Many cat owners can relate to what can only be described as an over active, or hyperactive cat behavior, and it can be quite difficult to know for sure if this is just normal behavior, or something more. More often than not hyperactivity in cats is quite normal, even if it does seem a little over the top. However, there could be a behavioral issue at play here, or even an underlying medical condition. Therefore, let us take a closer look at hyperactive behavior in general, and what we can try to slow it down in a natural way, but also look at possible medical conditions that may be causing this hyperactivity issue too, so read on to learn more.
Important considerations determining hyperactive cat behavior
1. Cat bored during your absence
One of the first things you need to discover is whether your cat is hyperactive all the time, or just when you are at home, because many owners have realized that the hyperactivity in their cat only occurs when they come home from work. This type of hyperactivity is usually the result of him being bored all day when you are away, and now you have returned it is play time, at least for your cat. Having said that, this generally happens when there is a single cat in the house, and not much for him to do during the day time while you are away.
2. Amount of playtime with your cat
- If, your cat is more hyper just when you are at home, try to allocate some time each evening for just playing with him ,and giving him attention. You can use some great toys for cats, especially ones that involve him chasing something, like a toy mouse, or feathers on a fishing type pole, and this also helps him burn energy. Moreover, getting some new toys for him to play with while your away may help keep him active when he’s alone. Now, even though he may have plenty of toys, getting some new ones may help him get into that hunting, playing mode while alone, making him less hyper when you walk through the door. Here is a short video of our son’s cat Lily playing with her favorite ball.
- When playing with your cat, be sure to start off with something active where he has to jump and run, then move on to something a little less active like playing with a ball, and eventually finishing off with some petting on your lap, like a winding down segment. Starting very active, and winding down will let him know that playtime is coming to an end, and you may find the hyperactivity may not be so bad. Of course, not all cats are the same, and there are many that just want to continue to play, and it can seem like they have a never ending supply of energy.
3. Is your cat spayed or neutered?
Some cat owners say that by getting a hyperactive cat spayed, or neutered that this can sometimes ease the hyperactivity issue, and although this does lead to less unwanted kittens, it doesn’t always stop hyperactivity. Each cat is different, and some have more energy than others, while some want to stay up all night, and yet others will sleep all night instead. Sometimes introducing another cat into the home can help, because even when you’re not at home they can play and use up some of that excess energy.
4. Cats in heat
Cats also become extremely active when in heat, a female in heat can become hyperactive, and a male cat can also become hyperactive if he senses females in heat. If, your cat is hyperactive during these times only then spaying, or neutering may be effective, and this may be a good time to discuss the situation with your vet. Visiting your vet regularly is recommended even with cats, although many owners do not think about regular visits with cats, because they generally don’t have many problems, but he can rule out any medical conditions.
5. Is your cat stressed?
Sometimes hyperactivity in cats can be stress related, meaning there could be something in his surroundings that makes him anxious or stressful. Having said that, this is harder to work out, because you need to find what is causing him the stress or anxiety, and probably the only way to do that is to place a camera in the home while you are at work or out shopping. Of course, it may be just because he has separation issues, because some cats get extremely attached to their owners that when you are gone he gets stressed, or anxious and when you come home he cannot contain himself.
6. Does your cat have a medical condition?
There are some medical conditions that can cause hyperactivity in your cat, but there are usually other signs that go with hyperactivity, which can point to a medical condition. Hyperthyroidism is a fairly common condition that appears in older cats, and one of the side effects of this condition can by hyperactivity, but this is usually accompanied by other signs too. Along with hyperactivity you would normally see weight loss, increased appetite, irritability, or restlessness, of course not all at once, but with two, or more of these signs you may want to consult your vet.
7. Allergies and infections
Other causes of hyperactive behavior could be allergies, and we know this may sound strange, but if a cat is allergic to something that makes them itch, either from allergies or infection, it can also make them run around abnormally. Feline AIDS, or feline infectious peritonitis can also cause temporary manic behavior as can brain disorders. It can be difficult to narrow down the reason behind hyperactivity in a cat, so much of it is trial and error. However, don’t neglect taking him to the vet for a thorough examination, and explain the situation with your vet, so you can both discuss what may be causing the hyperactivity.
8. Introducing new things to the cat’s surroundings
Finally, if you have a cat that is prone to hyper behavior, try introducing new things to his surroundings for him to explore, they say a change is as good as a rest and this can be true with cats too. A new scratching post that goes from floor to ceiling, and some new perching spots can help, as can some new toys to play with.
Many owners that have had overactive cats have been surprised how much their pet calmed down once they found the underlying cause. With that said, we hope our article here will help you identify some useful tips that you may not have thought of, and hopefully one of them will work out for you and your cat.
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