When Do Kittens Calm Down?
Kittens calm down when they’re about 8-12 months old.
Kittens have got to be one of the cutest creatures on the planet. In fact, if there are life on other planets then I’m sure kittens are still in the lead for cutest creatures out there. but they can also be pretty hyper! When do kittens calm down though? We break that down for you below as we guide you through the life of a kitten!
A kitten that is 8-12 months old is about equivalent to a 16 year old human. Keep in mind that they don’t fully mellow out around this age, 8-12 months is just when they start to calm down. During this time you will see less and less hyperactive behavior.
When kittens are around 8-10 weeks old they will start getting their first few bursts of energy. At around 12-14 weeks old you will notice that your kitten is running around a lot, playing really hard, and eating a lot of food. This behavior continues until the kitten is about 1 year old.
It’s important to note that, like humans, kittens’ maturity levels vary a bit. Some kittens may mellow out around the 9-month mark while others may still be hyper by their first birthday.
Adopting a new kitten? Read our guide on Craigslist Kittens and our New Kitten Checklist!
Want To Adopt A Calm Cat? Consider adopting a cat that’s at least 2 years old as they won’t be as rambunctious. Also, adult cats are less likely to get adopted so it would be a very kind gesture for you to consider one that isn’t a kitten anymore!
Why Are Kittens So Hyper?
There are numerous reasons why kittens are so hyper. For starters, did you know that kittens will likely sleep 20+ hours per day? This gives them about 4 hours spread throughout the day to burn off all of their energy.
When kittens get around 3-6 months old their hunting senses and skills are starting to develop. Nature is telling them that they won’t be around mom as much so their bodies need to turn into lean, mean, killing machines! Unfortunately for your furniture and your hands, these kittens aren’t out in the wild and will need something to use as surrogates to hone in their hunting skills.
Do you know what your kitten’s DNA looks like? Genetics can play a huge role in how hyperactive a kitten is, so depending on which breeds they come from that may have some influence on their levels of energy.
Another reason why kittens can be so hyper comes from being abandoned or being weened from their mothers and littermates too early. Kittens develop social skills very early on, even before the hyperactivity sets in. Without these social skills some kittens may not know when play time is over.
Kittens that get too hyper can be detrimental to their littermates and can sometimes (though rare) chew or eat other cats whiskers!
Do Kittens Calm Down After Being Fixed?
Hyperactivity in kittens can be broken down into two core components: Survival and Mating
For survival, your kitten will seem super playful but they’re actually developing their hunting skills. It takes a lot of work and coordination to catch tiny prey to feast on, which is what your kitten’s brain tells them to do.
For mating, your kitten’s hyperactivity comes from them learning skills to seek out a partner AND to ward off other potential suitors that may be nearby to ensure they can have the potential partner all to themselves.
When your kitten is about 6 months old they are ready to be fixed. Whenever you get them spayed or neutered they lose that drive to seek out potential mates, mark their territory, and ward off any other competition. Losing this strong drive to mate is why kittens calm down after being fixed.
How To Calm Down A Hyper Kitten
There are numerous tips and tricks you can use to calm your kitten. Of course all cats and kittens are different so you may have to try some of these out in different combinations to find out what works best for your little critter!
Providing your kitten with the proper enrichment can help to keep your hands and your furniture safe. It also helps the kittens still tap into their natural instincts.
- Cat Tress & Cat Towers For Climbing
- Scratching Posts & Scratching Pads
- Windows To Look Out Of (Closed ones!)
- Boxes & Places To Hide
Play Into Their Hunting Instincts
As we’ve mentioned above, part of a kitten’s hyperactive behavior comes from them developing skills to hunt and kill. Mimicking those hunting and killing skills is a great way for them to burn some energy.
Find a toy that they can chase, preferably one that resembles a bird, bug, or small rodent. Be sure to safely put the toy up when you’re not around to supervise if it’s got any kinds of strings or feathers.
Cool Down Periods Are Important
During a proper human exercise regiment you have a warmup period, you have your actual exercise, and ideally you would have a cooldown period. Try and treat playtime with your kitten the same way.
When playtime is coming to an end, provide a cooldown period. During this part of playtime you should use slower and more leisurely movements. This signals the kitten that it’s time to start calming down.
Don't Use Your Body!
Kittens will play with just about anything that moves and while they’re so young it may seem cute to have them chase after and nibble on your hands or fingers. Your cat is very impressionable at this age and you do not want to teach them that your body is a toy.
What happens when your kitten is now a full-grown cat. A full-grown, lean, mean, killing machine? They’re going to remember that your hands and fingers are toys and will be inclined to scratch or bite them. For some cats this may be tolerable but that’s not always the case.
Do not teach your kitten from such a young age that any part of your body is a toy.
Don’t forget to check out our New Kitten Checklist and Craigslist Kittens posts!