how to calm down a hyper cat women trying to calm down cat

How to Calm Down a Hyper Cat

As a cat owner, you must have experienced the unpredictable energy levels of your furry little friends. One day they’re cuddly and calm, and the next they’re bouncing off walls with sudden bursts of energy. Sometimes their silly antics make us laugh, but there are times when this hyperactivity of our feline friends can become too much to handle. 

Hyperactivity in cats, unlike children, isn’t caused by what they eat and drink. It’s quite common in house cats that don’t have enough stimulation and need an outlet to release their pent-up energy.

However, there’s no reason to fret if your cat is being too exuberant for your liking. Here’s everything you need to know to calm a hyperactive cat and what causes them to become overly hyper.

Causes of Hyperactivity in Cats

how to calm a hyper cat at night angry cat

Your cat might be acting hyper for a number of reasons, including:

  • Cats are natural predators; that’s why they’re hardwired to chase, stalk, and pounce on their prey. Being hyperactive is quite normal for cats, especially kittens, as they have inexhaustible energy. They need to run around and play wrestle so that they can be prepared for adult life. 
  • It’s possible that your kitty is bored. Not having enough physical and mental stimulation can cause your feline to become restless. 
  • Your cat might also get hyper because of hyperthyroidism. Commonly found in older cats, an overactive thyroid gland can result in bursts of energy in your cat.

If your cat is acting out of character, it’s always best to first consult with your veterinarian and get a full physical checkup done before looking for other reasons.

How to Calm a Hyper Cat

How to Calm a Hyper Cat Woman touching cat hand

A hyper cat can be irritating, undesirable, and even painful for their owners. We’ve written a list of the top cat calming products to try in addition to these 6 ways to calm your cat:

Schedule in More Playtime

Schedule in More Playtime Two Cats are Playing

Just like dogs, cats need an energy outlet, too. You might find your young cat careening around from one end of the house to the other and getting into areas it shouldn’t if it’s not provided with viable ways of releasing energy.

By spending more playtime with your pet, you can effectively manage your cat’s energy levels and reduce over-the-top behavior. 

Give your cat a variety of toys like feathers stuck at the end of a stick or a wand toy and move them around to mimic the movements of prey. By letting your cat play with these cat toys and ensuring a great play session, you can help satisfy your feline’s hunting instincts while letting off energy in a controlled way.   

You can also use a laser pointer to play with your cat. Allow your cat to ‘catch’ the red dot by landing on it, or else it’ll end up feeling frustrated. In some cases, the inability to catch the ‘prey’ while playing with pointer laser can lead to obsessive behavioral disorders like shadow chasing.

When it comes to feeding your cat, animal behaviorists recommend using cat food dispensing toys such as tennis balls modified to hide treats, as they help satisfy the cat’s instinct to hunt for food.

Scheduled playtime shouldn’t be more than 15 or 20 minutes, as too much activity can make your cat become over-stimulated and aggressive.

Provide Mental Stimulation

Provide Mental Stimulation Two Cats Playing With Puzzle

Food puzzles can help calm your cat as they provide excellent mental stimulation while encouraging natural hunting behavior. Be sure to rotate puzzle toys and food to keep your kitty interested.

By making it work for its food, you’ll be able to satisfy its hunger and hunting instinct, while helping it burn excessive energy to keep it calm.

Interaction With Other Cats

Interaction With Other Cats Couple of Cats Together

Having other pets or multiple cats in your home can cause stress and anxiety in cats. Urination outside the litter box or urine markings are common signs of stress. An increase in the number of cats in your home can dramatically change your cat’s behavior. 

Although it’s possible to maintain harmony in a multi-cat household, you’ll need to work a little harder. It’s also best to seek professional help.

In case of any issue, your vet will be able to make a recommendation based on factors like a cat’s early life, its individual history, and specific triggers to problems.   

On the other hand, there are cases when adding a friend for your cat could help. Your cat may be craving some company and by adopting another feline you can redirect the excess play behavior that’s directed towards you.

Provide a Safe Environment

Provide a Safe Environment Cat Sitting Down

Cats with little or no physical activity can become hyper at some point. Provide your cat with climbing structures, cat towers, cat trees, and a scratching post. By adding hiding spots and removing potential triggers such as loud noises, you can keep your cat calm. 

Cats that are cooped up inside may not find appropriate outlets to use their energy and may seek outdoor stimulation. Although they’re not as athletic as dogs, cats love smelling or seeing things and rolling around in the grass.

You can provide an outdoor closure like a catio, or use a harness to take your cat outside so that it can enjoy the outdoors without being exposed to dangers like traffic and wild animals.

Address the Medical Issues

Address the Medical Issues Cat Checkup With Veteran

Sometimes hyperactivity in cats, especially older cats, can be caused by health problems like hyperthyroidism. In this condition, the overactive gland produces too much thyroid hormone, resulting in increased metabolism and energy levels.

However, this condition is treatable with the medication Methimazole, radioactive iodine therapy, and surgical removal of the thyroid gland.  

Allow the Behavior​

Allow the Behavior​ Cat Trying To Jump From Sofa

According to experts, it’s quite natural for cats to exhibit sudden energy bursts. As cat parents, you need to know if you actually need to calm down your cat. If your cat is jumping or running around for 5 or 10 minutes, there’s no need to stop it; however, if the activity becomes dangerous like your cat jumping off the fridge, then you need to redirect its behavior.

Also, some cat breeds and kittens are more energetic than others. For instance, Siamese, Bengals, and Abyssinian are notorious for their high energy levels.

Final Thoughts

Although it’s vital to monitor your pet’s behavior and investigate if it’s acting out of the ordinary, you should also remember that it’s natural for cats to exhibit brief periods of playfulness.

So, how to calm a hyper kitten or cat? Look out for patterns in its behavior and try the tips above to see if its hyperactive session decrease in duration and frequency. 

Speak calmly to comfort your cat and try to understand its body language. A high vertical tail symbolizes that your cat feels comfortable and happy, while large and dilated pupils indicate a desire to play. Cats tend to arch their back and puff up their fur when they’re frightened.

In most cases, a cat racing and playing around the house is just following its natural instincts. However, if this cat behavior escalates and turns dangerous or destructive, you need to find out the root cause to keep your feline friend safe.

Author

Picture of Evelyn Baxter, Writer and Cat Expert

Evelyn Baxter, Writer and Cat Expert

Evelyn is an animal advocate, cat expert, and the proud mom of 2 rescue cats, Sugar, a beautiful fluffy tabby and Beebee, a black, fluffy beauty. Evelyn has studied animal care while volunteering at her local shelter. She loves all animals and wants to share the animal knowledge she has been lucky enough to gain together with knowledge from other experts with cat parents across the world.