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Why do cats get the ‘zoomies’?

From cat-napping to mad-dashing, our frantic and frenzied felines can go from zero to 60 in the blink of an eye.
Our normally quite placid pets often take their human companions by surprise with sporadic, unexpected, bursts of energy, known as the ‘zoomies’.
And they tend to pick their moments; rifling hell-for-leather through the hallways in the early hours of the morning or interrupting what had been a peaceful and relaxed movie night.
It’s almost like they’re chasing an invisible rodent, forcing our four-legged friend to dart back and forth, inexplicably, at breakneck speed. So why do these unpredictable episodes occur?

5 reasons why cats get the zoomies

1. Pent-up energy. After a day of doing very little, and significantly building their energy reserves, your playful pet needs to find a way of burning that excess fuel. It’s no secret that our pampered little pets spend most of their day sleeping and resting – so after a catnap they behave like they’ve had a hit of catnip in order to restore some equilibrium.

2. Bug-bear. It might begin when your predatory pet goes out on the prowl for prey. As innate hunters, cats simply have that instinct, so it might just be that a bug or rodent has awakened the adventurer in them, or it might just be a dress rehearsal with an imaginary beast.

3. Post-bathroom zoomies. It’s not a rarity for your uncontrollable runner to celebrate a job well done with a frenetic victory lap. If this behavior is new, however, then take note. Their sporadic sprinting might be down to discomfort, a constipation problem, an infection, inflammatory issues etc, so a trip to the vets could be in order. It could also be an indication that the litter tray is unclean enough, so ensure that you stay on top of this at all times.

4. Cry for help. Your fragile feline might be in need of a little bit of care and attention — and the ‘zoomies’ are probably the best way of getting noticed and picking up some TLC. It could be a way of escapism if itchiness or irritation is an issue on the skin, a loss of eyesight or hearing will likely see them get spooked by things much easier. Identifying other behavioral issues aside from the frantic running will give an indication as to whether something more sinister is at hand.

5. Copy cats. Sometimes cats simply mirror the behavior of those around them. Yes, you heard right, synchronized zoomies are actually a thing. While yawning is a contagious bodily function in humans, the sight of a fun-loving feline shooting up and down a corridor at a frantic pace is just too much for others in the litter/gang to resist sometimes.

Is it normal for my cat to get the zoomies regularly?

Understandably, such peculiar behavior can cause concern for some pet parents.
More often than not there’ll be absolutely nothing to worry about because the ‘zoomies’ are just one of the curious things that our crazy kitties bring to the party.
Most of the time we’d advise you to simply embrace the sheer nuttiness and pandemonium that your pets provide, but there could be an occasion or two when you’d be forgiven for inspecting their actions a little closer.
Increased spurts, that you might consider excessive, could be a signal of distress or anxiety, especially if their behavior coincides with other changes in everyday routines such as grooming, diet etc.
There is also the potential of injury and/or illness, which could become a kitty cat-astrophe for your pet if their cries are ignored and ailments left unattended.
Hyperthyroidism can engineer increased energy levels in older cats, allergies can cause irritation and discomfort, as can a flea infestation, both of which can force your cat to behave crazily and erratically.
Again, contact a veterinarian if you have any worries surrounding your feline’s happiness, health and/or wellbeing.

Zoomies can affect cats of all types

Though often referred to as the ‘zoomies’, the scientific term for this kind of unusual behavior is Frenetic Random Activity Periods [FRAPs].
Cats of all ages, shapes and sizes are susceptible to the weird and wonderful world of ‘zoomies’, or FRAPs, which is why it’s considered to be perfectly normal.
If there is something that triggers your suspicion, however, it won’t do you any harm to seek expert advice and guidance from a veterinarian.

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