If you’re a cat owner, you likely know that the picture-perfect idea of a cat purring and laying calmly at arm’s length while you pet her is inaccurate—at least some of the time. Cats are known for getting the kitten crazies, or bursts of energy that range from running and jumping around the house at high speeds to animated play-fighting with other household pets.
This type of behavior can be alarming or frustrating for cat owners, but, according to Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a veterinary behaviorist in Westborough, Massachusetts, “it is their natural behavior.”
Dodman describes these sudden bursts of energy as the zoomies. The behavior is hardwired into cats for a few reasons. Cats will tend to sleep when it’s pitch-dark. But at dusk, they’re most active. Instinctive behavior they might exhibit outside, such as prey chasing, translates into activity that is within a confined household.
“When we put cats into conventional homes, we’re really limiting their ability to explore their habitat,” Dodman says. “The cat’s ancestors lived in much larger territories.”
If your kitty suddenly exhibits a high level of activity, here are a few methods you can use to help calm her down.
1. Structure in Playtime
Just like dogs, cats need an energy outlet. And if they don’t have viable ways of letting that energy out during the day, you may find them careering around the house, jumping on top of furniture, and getting into areas they shouldn’t. But Dodman stresses the importance of recognizing cats need to release their energy somewhere.
By structuring in playtime with your cat, you can reduce unwanted or over-the-top behavior. Using cat-friendly toys, such as interactive LED lasers or a tennis ball modified to contain treats, can work. “You’re having fun, interacting with your cat, and directing their energy,” says Dodman of structured playtime. If you use a laser pointer for play, make sure to include opportunities for the cat to catch the “prey,” such as landing the laser on a treat, and letting the cat pounce on it. Without the ability to catch the prey, laser pointer play can lead to obsessive behavioral disorders, such as shadow chasing.
Certified animal behaviorist Jennie Lane of Alexandria, Virginia, recommends food-dispensing toys for some cats because it approximates their instinct to hunt for food. Scheduled playtimes might be only five to 10 minutes long for some cats. “Some of them can become over-stimulated and get aggressive when they play too long,” Lane says.
2. Create Harmony in the Household
Because the predecessors to the domestic house cat were solitary hunters, having a household with multiple cats or other pets can stress cats out. Urine marking or inappropriate urination or defecation outside the litterbox are clear signs of stress. According to Lane, as you approach having 10 cats in the home, the chance of urine marking goes up 100 percent.
Personalities can change dramatically within a household whenever the number of cats in the home increases. Although it’s possible to have a multi-cat household, there’s more work to be done to ensure harmony within the group. In this instance, Lane recommends consulting with an experienced animal behaviorist to help sort out issues and ask your veterinarian for recommendations. Your veterinarian will look at factors like an individual cat’s history, specific triggers to problems, and a cat’s early life. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but Lane says increased exercise and mental stimulation tend to help.
There are some cases where adding a cat will remedy discord within a household. According to Dodman, if an excess of play behavior is directed toward you, owners should consider adding a cat so they are interacting with each other.
3. Address Any Hyperthyroid Issues
Not all unwanted behavior from cats is behavioral. With older cats, the most common physical reason for overactive activity is hyperthyroidism. Cats with this condition have an overactive thyroid gland, which is the control mechanism for their energy levels. Subsequently, you’ll have a cat with bursts of energy. “Cats with hyperthyroidism don’t sleep very much and will have a voracious appetite,” says Dr. Erin Wilson, a veterinarian and medical director at the New York ASPCA. “It generally occurs in senior kitties,” she adds.
Treatment for hyperthyroidism in cats includes the medication Methimazole, surgical removal of the thyroid gland, and radioactive iodine therapy.
4. Create Safe Outdoor Experiences
If cats don’t have safe, structured ways to entertain themselves, they’ll figure out ways to use that energy on their own. Dodman likens off-the-wall behavior from cats to “cabin fever.” They’re cooped up inside, and though your cat may seek outside stimulation, dangers like traffic and wild animals typically make this an impractical solution.
