TV when you hear your feline friend racing up the stairs and running several laps around the bedroom before running downstairs and then climbing up the curtains, jumping onto the book shelf and back down again. She may even jump on your lap giving you that manic stare before darting off and racing up stairs again. This craziness can last several minutes or more as your kitty burns off her excess energy.
What causes zoomies?
What causes this burst of energy though? Most often it’s pent up energy from being alone all day indoors. You most likely have to spend some or all of the day at work, and this is when your kitty will be inactive. If you were to set up a pet camera at home and study your cat’s behavior you’ll get an insight into her activities, or lack of them!
Hours of dozing on the sofa means stored up energy. A bit like an overcharged battery! In the wild cats store up this energy during the day for hunting. Although your kitty doesn’t have to hunt prey as you provide food, the instinct still remains hardwired in her DNA.
Jumping, pouncing and stalking are all actions of a cat hunting prey, and you need to provide a way of satisfying this need. Setting aside time each day to play with your cat is not only a great way to bond, but satisfies your fur baby’s desire to hunt.
Fishing toys such as feather wands are great for getting your cat to use her hunting skills. In addition, stalking and pouncing a toy mouse is enormous fun for your cat and much kinder than attacking a real mouse!
Cats are crepuscular
Cats are naturally crepuscular creatures, which means they’re more active around dawn and dusk, and why your kitty jumps on you just as it’s getting light! Unfortunately, in the summer months this can mean disturbed sleep and very early mornings!I often get woken by the sound of my cat chirping at the birds outside.
Zooming after using the litter box
Skitting around like a loony after using the litter box isn’t uncommon and many cats exhibit this odd behavior. There are several theories, with one being a survival instinct. As you know, the smell of cat poop is disgusting and the further away from it you are the better! Cats as we know, have a far superior sense of smell and would feel vulnerable to attack from predators picking up on the scent.
No wonder your kitty takes off like a rocket after doing her business, and zooms all over the place! The litter box may be in the safest corner of your home, but your kitty is simply responding to an instinctive drive, so where you put the box makes no difference.
Another reason your cat zooms could be pain or discomfort in her rectum or bladder. If you notice blood spots in the litter this is a definite sign of infection and you need to get your kitty checked out as soon as possible. The sooner you act, the quicker you can get her treated.
Chasing things that don’t exist!
One of the most eerie type of cat zoomies is when your kitty stares at something you can’t see, then takes off with a mad look on her face! I’ve heard many cat parents mention this strange phenominum and it makes you wonder if some felines are sensitive to spirit:)
It’s not only humans that get dementia, but cats as well. Neurological problems become more common as a cat ages. Zooming, staring blankly at walls, and increased vocalising are common signs of dementia in cats. Sadly, there’s no cure and all you can do is keep your feline companion comfortable.
Flies and bugs a common cause of cat zoomies!
Flies are common in the summer months, and can drive your cat crazy. They often come in through an open window and rest on the curtains. If your kitty spots one, she’ll try and catch it, and all this excitement can get her climbing the curtains and dashing about in frantic pursuit!
Ticks and fleas will make your cat’s skin itch if they bite. As a result, that sudden mad stare with a glint in the eye is cue for your kitty to launch herself across the room! Spinning round and biting fur is a sign you need to check her coat for flea eggs.
Redirecting your cat’s pent up energy
Although zooming can be funny and amusing to watch, it can disturb your sleep at night, and drive you mad when you’ve just arrived home and want to cook dinner!
However, think how your cat feels after being alone all day. She’s happy to have your company and excited at all that activity going on now you’re home:) If you have two or more cats you’ll probably find one will get zoomies and start chasing the others, creating chaos!
This is when breakables get broken, and that neatly ordered pile of papers ends up on the floor. Then suddenly it’s like your cat’s battery needs charging and all is calm and peaceful again!
As previously mentioned, getting a few toys for your cat to play with will help burn some of that pent up energy. Ideally, your kitty should have outside access of some sort. However, if this is too risky because you live near a busy road, you could invest in a cat tree.
You can get some wonderful trees with high perches and plenty of places to jump. A few dangly toys attached to the tree can satisfy your cat’s hunting instinct and stimulate her little kitty mind. If you have several feline friends, invest in a few trees. That way each will have her own private space reducing the likelihood of fights and squabbles
Anxiety and cat zoomies
Lastly, one overlooked reason for cat zoomies can be stress or anxiety. If you’ve recently moved or your cat is getting used to a new pet in the home it’s likely she may be feeling stressed.
Cats are not fond of change, and any little difference in routine can make a big difference to your fur baby’s behavior. Many times you can calm your anxious kitty down using feliway or growing a few herbs cat love.
As you’ve learnt, cat zoomies are very common and usually nothing to worry about. Minor issues such as ticks or fleas can easily be treated at home, as well as anxiety. Young cats and kittens are far more likely to get zoomies than those of an older age.
However, that being said, I remember my 16 year old cat zooming around on many occasions. She’d suddenly take off like a rocket, run down the back garden and tear up the holly tree with that manic look! She’d then climb the fence a few times before scooting back in the house at full speed!
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Wishing you a purrfect day:)