Every cat parent on this planet Earth is familiar with his cat’s sudden outbursts of energy. I believe even the calmest cats, like Persians, have their moments of completely absurd and frantic behavior. But what to do when our fluffball is too kray kray? How to calm down a hyper cat?
For the longest time, I believed my cat was the craziest of them all. She had a habit of behaving so inexplicably hyperactive, and all I could do was stand by and let her be.
I used to come back home tired from work, looking forward to rewatching The Office and cuddling with my cat. But, she would soon mess up my plans with her sudden energetic outbursts.
She would jump all around, frantically run from room to room, chase imaginary air monsters and sing songs of her kind very loudly. My toes were her usual prey, and she would wiggle her bottom before swooping in and catching them. And on several occasions, she would even climb on top of my head.
Until I found a way to calm her down and reduce her hyperactivity at least a little. After countless google searches and many vet consultations, I am finally able to keep my cat’s sudden bursts of energy under control (for the most part).
Wow, this sounded like an awful advertisement. Anyway, if you are struggling with the same thing, and you want to know how to calm down a hyper cat, I’m ready to share all my knowledge with you!
How does a hyper cat behave?
People that generally don’t prefer that dog-like energy of constant in-your-face happiness usually opt for cats since they are famous for being calm and collected. However, even cats get their five minutes of fame (or should I say folly) when they let loose from all the craziness they keep inside.
An overly active cat can exhibit all kinds of silly behaviors, from running around and jumping onto every piece of furniture, to sneaking up on her owners and chasing them. She can even start playfully attacking her owners or other pets, or be extremely vocal and meow very loudly.
Most hyper cats act this way out of pure boredom, and it’s challenging to calm them down. They usually spend too much time alone, so they need to find an outlet for their energy to release.
It seems as though this kind of behavior happens all of a sudden, so it’s no wonder we’re stunned when our cats go from sleepy beauties to frantic little monsters in a matter of seconds.
The reason why our fluffballs have excess energy is that they have wild cats as their ancestors. An average wild cat is on the move for the majority of the day, either hunting her prey to survive or running away from potentially more dangerous predators.
Due to the domestication process, our indoor beauties lost the need to hunt and survive, since they have us to provide them with everything they need.
However, the hunting instinct remained. And that energy, which would otherwise be used up during survival periods, now has to be expressed in other ways.
What could be the reasons your cat is hyperactive?
“Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who’s the blame-est of them all?”
Nobody’s pointing any paws, but if you’re looking for someone to blame for your cat’s hyperactivity, you should start by looking in the mirror.
Don’t stress about it! As the great poetess, Hannah Montana would say, “Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody has those days.”
It’s sometimes hard to keep up with our cat’s needs. Especially if you also have a family to care for. But even if you don’t, our cats are complex little creatures that demand a lot of time, attention, and care.
When it comes to owning a cat, there are so many things to take care of, and it’s purrfectly okay to occasionally forget a thing or two. As long as you do them eventually.
I’m not saying your cat is having outbursts of energy solely because you forgot to take care of something. She is still energetic due to the thing abovementioned. But your hyper cat might be having trouble calming down because of something you did (or didn’t do).
So, to ensure you’re not to blame, check out these three things you might be neglecting, so you could ace your game.
1. You need to clean her litter box
Look. I’m not saying you’re not cleaning your cat’s litter box at all. Nobody wants their house to have that distinctive litter box scent. But maybe you have to do it more often.
Your cat could be stressed because she is not satisfied with how clean her litter box is. And she could be letting you know about her dissatisfaction by acting up and being crazy.
To prevent this, you should clean her letter box at least once per day.
2. You forgot to help with grooming
We all know how much time cats invest in their self-grooming. They could be spending hours and hours licking their fur and paws. And I’m sure your cat is just the same.
But sometimes, their self-grooming is not enough, and they require help. So they need us to brush them and trim their nails.
Also, some cats are actually unable to groom themselves at all. This happens if they are a long-haired breed, old, or overweight. And since no cat wishes to look unpresentable, they will try their best to let their owners know they are not happy with how they look.
So, maybe your kitty is acting up because she needs help grooming, too.
3. Your cat misses your cuddles
Every cat is an attention-seeker, and so is yours. If you happen to be absent for the majority of the day, and your cat is all alone in your apartment, be sure she would be craving your love once you get back home.
She would be waiting right in front of your door, meowing at you and even reaching out for you to pick her up. And once you settle in, she would prepare a performance for you to show how much she missed you.
If you end up being busy and unable to cuddle, she would try her best to get your attention and be so overly energetic until you finally decide to calm her down with some couch cuddles.
How to calm down a hyper cat?
Now that we know how a hyper cat behaves and how are we potentially attributing to her hyperactivity, it’s time to find out how to calm this kind of cat.
Kittens are usually famous for being super-duper energetic. The hyperactive kitten stage is something every owner enjoys because he knows it will be over soon. But, what if it doesn’t? What if they grow up into crazy hyper cats?
No worries! Having a hyper cat can be fun for the majority of the time. It’s a bit annoying, that’s for sure, but if controlled well enough, it can be quite enjoyable and entertaining.