However, there are ways to provide safe outdoor activities for your cat. Lane recommends using a harness for cats to explore with you or providing an outdoor enclosure such as a catio, which allows your feline to enjoy being outside without being subject to predators.
5. Allow the Behavior
Feline experts agree that typically, when cats exhibit sudden energy bursts, it’s often just what cats do. The first question cat owners might ask is whether the cat actually needs to be calmed down. “If cats are merely running and jumping around for five minutes, it’s not necessary to stop the cat,” Wilson says. “It’s the same as stopping children from running and playing.”
But when the activity becomes dangerous, such as your kitty jumping off the top of a fridge, Wilson advises cat owners try redirecting the behavior with a toy to chase or even an empty cardboard box to keep the cat busy.
From a biological standpoint, owners should expect kittens, especially those under the age of 6 months, to have a ton of energy. Owners who allow the behavior will see the kitten calm down soon enough. “They tend to run around and crash,” Dodman says. “Activities like play wrestling are a necessary practice and skill for their adult life.”
Cats do have a need for mental stimulation and exercise. Besides addressing any behavioral issues and unhealthy household conflicts, it’s important to remember energy bursts are simply a part of who they are.
My 11-month-old cat sleeps a lot, but when he’s awake, he’s a terror. He endangers his own safety. I am afraid to leave him alone. He has gotten stuck between brackets, under a large leather, double-recliner sofa more than once. It almost is impossible to get him out. We have blocked off every way to get in, but he still does it. He is declawed, but bites his way through things. We can’t seem to control him. He walks on the range, and I’m afraid to cook when he’s around. He chews on electrical wires. Spray repellent smells awful, but doesn’t discourage him. We have to close the door to his room at night so he doesn’t get into trouble when we’re asleep. I am not much of a disciplinarian because I love him so very much.
You can channel this little one’s energy into more constructive activities in many ways.
1. Cat Plus One
You can’t babysit your kitten 24/7, so consider bringing another kitten home. Most kittens do well with another friend who has an energy level close to his own. When you bring in another cat, make the introductions gradually.
2. Play, Play, Play
Hold frequent play sessions that imitate hunting activities to disperse some hyper kitten energy. A fishing pole toy is ideal. Pretend that the toy at the end of the pole is prey by changing the speed and jumping it into paper bags or under sofas. Play should be fun and challenging for your cat or kitten. To stop, slow the play down, giving your kitten a cool-down period. At the end of the cooling down time, let your cat or kitten catch the toy, then feed him. His natural response will be to eat, groom, then go to sleep. One of these play sessions should be just before you go to bed. Please make sure that you put the toy away when you are not around to supervise the play.
3. Hungry Like The Cat
Instead of leaving cat food around in bowls for your cat, make him work for his meals. If he eats dry food, put the dry food in treat balls instead of keeping the food in bowls all day. Treat balls are hard, solid, plastic balls with holes in them. In order to eat, your kitten or cat will need to bat at the treat ball and roll it around.
4. Up Where Cats Belong
Cats love tall cat trees in strategic places around the house. Good locations include next to a secure window and around family hangouts. Look for cat trees with wide shelves and a covered box or hiding area. The cat trees must be stable so that they won’t fall over when your cat is in a particularly playful mood. Interactive toys, such as puzzle boxes or turbo scratchers will also help alleviate boredom. Cats will spend hours trying to fish toys or treats out of these types of toys.
This article was co-authored by Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital. Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital is a team of four veterinarians based in Austin, Texas. Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital offers medical assessments, dentistry, ultrasonography, flea control, radiology, and cardiology services to dogs, cats, and pocket pets. Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital is Austin’s first Fear Free Certified Practice and was awarded “1st Runner Up in Culture” by the 2020 Best of the Best Austin Official Choice Awards. Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital’s veterinarians are members of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association.
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Bringing a new kitten into the family is always a fun time. Generally, they are full of energy and extremely playful making for many happy moments with their antics and general sense of curiosity. At times you may become exasperated with their constant motion and activity. There are some steps you can take to help your kitty become more calm and relaxed while still maintaining the fun of its youthful spunk and vigor.
