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Why cats get zoomies and what to do about 'em?

It seems like a never-ending chase across the living room floor, right? Yup, your cats' got the zoomies - ever thought of joining them as they run this wild imaginary chase?

 

What are zoomies?

Zoomies come from the word 'zoom', and as is evident, your cat is zooming around the house. This frantic running is almost always after a quiet nap and looks as though your kitty is chasing something imaginary. Funnily enough, after this wild chase, your kitty will find herself back to snoozing on the sofa. 

Zoomies are also called FRAPs or Frenetic Random Activity Periods. It translates to when cats experience an intense outburst of energy and runs around the house to blow off the pent up energy.

 

Why does it happen?

Insufficient exercise: When cats aren't exercised enough, i.e. as per their age, and how much you feed them, zoomies are far more frequent and, at times, can get destructive. Imagine having lots of energy and not being able to do anything about it - that's how cats who haven't exercised enough feel. Unfortunately, most cats aren't exercised as per their age and end up using all of their energy on zoomies. 

Lack of mental stimulation: Like with physical exercise, a lack of mental exercise can result in zoomies. Have you ever felt so bored that you just roam around your house aimlessly? That's what cats experience every day. A cat's mind never sits idle, and when there's nothing else for it to work on, it drives the cat to run about chasing imaginary prey.

Post Poop Victory: Although not as common as reason, post poop victory zoomies are seen from time to time. However, it's not always that post poop zoomies are out of happiness; sometimes, they can indicate constipation, discomfort, change in stools, an unclean litterbox, and/or vomiting. If post poop zoomies have been something your cat has been experiencing recently, it is best to consult your veterinarian to check for an underlying medical disease.

Hunting Drive: Cats are predators - they enjoy chasing and hunting. Since this is something that comes almost too naturally to them, when there's nothing to chase, an imaginary prey comes into being. 

Itchiness: Ticks & Fleas and the itchiness, discomfort, and irritability that they cause can manifest as zoomies. 

Age: Older cats, especially ones with poor eyesight, can be spooked by noises and unfamiliar sights that can cause them to run about frantically. 

 

What can I do about it?

As cute as zoomies may look, they can be destructive to both your home and your kitty. Hence, the lesser zoomies, the better.

Regular Exercise: Exercise your cat for a minimum of two and a half hours a day through cat trees, feather toys, cat wheels, agility courses, rope toys, balls etc.

Mental Stimulation: Ensure your cat gets sufficient mental stimulation, i.e. a minimum of two hours a day. This can be in the form of treasure hunts and interactive toys like KONGS.

Tick and Flea: Ensure your cat is tick and flea-free using tick and flea shampoos and sprays!

 

When should I be worried?

If your kitty's zoomies are accompanied by an unusual vocalisation, discomfort, or pain, it is best to visit your veterinarian.