I’m sure that every cat parent has experienced their cat having the zoomies, when your cat suddenly starts running frantically around the house. Or, if you’re like me, and you have more than one cat… Oh, boy!
I’ve had many, many, late-night zoomies in my house. It can be irritating when it happens at 3 am. But, it’s more often hilarious.
So, why does it happen, you ask?
Just like many of the unusual things our cats do, the zoomies have their reasons. As Pam Johnson-Bennet says:
“Even when a cat’s behavior is strange, it always makes sense to the cat. When you look at it, there’s a reason.”
When your cat suddenly goes running up the stairs. One moment he’s lying on the couch, and the next he turns to Speedy Gonzales. As Johnson-Bennet says:
“They can go from zero to 100 miles per hour in no time.”
Cat zoomies are simply sudden bursts of energy your cat needs to let out. Sometimes it can happen right after your cat has had a long nap and it will seem like it’s happening all of a sudden.
However, it is not exactly like that. Your cat naps most of the time and then sleeps for a long time. There’s a lot of pent-up energy that needs to be released.
All cats have zoomies, both kittens and adults. Frenetic, rapid activity periods (what we call zoomies), are perfectly normal and every cat can get them.
by u/LPinTheD in Zoomies
There is no definite scientific answer as to why exactly cats get the zoomies. However, there are different theories…
Before we go any further, check out this perfect representation of cat zoomies:
1. Playful Zoomies
Many cat behaviorists and veterinary doctors claim that cat zoomies are a product of playfulness. Most often, playfulness is the reason for it.
Your cat is happy and playful and just wants to have some fun!
2. Post Litter Box Zoomies
A lot of cats get the zoomies right after they’ve used their litter box. Well, if your cat’s getting the zoomies after using the litter box, it might be because of discomfort.
Sometimes, the litter box isn’t the most comfortable place for your cat, and since it feels a bit vulnerable there, it gets anxious. Waiting to get out as soon as possible jumpstarts the zoomies.
3. As Simple As Instinct
by u/markoboos in Zoomies
As with many other types of cat behavior, the zoomies can be associated with the cat’s natural instincts. Cats lurk in their hiding place and patiently wait to pounce on their prey.
As they wait, their energy is stored up, waiting to come out. Similarly, when your indoor cat waits to “hunt its prey” (its toys or your feet), or when it sleeps for a long time, zoomies happen.
Your cat just gets this urge to hunt, and it just happens! Soon, they are running around and pouncing on things.
4. Possible Health Issues
Sometimes certain health conditions can be associated with your cat’s FRAPs i.e. zoomies. Cats might have fleas, and as they bite them, they get nervous and irritated, which results in zoomies.
Your cat could also be experiencing pain due to some injury or illness, which makes it suddenly rush around the house. It’s like your cat is thinking that the pain will go away if it rushes around. Unfortunately, we can’t run away from pain…
So, if you suspect that your cat’s zoomies might be a result of something painful, or you’re not sure what’s causing them, consult your vet.
When Do Cats Usually Get The Zoomies
Cats can get the zoomies anytime anywhere. However, it seems that zoomies most usually occur in the evening or late at night. Cats are crepuscular, which means they’re most active at dusk and dawn.
This is also why they tend to wake us up at the same time every day. This is because of their instinct, again. Their prey is most active at dusk and dawn, which is why cats are most active at that time as well.
However, our indoor domestic cats have a slightly different schedule…
They sleep a lot and do not have to hunt their food, so their zoomies also tend to happen a lot later at night. For example, my cats seem to be most active from 3 to 5 am… don’t ask me about my sleeping schedule.
According to Johnson-Bennet:
“If they’re not getting a release for their energy during the day, then chances are, at some point in the night, the cat’s going to go ‘I’ve got to release this!’ And suddenly it sounds like 14 horses are running down the hallway outside your bedroom.”
See this? I’m telling you, if you haven’t already read Johnson-Bennet’s book, now’s the time.
What To Do About Cat Zoomies
In case your cat seems happy and healthy, then let it have its zoomies. Most of the time, cat zoomies are perfectly natural and normal. However, sometimes, zoomies shouldn’t be ignored.
As I mentioned before, if your cat has fleas or is sick in any way, you need to talk to your vet. Especially, if your cat gets the zoomies and its behavior before and after doesn’t seem normal.
Pay attention to your cat’s body language, as well. If your cat doesn’t look happy, it’s time to act. Check if your cat looks scared, anxious, or in pain. Your cat might also hide after the zoomies.
Check if there’s something else that’s ‘off’ about your cat’s behavior. All these signs imply that your cat is unwell, and you need to consult your vet about it.
Activity & Playtime Is Important
Remember to keep your cat active and to play. Engage in interactive play with your cat, use wand toys or strings, and make sure your cat catches its “prey” at some point.
Also, reward the cat afterward. For each good playtime session, a treat is a must.
You can also explore different toys, puzzle feeders, and water fountains if you think your cat might enjoy them. Use different materials and toys like stuffed animals, balls, etc.
It’s important to let your cat have at least 30 seconds of energized activity so there’s no pent-up energy left.
Bonus! Playing with your cat is fun for you too. But more importantly, it strengthens your bond.
If you’ve made it so far, learning all there is to know about zoomies, then let’s have a little laugh together. Check out more hilarious videos below.