Cats are something of an enigma—intelligent, sometimes inscrutable animals whose sensitivity and perceptiveness make them fascinating and lovable pets. But as most cat owners can tell you, cats are also creatures of habit and comfort. They can become stressed or scared by a range of things, from a trip to the vet to a new person in the house.
To tell if your cat is experiencing stress, closely observe his body language, advises Dilara Goksel Parry, a certified cat behavior consultant with the San Francisco-based company Feline Minds. “As prey animals, cats are masters of disguise,” she says. “People need to be able to take in all the information the cat is giving them with their expressions and body language—the tension in the body, the size of the pupils, the movement and direction of the ears, vocalizations, and so on.”
But once you notice your cat is stressed or afraid, where do you go from there? Calming down a cat is a delicate process, so we’ve provided some tips for getting kitty back to his happy, mischievous self.
Image: Elya Vatel/Shutterstock.com
Be There for Your Cat, But Don’t Smother
“People tend to think of what humans may like when they are stressed, instead of thinking like a cat,” Parry says, explaining that while a human might seek comfort from a hug, many cats do not like to be handled when they’re upset. “This is probably the most common mistake we see,” she says, “that guardians rush up and try to pet or pick up a highly aroused or stressed cat.” The main problem with petting or snuggling is that it doesn’t allow the cat to decompress, according to Ingrid Johnson, a certified cat behavioral consultant with the Georgia-based Fundamentally Feline. “It can take cats hours to come down from a heightened, aroused state,” she says, so it’s important to give them space.
While you should avoid smothering your kitty with love, just being there physically is a good idea, especially if you have an affectionate cat. “Cats may respond positively to the presence of someone they know and trust,” Parry says. “Just talking to them or even singing to them can be helpful.” And remember: all cats are different. If your cat seeks out your lap while you’re sitting nearby, it’s safe to assume he wants to be there. So pay attention to your kitty’s personal preferences to best support him in his hour of need.
Take Things Slowly
Slow and steady are keywords when calming a stressed cat, especially if she’s being exposed to something new. “If it is a short-term stressor—such as your friend coming over for the afternoon and bringing her dog, or a day-long home project—don’t even bother with trying to get the cat used to it,” Parry says, as adjustment will take much longer. In such situations, she suggests putting the cat in a safe room with her essentials for the time period in question. When introducing the cat to a new pet, person, space, or other stressor that’s more long-term, Johnson advises to “take it slowly and introduce them one sense at a time,” since cats rely on their noses first and foremost. Going too fast with anything novel is a common cat-parenting mistake, Parry says. “People think they can get the cat used to the scary thing by exposure,” she explains, “but desensitization by definition has to be done very gradually, and over days, weeks, or months to be effective.”
Provide a Safe, Cozy Environment with Vertical Space
Cats can be fearful of large, open spaces, Johnson says, so make sure kitty has a cozy spot where he can retreat in times of stress. “Some cats are more bush-dwellers, so they like to stay hidden and under things,” she says, noting that “[other] cats gain a lot of comfort and solace in being up high.” She recommends providing both types of spaces—a cat tree or elevated bed for a cat to get vertical and survey the area, and tucked-away spaces in which to hide. But make sure you’re never cornering the cat. “Always give cats a way out of a situation—an escape route—vertical or otherwise,” Parry advises.
Even when transporting your cat in a carrier, it’s best to employ the “cozy” rule to keep her calm. “For most cats, covering up the carrier and blocking any extra stimuli is helpful,” Parry says—a towel or blanket will work fine. But when dealing with a carrier—a common source of anxiety—training and acclimating your cat is the only surefire way to ease her fear. “I liken it to training a dog to walk on leash,” Parry says. “We wouldn’t want a dog guardian to skip this step, and acclimating a cat to the carrier should be an early focus for the cat guardian.” For help in this area, train your cat to view the cat carrier in a positive light and consult with a cat behaviorist if that doesn’t work.
