Cats and the zoomies. It’s a frustrating experience at times, and at other times it creates some of the most interesting versions of your cat. Yes, the guy that sleeps 20 hours a day suddenly has the energy and stamina to run across the apartment 20 times in a row chasing ghosts.
But when running turns to jumping and jumping turns to destroying, it can quickly get a little tiring. Here’s a few proven ways we’ve found to calm down a hyper cat (and yes, we’re talking about our cat Yaki here who is definitely the most destructive of the bunch).
Build A Routine
This one won’t help you in the moment, but it’s the best advice we can give for long term help. Routines help your cats stay calm and learn what to expect.
We’ve found our cats are most hyper right before their feeding time, because their feeding time is a routine. So they realize what time it is and get excited (read: annoying). All we need to do in most cases is procure some food for them, they will relax and begin eating, and then they are full and focused on cleaning themselves.
Zoomies = gone.
But what if it’s not feeding time?
If you can’t just feed your cats all day long, try to build in a routine of playing with them. This also helps them learn when it’s okay and not okay to be racing around the house and climbing up the walls.
Building a routine will help you teach your cats when it’s okay to be energetic and when they should relax.
Get Them Some Toys
You probably don’t realize this, but cats love to play with things, and that dose of hyperactivity you see is them trying to create their own stimuli. What I mean is, they are bored.
The toys available aren’t stimulating to them. Have you ever seen cats play? They need interactive toys.
For us, Yaki loves to play with the little bread ties. It’s lightweight, so he can toss it into the air and chase it around the room like a real live animal. But what he’s looking for is a stimulating toy that keeps him guessing.
Laser lights are great for this, but it involves you. We have seen a surge in automatic laser lights that might work, but we have not tested these.
In general, automatic toys are your best bet as they are less predictable than standard toys. They keep your cat guessing. You can check out this automatic ball to better understand what I mean - anything with a mind of it’s own should work rather well for your cats.
Lead Them To A Scratching Post
Yes, in the same vein as toys, a scratching post can be one of your best friends in these situations. I can’t count how many times I’ve watched our cats, in their full hyperactive state, rush over to the scratching post, give it a few good scratches or beatings, and then calm down.
I’m not going to get into the science on this one, but scratching seems to help cats calm down, so give them a good strong place to do it.
If your house or apartment lacks a good scratching post, you may find your cats are ruining the furniture with their scratching or attacking your door. Invest now and save the headache later. Scratching posts are a lifesaver.
And if your issue isn’t a lack of a scratching post, you sometimes need to lead them to it, which can be a challenge with the zoomies. Our advice, lure them with catnip and make sure that scratching post is easy to get to. You can always scratch it yourself to lure them to it, that has always worked for us.
Okay, this one is new for us as well, but we’ve heard the wonders of CBD for cats and this seems like a prime use case to us. Give them a few dabs of CBD if they start getting hyper and see how it helps them relax. Since CBD is natural, it’s safe to use with pets, and since it’s a “food” item, it might help with their reason for hyperactivity.
A few things to remember if you take this route:
- CBD will take 15-30 minutes to kick in
- You need to get the right dosage
- Don’t build a habit for this
See A Vet For Hyperthyroidism
This one is none too pleasant, but it’s important to look out for this. Hyperthyroidism is real, and the zoomies are a clear sign of it. But make no mistake, your cat running up the walls doesn’t mean they have hyperthyroidism. Just be on the lookout for other signs, such as:
- Increased appetite with increased weight loss
- Messy hair
- Abnormal drinking and urination
Hyperthyroidism can lead to heart disease, so it’s important to keep an eye on restless cats. Certainly a vet visit isn’t the most glamorous tip, but it’s still important to keep on your radar.
If your cat is driving you nuts and you don’t know what to do, your best bet is to get into a routine with them. In most cases, they are suffering from a lack of stimulation, but in rare cases it may be a sign of something worse.
For most, establishing a routine will do wonders for you and your cats, but in rare cases where it’s not enough, be sure to have some CBD handy!