If you are a cat owner, you may have noticed your feline friend suddenly darting around the house at top speed, zig-zagging through rooms and furniture. This phenomenon is known as “cat zoomies” and it is a completely normal and healthy behavior for cats.
In this blog post, we will introduce you to the concept of cat zoomies and provide you with information on why cats do it and how to handle it.
We will cover topics such as the causes of cat zoomies, how to tell if your cat is having a zoomie, and how to keep your cat safe during a zoomie session.
If you’re concerned about your cat zooming around your house at all times of day and night – you’re in the right place.
So, grab a cat toy and let’s dive into the world of cat zoomies!
What Exactly Are “Cat Zoomies”?
Zoomies aka Midnight Crazies, Superscoots, The Spins, Daemonic possession, Crazy Eights, The Crazies, Funny 5 Minutes and many more!
It is a time of hyperactivity where they will run, jump, and pounce all over the place in an erratic and hilarious performance of their agility and speed.
The official name for this, the one your vet would use, is Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs)
Although there hasn’t been much direct investigation in to FRAPs, it is agreed by all that it can be detrimental to pets if they aren’t allowed these exciting moments of movement.
What Causes Your Cat To Have Zoomies? What Does It Mean?
It’s a natural part of your cats behaviour to let off some steam and burn off all that pent up energy. We notice this more in younger cats and kittens.
Sometimes, if they’ve slept a little too much, or haven’t been out in a while they will descend in to a few hectic minutes of zoomies and all will be fine after.
Your Cat Is Excited
Your cat could get zoomies because something had disturbed them around the house and triggered this release.
They could be generally excited because of you! if you’ve been moving around a lot, maybe giving them lots of attention.
Indoor cats are more likely to have zoomies, as they don’t really have the same stimulation as an outdoor cat.
Your Cat Is Irritated By Something
It could be fleas or other irritants that can cause them to scoot and shoot check their fur for anything that shouldn’t be there if you have any suspicions.
True story; one of my cats, after doing her business, shot out across and around the living room over and behind everything with a piece of poo stuck to her fur, I had to try to catch her and do what needed to be done.
Although, be aware if your cat is acting differently, like having lots of zoomie sessions during the day.
More mature cats don’t tend to get zoomies randomly and if they do there can be possible injury due to their age. Older cats may be signalling that there is a problem.
You should keep an eye out for other symptoms like weight loss, loss of appetite, other shakes and unsteadiness or change in litter leavings, you should consult a vet if so.
Your cat is hopefully just letting off some steam and fulfilling their wild hunter needs. And, it means they are happy and feel safe!
Why Do Cats Get Zoomies After Pooping?
Here’s a bit of the physical biology that applies to both cats and humans!
The vagus nerve is a long cranial nerve that extends from the brainstem down to the abdomen and colon.
Humans have one, cats have one as do many other mammals.
It plays a crucial role in controlling various functions in the body, including the heart rate, digestion, and respiratory system. In cats, as in humans, the vagus nerve helps regulate the heart rate and digestion, and it also plays a role in controlling the muscles of the larynx (voice box) and pharynx (throat).
When your cat has a particularly big movement in their litter box, this nerve can be stimulated, causing a reaction: poo-phoria.
Quite simply, your cat gets physically excited after pooping as their Vagus nerve has been stimulated. This happens to humans too.
During an episode of poo-phoria – your cat may be sprinting around the house, up and down stairs, or generally being very energetic for about 5-10 minutes.
Why Do Cats Have Zoomies After Eating?
Eating for a cat, isn’t the same as it is for us, mentally that is.
Cat can be very particular about where they will truly enjoy eating, sometimes they just shoot off after eating or even half way through. There are quite a few situations that could lead to this like:
Some cats do not like eating close to other cats unless they are VERY comfortable with each other. Try moving your cats feeding bowls away from each other, like at opposite ends of a kitchen in a suitable place,
Your cats bowl could be somewhere where your cat doesn’t feel safe. So as soon as they are done eating, they run away!