Image: Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com
Keep Kitty’s Essentials Accessible
One anxiety-easing practice that cat owners sometimes neglect is “taking care of their basic needs in a cat-centric manner,” Parry says. Sounds easy enough, but cat-centric means doing what’s best for your cat, not for you or your home, which can be a tough adjustment. “Give cats things that they need in the places where they feel most comfortable,” Johnson says. “So that means that if your cat pretty much lives in your master bedroom, and they love to be in there but they’re too scared to come out, don’t put their cat litter box in the basement and their cat food in the kitchen.” Placing cat essentials in far apart or potentially scary rooms can cause chronic stress, so observe your cat’s preferences closely. While we may not love having a litter box in the bedroom, sometimes sacrifices must be made for our feline roommates.
Image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com
Let Him Spread His Scent
“Cats do a lot of things to comfort themselves, like leaving their scent around with their facial rubbing, and their scent marking on their paws,” Johnson explains. She emphasizes allowing cats to leave their scent in places they care about, and allowing them to access those places in times of stress. Scratching posts are a good option, ideally placed in the cat’s favorite rooms. “It brings them comfort to be able to send messages around,” she says. Likewise, if transporting your cat in a carrier or taking them to an unfamiliar place, Parry recommends taking along an item that bears the cat’s own scent from a “happy place and time,” which provides familiarity in a stressful situation.
Molly Hitchens studied business for years before launching her career as a journalist and analyst specializing in original and innovative business planning. She shares her expertise through her work with The Idea Trader as well as through in-person speaking engagements at universities around the country.
If you’ve ever owned a kitten before, you know very well that they have more energy than any of us has ever had.
They can spend hours at a time literally bouncing off the walls and still be ready to attack every set of shoelaces in the house.
But if you want your new cat friend to behave around guests or during times with a lot of activity, it’s crucial that you find ways to calm your cat down, preferably without spending a lot of money in the process.
Our list will show you how to calm down a kitten when hyper, and they just might help you calm down, too.
We all like playing with our cats. They’re an endless source of entertainment and affection. And especially in the early days of owning a kitten, there’s little else that can distract from that cute little scruffy face.
But there are times when play is inappropriate, or when play can just get plain out of hand. That’s when it’s important to make it clear to your cat that you won’t put up with it.
The first step in the process is to just stop playing with the cat. Cats feed off your energy and enthusiasm to a certain degree. And if you keep playing with a hyper cat, don’t be surprised when the claws come out.
Don’t Pay Attention
The next step for helping a cat calm down in the moment is to stop giving the cat attention. If possible, leave the room and close the door.
When left to its own devices, your cat is more likely to calm down faster if they know that you’re not paying attention.
It may be difficult, and your impulse may be to scold the cat or restrain it. But it's important to remember that cats enjoy any kind of attention, even if it’s negative. And it may encourage the cat to continue unwanted behavior.
The ThunderShirt got its start as a helpful garment for dogs, to help control anxiety and overactivity. Since then, the product line has expanded to include versions for cats as well.
The basic concept is that by applying light pressure to the pet’s abdomen, the animal will feel calm and secure.
ThunderShirt is far from the only brand manufacturing calming garments for pets, but the company is the most prominent and their products are widely accessible via common pet supply outlets.
Not all pets respond positively to a ThunderShirt or similar garment, but it might be worth your time to see if your cat, in particular, finds the experience pleasing and calming.
If they do, then the ThunderShirt is likely to become your go-to for getting your cat to calm down.
We’ll take a wild guess and say that your kitten probably likes treats. And that makes calming treats one of the most practical ways to get your cat to settle down.
Calming treats come in a variety of styles and ingredient combinations. Some include melatonin, a natural chemical substance present in the human body. Others simply combine herbal supplements to achieve similar results.
The downside of calming treats is that they work differently for each animal. There are also limits for how many of these treats you can feed to your cat in a 24-hour period.
So while calming treats are not an everyday solution, they can come in handy when traveling or on those nights when your kitten just won’t go to sleep.
Calming Sounds for Cats
In scientific studies, it has been suggested that cats don’t respond very much to human music in general, while dogs can potentially be calmed down by quiet, slow-moving human music.
However, there are certain types of music and sounds specifically designed to help calm your cat down.
