Did you know that there’s a name for the outbursts of energy that makes your cat zip around out of control? They are called “the zoomies,” and they usually occur without warning.
It can be amusing to watch your fur baby turn into a blur of fluff during episodes of this behavior, but not so much when the zoomies wake you in the middle of the night or knock your favorite collectibles off a shelf. Providing opportunities for your cat to play, climb and exercise will channel this overabundance of energy.
What are cat zoomies?
Although zoomies is a fun descriptive name for speedy, erratic feline activity, the official term for this behavior is frenetic random activity periods. When the zoomies kick in, a cat can go from relaxing to running around the house with excessive speed in seconds. Additionally, it’s common for cats to jump on top of objects, run under furniture, scratch on walls, pounce on small objects and meow when in full zoomie mode. Many cats quickly return to calm behavior after several minutes of extreme activity.
Reasons cats get the zoomies
The main reason that cats get the zoomies is unspent energy. This can be the result of boredom, excessive napping, hunting instincts or a lack of playtime. Zipping around the house provides the exercise necessary to release this abundance of energy.
Age plays a factor in events of hyperactivity in cats, as kittens and young cats are more energetic than older cats. However, even senior cats can experience zoomies.
Tension or excitement by the presence of kids, dogs and other cats can also prompt energy bursts in cats. Many cats zoom when they play together. Dual zoomies can be an excellent source of exercise between a pair of felines when they are like-minded in their efforts but can lead to a cat spat when only one decides enough is enough.
One of the most frustrating aspects of the zoomies for cat parents is that the pent-up energy often emerges during the night. This is because cats are nocturnal by nature. However, various health concerns can also produce hyperactive behavior in cats.
When to call a veterinarian for a hyperactive cat
Occasional hyperactive behavior is normal in cats, so the zoomies are rarely a reason for concern. However, there are some factors that indicate the need for an evaluation by a veterinarian.
Pain from an underlying condition can cause zoomie-like activity in felines. Hyperthyroidism can also cause this behavior. The condition typically occurs in older cats and usually requires medication. If hyperactivity occurs with signs of distress like loud meowing and panting, or a change in litter box habits, it’s time for a vet visit to rule out a health problem.
Ways to halt cat zoomies
When you are dealing with a cat with the zoomies, quality, engaging playtime is a must to burn off energy. Introducing a combination of traditional and interactive cat toys will keep your cat active and fit as well as less likely to dash from room to room.
Cats’ instincts to climb and scratch also play a role in the zoomies. Cat trees and scratchers provide a way for felines to participate in these natural inclinations, detracting them from furniture, doors and walls.
Calming products that are formulated for cats are also available for tough cases of hyperactivity. Quality products are made with natural ingredients and pheromones, and come in diffuser, spray and supplement forms. Although no prescription is required, it’s always a good idea to check with your veterinarian before use.
Best products for cat zoomies
Best cat toys
This interactive toy is motorized and features a furry moving component that promotes exercise while allowing cats to act on their prey drive. It has two speed settings and makes noises to keep cats intrigued.
Fashion’s Talk Variety Pack Cat Toys
Mice, balls, feathers, catnip pouches and more — this collection of 20 cat toys includes fun designs for hours of play.
Sold by Amazon
Catit Super Roller Circuit Toy for Cats
With motion-activated balls that roll around a cat-friendly track, this action-packed toy encourages cats to bat and pounce. It’s a great choice for multiple cats.
Sold by Amazon, Petsmart and Chewy
Instachew Sneak Attack Electronic Cat Toy
Cats love chasing the ball around the track of the Sneak Attack toy. It has several settings and a feather to keep their interest piqued.
Frisco Paw and Play Mouse Cat Toys
Fuzzy mice are always appealing to playful cats. This inexpensive set includes 10 mice in several colors.
Sold by Chewy
Best cat trees and scratchers
Whether you have one very active cat or multiple cats, this cat tree is built to impress with numerous components for perching, hiding and scratching. At 72 inches in height, it’s also ideal for climbers.
PetFusion 3-Sided Vertical Cat Scratcher
With a unique triangular design, this cat scratcher offers three surfaces for cats to indulge in their instinct to scratch. It also comes with catnip that encourages them to use it.
This cat tree stands out for its cozy hammocks that provide comfortable napping spots after your kitty’s zoomies have passed. It also has numerous areas for climbing, scratching and hiding.
Sold by Amazon
Best calming supplements
Feliway Classic Pheromone Cat Calming Spray
Not only does pheromone-based Feliway have a calming effect, but it also eases stress and tension among multiple cats. The spray bottle makes it easy to apply to areas where cats spend their time.
Sold by Chewy, Amazon and Petsmart
This cat calming product works by plugging the diffuser into an outlet and emitting soothing pheromones into the kitty’s environment. It’s reusable and takes replacement refills, each lasting up to 30 days.
Sold by Amazon
Calming bites contain natural ingredients like chamomile and L-tryptophan that calm hyperactivity in some felines. The package contains 60 bites.
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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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