Is your cat feeling a little frisky this evening? We’ve all had the experience of our cats getting hyper. It comes out of nowhere, and they have wrath that unleashes fury upon anyone around them, human, feline, or canine.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of waking up at three in the morning to hear your cat crashing around the living room as it plays with its toys while you try to get some shut-eye. That’s life with cat’s we suppose – or is it?
Why do cats get hyper, and is there any way to prevent this behavior? This post unpacks everything you need to know about how to calm down a hyper cat.
Why Do Cats Get Hyper?
Hyper cats are something to watch. If your cats are going hyper, it doesn’t mean they’re necessarily aggressive. Hyperactivity occurs when our cat has pent-up energy, and they receive an environmental stimulus that triggers the hyper reaction. Indoor cats who don’t get enough exercise are particularly prone to mad half hours and hyperactivity – it is almost like they are blowing off steam or embarking on a short physical workout to keep in shape!
Most cats do some entertaining stuff when they go hyper. Some felines start doing multiple backflips off the wall, while others might start chasing the dog around the garden for fun. While this kind of behavior is amusing during the day, it’s not too much fun in the middle of the night when you’re trying to sleep.
Some cats do get aggressive when they turn hyper. They may lash out at other cats or start a fight with your other cats or dogs. If you approach them, they might try to scratch you or bite you. The hyper reaction is different in all cats, but most of them act out in good spirits.
Cats are nocturnal, and they prefer to hunt and stalk prey at night. Therefore, it’s in their nature to want to be up at night while you’re asleep. Unfortunately, this means you might end up with a cat that goes nuts at night just as you are trying to sleep!
Fortunately, it’s possible to train this behavior out of your cat by keeping them up all day, playing with them until they are drained of energy, and then feeding them before bedtime. Once fed they will calm down and drop off to sleep.
How to Calm Down a Hyper Cat
If you’re tired of that hyper behavior getting in the way of your sleep, try these tips to calm down your cat.
Get Your Cat Some Exercise
Play with your kitty before bedtime. It will replicate hunting for your cat and will drain their energy off so they are less inclined to go nuts at night.
Try Feeding Before Bedtime
Feeding your cat after you have exercised them but before bedtime makes them feel sleepy, preventing them from getting up to terrorize you in the middle of the night. The idea is to replicate a natural sequence of events that occurs in cat’s lives in the wild – play (hunt), feed (consume the hunted prey), then groom followed by sleep.
Change the Sleeping Cycle
Like we talked about earlier, cats are nocturnal animals. Therefore, it’s in their nature to be awake while you’re asleep. Since this instinct comes embedded in eye cats’ behavior, you have to train it out of them. Exercise them and then feed them before your bedtime. This way you can hopefully short circuit the nocturnal instinct and they will naturally settle down to sleep at the same time as you!
Get Your Cat a Friend
Getting a second cat is another way to prevent your cat from going hyper. When your cat has a friend, they get less bored when you’re not around. Less boredom equals few incidences of your cat going hyper.
Give Your Cat Space
When a cat starts going hyper, please don’t get in its way. Even if you have a playful cat with no aggression, they might end up scratching and biting you when they turn hyper, without meaning to hurt you.
Cat claws are sharp, and they carry bacteria that cause infection. If you do get a scratch or bite, make sure you disinfect the area immediately.
Don’t Give In
If your cat has a bad attitude when it turns hyper, don’t approve of its behavior. Persist with your attempts to train her into a respectful and calm animal.
Make sure you never give in to a cat’s bad temper or attitude. Doing so shows the cat that you cave in to what they want when they go crazy, and they’ll keep turning hyper on your to get what they want.
Catnip is like a slowdown pill for hyper cats. This perennial herb is part of the mint family, and it causes a special reaction in cats. When cats consume catnip, they become docile and relaxed. They’ll lie down and start watching you or decide to take a nap.
Getting a hyper cat to consume catnip is hard, but if you catch them in the early stages, you might be able to get them to have some.
Cats enjoy the nepeta cataria variety of catnip the most, and its active polyphenol ingredient, nepetalactone, is responsible for causing the calming reaction in your feline friend.
However, it’s important to note that some cats have an opposite reaction to catnip, and it may cause them to go into a hyper state rather than calm down.
When Does Hyperactivity in My Cat Become a Problem?
A hyper cat can be fun to watch when they go nuts. As long as they’re being friendly and not causing any damage, it’s a source of amusement to watch your cat go wild for a few minutes.
However, the hyper behavior becomes a problem for owners when it starts to cause damage or interfere with their normal day-to-day life around the house.
All cats go hyper at some stage in their life, but most of them grow out of it. Hyperactivity is like a passing stage in your cat’s life, and it eventually fades.
However, overly-stressed cats make actually exhibit worsened hyper behavior over time. If you note hyper behavior getting worse in your cat, take them to the vet for a diagnosis.
Make Sure You Understand the Signs of a Stressed-Out Kitty
Stress and boredom are the primary drivers of hyper behavior in cats. Before your cat goes hyper, you might notice they start exhibiting specific behaviors, such as twitching tails or flicking ears.
These signs of stress are the initial reaction that your cat feels edgy, and stress levels are building. Eventually, they’ll reach the breaking point where hyperactivity starts.
Some cats might tend to hide away when they feel this stress building. However, if the cat has nowhere to hide, they might flip the switch and go hyper instead.
Some cats might also start spraying during hyperactivity. If your cat is acting aggressively to your or your other pets, give it space and let it wear itself out. Never attempt to pick it up, as you could end up taking some nasty scratches and bites.
Monitoring the signs of a stressed-out kitty gives you time to take reactionary measures before they turn hyper. It’s a good time to give your feline some catnip and let them relax.
Take Your Cat to the Vet for a Checkup
While hyper episodes have a lot to do with boredom and stress in your cat, they can also occur due to a health disorder known as “hyperthyroidism. “This condition affects the cat’s thyroid gland, causing them to produce too much thyroid hormone.
Thyroid hormone increases metabolism, and the more hormone levels rise, the more energy your cat must burn off during the day.
Some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism include
- An increase in appetite and a sudden weight loss.
- Increases in hyperactivity.
- Increased rate of urination.
- Increased thirst.
- Vomiting and diarrhea.
If you notice any of these signs of hyperthyroidism in your cat, book an appointment with your vet., the doctor takes blood samples from your cat for lab analysis. The vet checks the thyroid hormone levels in your cat to determine if they are dealing with hyperthyroidism.
If your cat receives a diagnosis confirming hyperthyroidism, your vet prescribes medications to control the condition and return your cat to normal.