Many of these are available on streaming services like YouTube and Spotify . There are also dedicated Bluetooth speakers meant to be placed near your cat’s private area in the home that can have a similar calming effect.
Cats have a very highly developed sense of smell. And while their sense of smell isn’t as sensitive as that of their canine counterparts, cats, and especially kittens, are very sensitive to strong smells.
To help provide relief from the strong smells in your home, from cooking ingredients to perfume or cologne, consider trying a calming diffuser.
These small devices plug right into a wall outlet. The only continuing cost is the scent pods that lock into the plug component.
They slowly disperse a mild scent that cats will find relaxing and that you won’t mind at all.
Turn Off Music and Videos
Controlling and altering your home environment is also key to preventing energy outbursts from your kitten. Above all else, this means making sure that the environment is completely safe for your pet.
Make sure that electrical wires are properly shielded and generally inaccessible to your cat. Don’t use loud appliances like washing machines or vacuums too close to the kitten.
Another important way you can control the cat’s environment is to take note of how often you have audio playing from videos or music sources.
While cats may not have a real preference on the type of media you play, they do respond negatively to loud noises. Don’t keep your media at a high volume for much of the day.
Consider wearing headphones more often or limiting your media usage to just a couple hours each day.
Just remember that your kitten has its own personality, one that you will learn more about over time, through years and years of memorable experiences.
Some of these tips might not work for your cat. But the ones that do will help give hints towards what your cat likes and responds positively to. You can use those hints to come up with new ways to keep your cat calm and set early boundaries.
Soon enough, your friendship will have more depth and meaning than before.
As your little pet grows from a kitten to an adult cat, it brings many changes in its behavior. Over time you see a series of alterations in your cat’s behavioral actions like appetite, likes, dislikes, sleeping, playing habits, etc. Some cats become submissive as they grow up, while others develop anger issues. If your cat has developed aggression, it would indeed bother you.
An angry cat has the potential to harm not only itself but also other animals in the surroundings. Besides, your aggressive cat may also hurt you! We believe you would not want the aggressive behavior of your little friend to continue for long. Well, you need not worry! This article will discuss the signs of an angry cat and the measures you can take to calm your angry cat.
So, without any further delay, let’s get started!
How to tell if a cat is angry?
Cats express multiple behavioral changes with time. Therefore you must know if your cat is acting angrily or you misunderstand your little fellow’s behavior. As a careful and responsible cat owner, one of your utmost duties is to be a keen observer regarding your pet’s actions. It would help if you did not jump to any severe conclusion without having enough shreds of evidence.
- Cats do not appreciate hiding in closed spaces. However, suppose your cat has recently started disappearing, and you end up finding it inside your closets or under the bed or anywhere else where no one visits. In that case, it may be a sign of aggression or depression.
- Both cats and dogs love the moment when you give them their treats and favorite toys to play with. However, an angry cat would not appreciate it when you try to provide its favorite toy. That is when you know that your cat has developed anger issues if it keeps refusing to play with its favorite toy.
- Usually, your cat would not bite you in a way that you do not appreciate. However, according to many cat owners, their angry cats tend to bite them out of aggression. So, if your cat has also started biting you often whenever you want to nurture it with love and care, it may be angry!
- If your cat is angry, you would observe your cat would start scratching furniture. Besides, your cat would also begin growling way too much than ever before.
- Other signs that may confirm that your cat is angry are tail twitching and a change in-ears posture. For example, you would see that whenever your cat gets angry, its ears would flatten backward and start to twitch its tail rapidly.
How to calm an aggressive cat?
Before you move on to resolving your cat’s aggressive behavior, you must trace out the root cause of the behavior. Sometimes, when your cat is angry, it has got some valid reasons. For example, any other cat may bother your little friend a lot while it goes outside to socialize, similar to if your cat encounters a bully. As a result, it would become angry indeed.
Once you are sure that whatever behavior your cat portrays suggests that it is angry, then move on to finding the source of its outrageous behavior. Next, it would be best to take a few measures gradually to calm down your angry cat. Let’s have a light on a few tips on how to calm down an angry cat;
1. Approach your cat gradually
Be it humans or cats, when one is angry. They display similar behavior. Let’s think about what happens when you are mad? We assume you would want people to leave you alone for a while. Similarly, if your cat is angry, it would be best not to have any physical contact with it. If you would try to pet your angry cat, you may encounter scratches and bites!
