Cat Zoomies Explained [Why They Happen & What To Do]

If you’re a cat owner, you’ve seen your cats going crazy and moving all over the place as if they’ve completely lost their minds.

Don’t worry, this is called the “Zoomies”, and all cats experience it. We’re providing you with insight into what causes cat zoomies and how to deal with it.

What Causes Cat Zoomies?

  • Extra Energy
  • Hunting Prey
  • Fleas
  • Pooping
  • Medical Conditions

What Are Cat Zoomies?

Zoomies are medically known by the term Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs). It’s defined as sudden bursts of energy that happen randomly for a short period of time, lasting just a few minutes.

Zoomies are very common in cats. In most cases, it’s a completely normal behavior for cats to experience the zoomies.

When cats get the zoomies, they exhibit sudden excessive rapid movements in the form of running all around the house, jumping and bouncing all over the place, zipping around furniture, climbing up and down the stairs, and producing loud noises and meows.

These crazy bursts of energy could also result in overly energetic playing and fighting with other cats or pets in the house. They can happen periodically at specific times of the day or randomly at varying times, sometimes even in the middle of the night.

Zoomies are more common in kittens and younger cats as they naturally possess more energy. However, even older cats sometimes experience zoomies due to different reasons.

Why Do Cats Get the Zoomies?

When your cat starts to act crazy and suddenly run around, there are several reasons for such behavior. In most cases, it’s due to normal causes, but it could also be a sign of some health problems in other cases.

To take appropriate actions, it’s essential to understand the different reasons cats get the zoomies.

Extra Energy

Cats’ style of life and levels of activity throughout the day could affect their behavior. Most cats spend all their mornings lying down doing nothing, while their owners are out of the house at their jobs.

These long idle periods are counter-instinctive to the predatory nature of cats, as they’re used to hunting and chasing prey most of their time when they’re living in the wilderness. This lack of constant activity results in the build-up of pent-up energy over the day.

Cats zoom around the place to burn this excess energy they’ve accumulated while resting all day because they have no need to hunt for their food anymore as domestic cats.

cat looking up at camera

In this case, zoomies happen more often with younger cats as they have more energy.

Hunting Prey

As we stated before, domestic cats still retain their predatory instincts even when they don’t have to hunt for food. Zoomies could simply be a manifestation of this natural instinct. They start to run and jump as if they’re chasing their prey.

This behavior could be a reaction to the nearby presence of actual prey, specifically mice. If there are mice around your area, they’ll emit a distinctive odor that your cats could easily pick up.

In these situations, the cat could go crazy and zoom all over the place trying to find and catch the mice.

Fleas

If your cat is acting crazy and meowing unusually, it could be because it has fleas. These fleas will be constantly biting the cat and causing annoying sensations, and even resulting in sharp pain at several places that could get severe over time.

These flea bites can make the cat extremely uncomfortable and cause it to itch, scratch and even frantically jump and run around, especially when the bites are hard to reach, or if your cat is hypersensitive and suffers from skin infections and allergies.

Pooping

A lot of cats experience zoomies after they poop. There are several explanations for this behavior.

One explanation is related to their instinct. Cats are more vulnerable when they’re pooping. That’s why when they lived in the wild, they were used to quickly run off as soon as they finish doing their business to protect themselves against predators. This survival behavior is still visible in house cats.

Another reason is the fact that cats get a satisfactory sensation post defecation due to the stimulation of some nerves that bring them pleasure and excitement.

Your cat could also be feeling pain while pooping, which causes it to zoom afterward. This pain could be caused by a fissure or inflammation near the rectum.

Medical Conditions

Some cats get the zoomies due to medical reasons that cause them to be more active and have increased movements.

One of these conditions is senility or cognitive dysfunction. It affects older cats and causes them to behave strangely as they age. The reason for this is still unknown.

Cat playing shoes lace in the house

Hyperthyroidism is another medical condition that causes cats to exhibit hyperactivity. Its symptoms also include weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, increased appetite, and urination.

Feline hyperesthesia syndrome (FHS) is another disorder that makes cats act crazy. It’s a rare disease that’s accompanied by rippling of the skin along the cat’s spine. There’s still very little known about this disease and its causes.

What to Do With the Zoomies?

Before taking action, it’s important to determine the cause of your cat’s zoomies. You should carefully monitor your cat’s behavior and regularity of its mad acts to better understand it.

In the case of pent-up energy and midnight zoomies, the solution is to increase the playtime frequency and duration with your cat. You need to have two or more play sessions to release the cat’s excess energy.

You can also use catnips and toys like interactive wands and balls. Outdoor activities are also a good option.

If fleas are the reason for zoomies, make sure to use cat-friendly products for fleas treatment. You should consult your vet for the recommended products.

It’s also crucial to immediately visit the vet if the zoomies are due to pain or if they’re highly irregular and excessive, as they could be due to a medical condition.

Wrap Up

Despite being annoying sometimes, cat zoomies are mostly natural behavior. It’s mainly a way for cats to express their feelings and release their energy. All you need to do is pay some attention to them.

If you think it’s becoming extreme, consult with your vet.

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