So, if you have a hyper cat, and you want to learn how to calm her down, here are 8 amazing tips and tricks you should definitely remember.
1. It’s playtime, baby!
Since your cat is hyperactive because she has all that excess energy, you should have quality playtime with her every day. Depending on the breed you have, the amount and type of playtime will vary. But, you should spend at least an hour playing before bedtime.
There are plenty of games you and your kitty can play. There’s the good old throw-and-catch game with small balls or snacks, cat teaser wands, and laser pointers that land on a treat, so you can mimic the hunting of prey with your cat.
Speaking from experience, my cats love playing with a cat wand. They could chase after it for hours so you can order it and check if your fur buddy likes it as much.
You can also spend this time teaching your cat some tricks. The possibilities really are endless! A good play session will most definitely calm down your hyper cat.
Not only will this serve as a great way for your kitty to use up her energy. It will also be a great opportunity for you two to bond and form a better connection.
2. Take your hyper kitty outside to calm her down
It’s not that bad if your cat is mostly inside your home. That’s actually the safest option, especially if you live in a city where the traffic is heavy. But, if your cat is spending the majority of her day inside, her territory is limited. She needs to occasionally explore what’s beyond the window she’s always looking out of.
So, you could provide some safe alternatives by putting a harness on your cat and taking her outside to a park or a terrace. She would love this new space, and after sniffing every corner, will be more than happy to calm down near you on the couch.
Don’t worry about what your neighbors are going to say. Embrace the crazy cat lady in you, put your little fluffball on a leash and take her for a walk outside.
3. Do a good job with her meal schedule
Your cat could be hyperactive because she is hungry. She could be acting up because she wants to draw your attention to the empty food bowl.
You should organize the main meals for your kitty during the day, so you would not only know what to feed her but also when to feed her. A good thing for a hyper cat is to feed her at least one or two hours before bedtime.
By doing so, you will make sure her belly is full which will result in her being a bit sleepy (Who doesn’t like to sleep after a good meal?). But also, she will be less likely to wake up hungry during her night zoomies. A well-balanced meal before bedtime will surely calm down your hyper cat.
Another thing you can do is invest in automatic cat feeders with which you would be able to schedule time for her night snacks.
4. Allow your kitty to be hyperactive
You will never be successful in calming down a hyper cat by being angry or punishing her. You have to let your cat be a cat and not stand in her way. By playing various kinds of games with her, you can help her spend the energy she has, and she will surely pay it back to you by letting you rest at night.
Her outburst of energy can be annoying and hard to handle, I know. But you have to let her be. As long as she’s not misbehaving and causing trouble, you’ll be fine.
5. But, don’t let it go too far!
With that being said, if she does start to cause trouble, you cannot let her indulge in her misbehavior. And never give in to her bad temperament. If you give in to her once, you will give in again. Which will only result in her thinking that there’s nothing wrong with the sofa scratching and the glasses breaking.
Instead, you should teach her how to behave properly and fix her bad habits. Or even better, make sure they never become habits. It’s harder to calm an overly hyper cat if she doesn’t understand what’s good and what bad behavior.
6. Create a calming atmosphere in your home
Everyone needs a calm atmosphere from time to time, and so does your little troublemaker. If you want to calm down your hyper cat, make sure her surrounding is not overly stimulating to her senses.
After playing with her, try using lavender essential oil since it possesses calming properties. You can even try using herbal calming sprays, feline pheromone diffusers, and cat-friendly CDB oils. Also, talk calmly and with a soft voice since she is highly sensitive to sounds.
7. Get your hyper cat company to calm her down
If your cat is overly energetic, you can always opt for getting her company. Toys are usually not enough, and sometimes, because you’re busy with life, you are unable to fulfill her playful needs.
So another feline buddy will be a worthy playmate for your hyper cat and will calm her down for sure. Their energies will undoubtedly match, and after they pass the careful introduction procedure, they’ll become besties.
And, of course, you don’t have to stop at two cats! You know what they say: Two’s a company, but three’s never a crowd!
8. Find out if there are any hyperthyroid issues
Last but not least, not all cats are hyper cats because of their behavioral instincts.
Some cats are like that due to a condition called hyperthyroidism. This condition is usually caused by a benign tumor within the thyroid gland. It causes the overproduction of thyroid hormone whose function is to regulate cats’ metabolism.
Cats with excessive levels of this hormone have extremely high blood pressure and are in constant overdrive.
You can recognize this disease by noticing if your cat has a ravenous appetite, struggles with anxiety, occasionally vomits or has diarrhea, and is constantly thirsty. If this is the case, take her to the vet as soon as possible.
I know what you were thinking when you first started reading this article. “How to calm down a hyper cat when I can’t get her attention at all?” Well, as you were able to see, it’s not impossible. All you need to do is actually spend your time with her, so she could use up the excess energy she has.
Think about it this way: your cat can be an amazing gym partner for you. You two can have some awesome at-home workouts after which you will end up exhausted, but more than ready to sleep the entire night.