Besides, it would be better to try communicating with your angry cat in a low tone, and please do not yell at it! You can also take your cat’s favorite toy and place it near your cat. You do not have to play with your cat when it is angry necessarily. Else you would suffer the consequences.
2. Upgrade your cat’s living place
Undeniably, if you live in a messy room and avoid going out often, you would start to feel gloomy and become irritated. The same is the case with cats! Your cat may be angry due to living in the same room for a long time. It may have started to affects its mood and behavior. Therefore, it would be best if you consider updating your little friend’s living place.
Besides, you must observe what bothers your cat the most. For example, if your cat does not appreciate children’s noises nearby or other pets, it would be best to provide it with an environment that does not become bothersome.
3. Be ignorant to your cat’s aggression
Different approaches work differently on every cat. For example, some cats may change their aggressive behavior if they do not respond to their owner. On the contrary, a few cats may become angrier after their owners have ignored them. However, it would be best to ignore your cat when it is angry.
When you see that your cat is angry, you must ignore it. However, you can slide a few toys towards your cat. Besides, you can also use a water gun to spray on your angry cat, making it believe that you have disliked the behavior. If you provide your angry cat with treats or rewards, it will keep repeating the behavior because you have unintentionally praised it.
4. Visit a professional vet
Lastly, if you think you cannot break your cat’s aggressive episodes, it would be best to visit a professional vet as soon as possible.
Without any doubt, an angry cat would not only harm itself emotionally but others in the surroundings as well. Although dealing with your cat when angry is not pretty much hectic, you can calm down your cat slowly. In this article, we have tried our best to discuss the signs that may indicate your cat’s anger and what you can do to calm down an angry cat.
Just like humans, cats and kittens can also become stressed. However, a stressed cat is much more likely to hide how it feels compared with when it's ill or injured.
To know how to calm a cat or a kitten down, it is important to first of all know the signs associated with stress for your pet.
An anxious cat is more susceptible to infectious diseases than a cat which isn't stressed. Chronic stress can end up making your cat aggressive.
For your cat's well-being as well as your own, learning how to prevent or treat their stress is essential.
How do I know if my cat is stressed ?
Just like when your cat is in pain, the main sign that your cat is stressed is a change in behaviour. If your cat is normally sociable and playful, it is quite easy to see if something isn't quite right.
However, for more independent, less sociable cats, it can be difficult to distinguish between stress and their normal behaviour.
Here are the nine signs that should alert you if your cat is stressed:
- Your cat or kitten isolates themselves, hiding and avoiding your presence.
- They stop eating their food or no longer ask you to feed them.
- They spend more time than normal going to the toilet. It's a sign of obsessive behaviour, generally linked to anxiety.
- They regularly fall ill. Stress hormones among cats reduce their white blood cell count, weakening their immune system.
- They spend more time sleeping. Cats are creatures of habit so keep an eye on when they sleep and if it's usually when they would be active or playing.
- They stop being clean and go to the toilet outside of their litter tray.
- They seem to be constipated or perhaps have diarrhoea.
- They miaow a lot. If you have a normally "chatty" cat, check to see if they miaow more than normal.
- They become more apprehensive or perhaps more aggressive for no reason.
If you notice your cat displaying these signs, it's possible they could be suffering from stress. Be wary though as these signs could also signal other underlying health problems.
To make sure your cat is simply stressed and not ill, it is important to pay a visit to your local vet who will be able to distinguish between the two for you. They will then tell you how to relieve your cat or kitten from stress.
Why is my cat stressed ?
There are many reasons as to why your cat could be stressed. Firstly, they could be genetically predisposed to stress, something which is impossible to foresee.
Secondly, they could be feeling overwhelmed about their environment which could make them nervous. Even if your cat is generally independent, they will still like to have their routine and habits. A sudden change in their daily routine could leave them feeling anxious.
