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Most people picture a cat as an independent being that makes their way around the home and gets pets whenever they feel like it. However, those who have owned cats before know that this is not always the case.
As cats age, they might mellow out into this almost transcendent being, but before that, they can be like wildebeests, tearing around and yowling in the middle of the night, morning, afternoon, and every other time of day.
Having a playful kitty might seem like fun, even a dream come true for some cat lovers. However, after a while, it may get old, or it may point to a bigger problem. If you are at the point where you want to mitigate or at least understand their hyperactivity, you have found the right place.
A couple of notes to discuss first: All cats experience hyperactive moments and phases during their lives. Don’t fight against what cats need or punish them for behavior that you might find annoying but is inherent to their nature. They will have a hard time understanding this and will act out in different ways instead.
1. Create an Energy Outlet
If your cat is acting out or exhibiting hyperactivity during the night, be aware that this is normal because cats are typically nocturnal animals. Working them into a semblance of a schedule can be a great way to tire them out before your bedtime.
For both you and your cat’s sake, schedule in time during the day to play with your cat. Watch for the times that they seem to have the most energy and work it into these periods if you can. If not, make sure that you have toys that engage them and lure them into playtime.
Cats like to follow routines, and a consistent high-energy playtime with your pet will help them understand when it is appropriate to get excited and when they should be taking one of their infamous cat naps.
2. Reflecting the Household
Don’t always blame your cat if you are having energy issues with them. Noise and chaos in the home can make it difficult to form routines and schedules, which adds up to a highly stressed-out cat.
Also, consider if there have been any changes recently in the household, especially new animals. Cats are not highly adaptable creatures, especially as they start to age. If your cat is exhibiting sudden signs of increased energy levels and poor behavior, having something new around can be the cause.
Even something as seemingly insignificant as getting rid of a favorite piece of furniture might throw them for a loop.
3. Is It a Health Problem?
Veterinarians confronted with a hyper kitty will often be quick to point out that it is not always directly correlated to poor behavior. This health risk is even more likely if your cat is older or hasn’t had issues with hyper activities at odd times of day before this.
Go to your vet if this sounds like your cat, and ask them to make sure the problem isn’t hyperthyroidism. Their thyroid gland is the control system for energy levels. If this is out of whack, cats will have a hard time regulating themselves, their sleep patterns, and appetites.
4. Create Safe Outdoor Time
There are some people who keep cats exclusively indoors and some who keep them outdoors. Many people choose a middle camp and allow their pets to wander in and out at their leisure. If you keep your cat indoors, consider this as a causal agent for increased hyperactivity.
It is not a bad thing to keep a kitty inside; it can often be the safest choice for them in a dangerous world. However, cats kept indoors have a much higher chance of suffering from boredom. Bored cats are hyper cats, especially when they are young.
One of the solutions to this problem is to create moments of safety and watchfulness outdoors. Make sure your yard is fenced in high enough, so the cat can’t jump over. If not, you may want to invest in an outside playpen. They will have fun exploring this new world and will come inside, ready for an all-nighter.
5. Pursuing Food
Cats need schedules, one of which should involve their food. Although many believe that it is fine to free-feed their cats, this can lead to overeating and confusion in their systems.
Cats often have bursts of energy right before or soon after eating. If they are constantly eating throughout the day, this might explain why they are always so active. Put them on a daily meal routine, and see if this helps to reduce their window of high energy.
Another way to direct their energetic attention without having to keep them occupied all the time is to make mealtimes a game. When cats want something, they will keep at it for hours until they have achieved their goal. Put their food into toys that they can bat around to eat.
There are many products now that dispense cat food if the cat can figure out the ways to make it happen. By the time they are done with mealtime, they have used up most of their energy reserves and exercised their brains all at once.
6. Double the Fun
It might be hard to admit, but sometimes you can’t be all that your kitty needs because you can’t keep them occupied all the time. If you have tried everything and nothing is working out between you and your kitten, consider adopting another.
Adopting another cat might seem like a double-trouble situation, but frequently, that isn’t what happens at all. Instead, the two kittens work it out between themselves, fighting for toys, playing together, and racing each other. By the time you return home and are ready for the daily playtime, they might be coming to the end of theirs.
7. Toys for Companions
If adopting another cat isn’t an option for you or your family, there is always a wide world of toys to consider. Many products go beyond the typical feathers and trinket sticks that your cat can play with on their own. Look for toys that both you and your cat enjoy, as well as those that your cat can use whenever they want to be wild.
With so many solutions, you and your kitty should be panning out the problem in no time. When figuring out your strategy from here on out, remember to consider your cat and their needs first, and then move to find the solutions that work best for the both of you. Suppression or punishment isn’t the key, but more structure and bonding time can be.
Featured image credit: rihaij, Pixabay
Roland has been an animal lover all his life, with cats holding a special place in his heart. He is owned by three felines: Wheely, KitzKitz, and Nugget (all rescues) who bring all the laughter and mischievousness one can expect from the feline master race. As the creator of ExcitedCats, his mission is to assist in the search for the best gear to help improve the health and wellbeing of cats everywhere.