Try to place their bowl in a semi out of the way place, try to prevent people passing behind them while they eat and put them away from loud noises like washing machines.
Sometimes, a cat’s bowl is too close to something else with a strong smell. If your cat is eating near a littler box or bins, even strong smells of cleaning products in cupboards could put them off and cause them to run away quickly afterward.
Decide carefully where your cat eats and where to store their bowl, mess mat and food.
And if you’re cleaning your cats bowl with a strongly scented soap, change it up, your cat will most probably be able to smell it still no matter how much you rinse.
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Why Do Cats Have Zoomies At Night?
Night time disturbances like zoomies are a huge annoyance for cat owners the world over.
But remember, this is a natural behaviour so of course would happen most when the cat is naturally more awake.
Sometimes cats are referred to as being nocturnal, although cats are technically crepuscular, which means they are actually more active at dawn and dusk.
They prefer this time of day because of the lower light levels allow them to use their specialized eyes and more reasonable temperatures for hunting.
As cats are most active during the time of day when we’re about to go to sleep, they may experience the zoomies as a form of excitement or in order to gain your attention.
Do Zoomies Mean Your Cat is Happy?
In most situations, you could say your little furry friend is having a great time, and really giving it their all. Cat smiles all around!
How Do Zoomies Calm Cats Down?
After your cat has let off a large release of energy during an episode of the zoomies, you’ll notice that they’ll be a lot calmer than usual.
They may even go off somewhere quite to sleep, or just go to chill out and get on with their day-to-day cat business.
How Long Does Zoomies Last?
Zoomies last as long as they need to! Although they usually only for a few minutes.
Cat zoomies typically last anywhere from 2 minutes up to 15 minutes.
If your cat is being hyperactive for longer than this, then you may want to investigate this with your vet.
Should I Let My Cat Do Zoomies?
Yes – Zoomies are natural and a part of your cats wellbeing. You should not disturb your cat or prevent them from releasing energy.
If you do choose to get involved in the fun, remember, they could be in “hunter mode” and mistakenly attack you with their razor sharp claws or teeth.
One of the biggest downfalls of zoomies is collateral damage, cats knock things over, either on purpose or accidentally on purpose.
When your cat does zoom around the room, take note of anything in any repeated path that could fall or be damaged accidentally. Try to relocate anything on the race track to avoid these little accidents.
If you want to try to limit your cat’s zoomie episodes you could play with your cat more often during a time that’s convenient for you. Wait to see if your cat responds, and eventually it will become part of their routine.
Allow Your Cat to Properly Chase and Catch Their Toys
Cats are hunters. They catch prey. Prey usually runs, then stops running once it is caught.
Many cat toys are actually counter productive. For example, the laser pen.
A laser pointer toy does not allow your cat to ever catch its prey – so your cat’s needs as a hunter could be going unmet.
Laser pointers lack the clash and catch stage, this could actually cause frustration for your cat!
Use toys that are of interest to your cat, like a string with a toy mouse on the end, try to creep it around the floor and occasionally run if they pounce.
But letting your cat catch its toys (aka “prey”) – a good time to do this is at the end of play – and let them hold on to it!
This can help to meet your cat’s needs as a natural hunter.
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- STIMULATING: Catnip contains aromatic oils that give cats a euphoric buzz and stimulates their instincts; most cats respond to catnip with a burst of energy, or frenzied behavior, followed by a period of blissful relaxation
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Final Thoughts On Cat Zoomies
In conclusion, there are many possible reasons why cats may exhibit energetic behavior and “zoom” around.
Some possible explanations include the release of pent-up energy, the desire to engage in playful behavior, the need to mark their territory, and the process of self-grooming. Cats are naturally curious and active animals, even when kept indoors, and they have a heightened instinct to explore and play.
By understanding the various factors that can influence a cat’s behavior, we can better understand and appreciate the unique characteristics of our feline companions.
Cat zoomies are a fun part of owning a cat. It can be very entertaining, but hopefully not too disruptive and annoying.
Last update on 2023-12-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API