The arrival of a child or another animal in the family, in particular another cat with which they must now share their territory among other things with, can also upset them.
Source: Your family pets
What are the consequences of stress for my cat ?
As has been said, a stressed cat is a cat with weaker immune defences. They are therefore more susceptible to infectious and auto-immune diseases, making them ill more often than normal.
Just like with humans, chronic stress can also lead to skin and breathing problems. A stressed cat can suffer from asthma, eczema, or psoriasis. It can also lead to alopecia whereupon they lose all their hair that doesn't always grow back in some places.
Finally, your cat's bladder can also be affected by stress. A stressed cat will urinate more than normal and often outside its litter. This could lead to urinary infections such as interstitial cystitis.
All these disruptions in a cat's health can reinforce stress. It is therefore important to be able act before their health is affected.
How do you relieve a stressed cat or kitten ?
It's not always easy to know how to relieve your cat or kitten that turns out to be stressed. Once your vet has confirmed that it is in fact stress and not an underlying health problem, then it's up to you to identify the possible causes of the stress.
Sometimes the cause of the stress is obvious, such as a change of home or a new arrival in the family. However, sometimes it can be much harder to find out. It could be down to boredom or perhaps a change in their food which they don't agree with, even if they've accepted many dietary changes beforehand.
Once the origin of the stress has been identified, you can put measures in place to cancel out the cause, or perhaps get treatment from your vet. It could also be worth considering getting dietary supplements or calming pheromones. In worst case scenarios, medical treatment could also be considered.
To reassure a stressed cat, it is important to give them attention. You could, for example, play for longer with them, make new places of rest available (a cat tree for example), adapt their diet…
Most importantly, try not to lose your temper with them if they make a mistake linked to stress. This could exacerbate the situation.
How do you calm down an aggressive cat ?
If, despite everything, your cat becomes aggressive, then here is what to do. An aggravated cat or kitten is generally behaving that way because they don't know how to react.
They may start to spit, scratch or bite. If they seem aggressive, it is important to make sure you don't aggravate them further and give them a chance to calm down. You will need to stay out of their way, even if this means leaving the room where they're in.
If you are close to them when they show signs of aggressiveness (arched back and hair on end), then avoid making eye contact with them, as they interpret this as a sign of aggression on your behalf. Turn away your gaze as if nothing is happening.
Don't try to trap them or make a move. This could make them even more aggressive.
To avoid an irritated cat becoming aggressive, make sure they do plenty of exercise, have plenty of places to get away, and most importantly, don't retaliate them. They won't understand and could become more aggressive.
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Do you have a crazy kitty that won’t stop running, licking, and jumping? Hyperactivity happens to cats from time to time. It can be due to pent-up energy or a case of anxiety. Whatever the cause is, it’s best to know how to calm a hyper cat to prevent injuries and damages to your home.
What is feline hyperactivity, and what causes it?
The truth is that cats are naturally hyperactive. It’s in their genes. And if you don’t provide proper stimulation, feline hyperactivity will occur.
The most common reason behind hyperactivity is pent-up energy. You fail to stimulate your cat mentally and physically, so it finds ways to drain the fuel.
This condition is also called the ‘ mad half hour ’ when cats experience a burst of energy that will usually last for 30 minutes. It’s common for indoor kitties.
The thyroid gland is responsible for producing thyroid hormone. This hormone regulates the body’s metabolic rate, as well as brain, muscle, and heart functions, among others.
Cats with hyperthyroidism will experience increased production of this hormone. This will lead to unexplained hyperactivity, unusual weight loss despite increased appetite, and excessive urination and thirst. A cat with hyperthyroidism will also appear unkempt.
How to calm a hyperactive cat
A hyperactive cat may not seem like a problem until the kitty topples expensive vases or sustains injuries. You have to do something about the unending zoomies before anything untoward occurs. For my kitten Watson, here’s what I do:
1. Rule out health problems
First things first: you should get any health problems ruled out. You should bring your cat to the vet for hyperthyroidism tests. The vet can also perform general checkups to identify other possible health problems that might be causing hyperactive behavior.
