How To Clam Down A Hyper Cat
People just LOVE to talk about how lazy cats are. They talk about how cats sleep all day or how they constantly just nap and only wake up to eat. But any cat owner out there can tell you that cats most certainly can and will have bursts of energy. But learning how to calm down a hyper cat is easier than you think!
Cats are notorious for going crazy at night, just as kittens are notorious for being wild while they’re awake. Kittens eventually do calm down, but that hyperactivity can last well into adulthood and often tapers off even further with age.
Hyper cats can be fun and hilarious whenever you’re in the mood to play with them, or if you’re trying to film a tiktok of them. But what should you do whenever your cat’s hyperactive behaviors start affecting your quality of life? Learning how to calm down a hyper cat is much easier than you think!
The primary reason cats get hyper is because they’ve got pent up energy that needs to be released. When your cat is well rested or when they’ve been home alone all day, they have got a ton of built up energy that they tend to release seemingly all at once.
Cats may also get hyper simply because they’re bored. If your cat is bored, whether from lack of stimulation or you having been at work all day, they will have bursts of energy to allevaite that boredom.
6 Ways To Calm Down A Hyper Cat
Calming down a hyper cat is easy once you understand the source of their pent up energy. Keeping your cat properly stimulated, both mentally and physically, can alleviate much of their hyperactivity. It’s also imperative that you give them cat-friendly places to rest, and that you adjust their feeding schedules accordingly.
Please note that kittens and young cats are almost always going to be much more hyper than other adult cats. The hyperactivity in kittens gradually decreases with age. Just because your kitten likes to play hard that doesn’t mean something is wrong with them.
Give Your Hyper Cat More Vertical Space
Cats’ brains and survival instincts from their wild ancestors make them crave being up high. It helps them to feel safe and it also helps them to keep an eye on things while still enjoying some privacy.
More vertical space means your cat is going to use up a lot of energy as they run and climb to their new hiding spots. Climbing plays into your cat’s natural hunting and survival instincts.
Obviously cat trees are a great first step. You can also give them high-up access to parts of your home that you feel comfortable with. Perhaps they might like to sit on the top of your bookshelf? (Just make sure there’s nothing up there for them to knock off!)
Make Your Home A Cat-Friendly Environment
Mental and physical stimulation are VERY important for cats, especially younger ones. Having a cat-friendly home is a great way to help alleviate any pent-up energy.
And, NO, simply putting locks on your cabinets and covers on your couch to prevent scratching isn’t what we mean by a cat-friendly home. We’re talking about a cat-friendly home, not baby proofing your home for cats (cat proofing?)
Make sure your cat has plenty of toys for them to play with should they get bored when you’re not home. There are also some wonderful brain teaser toys that let you hide catnip and treats in them so that the kitty has to work for their reward.
Also make sure your cat has plenty of places to hide. They like small and enclosed places that make them feel safe. Don’t just assume them running under the bed is a good enough hiding spot. Without places to hide cats can get stressed and anxious which can translate into hyperactivity when you get home.
Play With Your Cat In A Way That Mimics Hunting
Cats have a VERY strong hunter-prey drive. It’s encoded in their DNA to hunt tiny moving objects as a way to survive. Even though your kitty is spoiled and has everything handed to them, they still like to act on these instincts.
Laser pointers are a great way to calm your hyper kitty down while mimicking a good hunt for them. The tiny red dot that can move rapidly is certain to garner attention from any cat out there.
Another great way are toys with wands, strings, and feathers. The toy at the end of the wand or string bounces around like an injured bird or rodent. This puts the cat’s brain into attack mode which releases penty up energy.
Calm Down Your Hyper Cat With A LOT Of Playtime
This might seem like an obvious choice but the point really needs to be driven home. If your cat is too hyper then you really need to tire them out with good play sessions. Some breeds of cats will need more playtime than others.
Play time with your cat not only releases energy, but it’s an amazing way to bond with them. One way cats bonded with their mother and littermates as kittens was through play time. You can tire them out and grow closer to them!
Change Your Cat's Feeding Schedule
Cats need to eat AT LEAST 2x per day, no more than 12 hours apart between meals. Hyper cats may benefit from multiple small meals throughout the day. Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon, Dinner, and Bedtime feedings have shown to be successful with alleviating some hyperactivity in cats.
Remember, cats are hunters. In the wild they likely would eat small meals throughout the day. Feeding your cat small meals like this further plays into their hunting instincts.
“Rolling” or “Rewarding” food toys are also great for your cat to play with throughout the day while you’re at work or out running errands. The cat will have to work to roll the toy around or manipulate it in a way for it to drop kibble or treats.
Give Your Cat A Safe Space To Rest
Giving your hyper kitty a safe space to rest can actually calm down some of their hyperactive tendencies. Though not too common, sometimes the source of a cat’s hyper behavior is from anxiety or stress that has built up.
A safe space for a hyper kitty to rest helps reduce their anxiety and stress. A safe space doesn’t have to be some luxury mini cat condo either. Oftentimes cats are more than happy to have a cardboard box that has some of your old shirts in them. Preferably old shirts that smell like you, their owner!
NEVER Scold Your Cat For Being Hyper
Cat experts unanimously agree that bursts of hyperactivity are simply “cats just being cats.” If your cat is running and jumping around in little 5-10 minute bursts then there’s no need to scold them. Would you scold a child who runs around at recess with their friends?
As a cat owner, you should expect your cat to be hyper at times. This is especially true for cats that are under 6-12 months of age. These hyper bursts are biologically encoded into their genes. It’s going to happen, that’s just what cats do.
If your cat’s hyper-active behavior has them doing something dangerous that can hurt them, DON’T scold them. Simply redirect their energy away from the dangerous place using teaser toys or treats.
Cats must have mental and physical exercise. It’s imperative for you to understand that this is just simply how cats are.
Simply put, instead of wondering how to calm down a hyper cat you should be wondering how to redirect your cat’s hyper behavior into something safe for them.
Featured image by: Crina Doltu via Pexels