If your cat indeed has hyperthyroidism, the vet will formulate a treatment plan. It can be simple medications, radioactive iodine therapy, or surgery. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Most cats that received proper treatment will live normal lives.
2. Don’t repress the behavior
You should never stop a cat from burning its excess energy! Trying to stop the cat physically may end in painful scratches and bites. Let the cat do its thing until it calms down.
The key here is providing a safe space where your kitty can play and expel the energy. By creating safe outdoor spaces, your cat can roam, zoom, and pounce to its heart’s content. This will also prevent damages inside your home.
Some cat owners report ‘cabin fever’ on their cats after the kitties are kept indoors for quite long. Like humans, you should let the feline have a breath of fresh air in the yard. Still, you should secure it and ensure that the kitty can’t jump off the fence.
You can create a dog run into a cat run using a long leash. However, you should be there to supervise the kitty as the leash may get tangled. learn here how fast can a cat run
3. More exercise!
If you can’t bring your cat outdoors, indoor playtime is very important. You should drain your cat’s energy even before it drives the kitty mad.
You should get the cat a scratching post, cat trees, and interactive toys. This will keep the cat busy instead of just running around the house. If you want something simple, you can tie a string toy to a ceiling fan and let your cat go mad following it.
I once did it to Watson, and he had a blast. After 20 minutes, he’s already tired and napping.
4. Keep the household calm
Cats are very sensitive when it comes to various stimuli. They can get overstimulated when exposed to loud sounds, excessive petting, and rough play. It’s important to limit these stressors to prevent a surge in your cat’s activity.
Sometimes, adding a new cat to the family will help tame the resident kitty’s hyperactivity. Also, the latter will have someone to play with even if you’re not at home.
5. Consider using calming solutions
- Calming spray. A calming spray mimics the natural pheromone of cats. It helps reduce stress to calm a neurotic kitty. It’s almost odorless for humans, but your cat can easily pick up the scent.
- Calming collar. A calming collar is infused with pheromones and essential oils that are safe and relaxing for cats. It helps reduce stress so your kitty will not get nervous.
- Calming chews. If any of the two aids don’t work, you can try calming cat chews instead. This looks like a typical cat treat, but it contains calming ingredients to biologically lower your kitty’s hyperactivity. You should still consult the vet before giving it to your cat, especially if it has a sensitive stomach.
- Calming supplements. For cats with excessive hyperactivity, the vet may recommend a calming supplement. This helps a lot when a cat is exposed to stressful stimuli. It’s also an excellent option for kitties that get overstimulated easily.
Do cats ever calm down?
The answer to this question pretty much depends on the breed of your cat. In general, cats don’t really calm down since they are born predators. They will brush up their hunting skills now and then.
Still, cats will mature, and their kitten hyperactivity will subside by three to four years. As the cat enters seniorhood, it will become less and less active. Despite that, you should still engage your cat physically to prevent obesity.
If you want a calm cat, you should avoid breeds like Abyssinian, Bengal, Bombay, American Bobtail, Burmese, and Egyptian Mau. Also, Cornish and Devon Rex are dubbed ‘small but terrible’ due to their smaller size yet hyperactive personality.
Why do kittens go crazy at night?
Cats are nocturnal beings, so don’t be surprised if your kitten seems to go crazy at night. Aside from that, kittens that don’t get enough exercise during the day will wreak havoc in the night to drain the energy.
Still, you can realign your kitty’s circadian rhythm. A hearty playtime an hour before bedtime will surely drain your cat’s energy. By the time you go to bed, your furry baby is already sound asleep.
Experts also suggest that cats tend to be attuned to the schedule of their owners. Some of these kitties will sleep at night and remain active in the morning to be with their owners.
If your kitten’s hyperactivity at night is bothering, it’s best to keep the kitty out of the room. Just make sure that it has a safe play and pounce in your house.
Knowing how to calm a hyper cat will save you from broken vases, falling decorations, and emergency vet visits due to injury. This will also help your cat curb stress and negative behavior.
Do you have a hyper cat, too? How do you deal with the zoomies? Share it with us!