BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

How to Calm a Hyper Cat: Bringing Their Energy Down to a Reasonable Leve

A hyperactivity cat playing with a toy
Martha Harvey
Written by Martha Harvey

Cats are usually a calm, collected being. But they have their sugar rush moments too. What do you do when your normally sweet-natured cat suddenly turns into a bundle of energy and goes all over the house bouncing off of the furniture, fighting and running from invisible enemies, and making weird cat noises among other destructive behaviors? Instead of dancing to their tune and working yourself up into a similar kind of frenzy, you should practice our tips on how to calm a hyper cat.

We’re sure that you’ve had some personal experience with calming a hyper cat if you’ve been a cat owner for a while. Most of these hype-shows come at the time when you want to enjoy a good night’s sleep. You know they will settle down eventually, but it will take a while if you don’t help them work that excess energy off. So what should a poor, sleep-deprived cat parent do? Our tips focus on both quick solutions and long-term preventive measures so no matter what kind of late night fiasco you find yourself in, you will be able to handle it effectively.

hyperactive-cat-sitting with her head on the table

Hyperactivity can be contained. Below are tips that can help. More than just trying to provide one-time solutions, in this article we strive to identify the possible triggers for your cat’s behavior because what may work for one situation may not work for another. Whatever the cause, you are sure to find some methods here that will work for you.

Quick Emergency Solutions

You have an important meeting early tomorrow at work, and you need your beauty sleep. But what’s that sound? It’s your cat! He’s jumping around wildly as if he were possessed! Let this go on any longer, and you won’t be able to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed tomorrow. You need help! We can give it to you.

Find the Stressor

Your cat’s hyperactivity could be a reaction to a stressful condition. Some stressors for cats include thunderstorms, strangers in the house, and moving into a new neighborhood among other things.

While these things may be inevitable, being available to soothe, pet, and reassure your cat might be just what is needed to calm her down. Avoid any sudden and unnecessary changes in the cat’s routine and environment.

Ginger cat at the vet for the regural control

Also, be on the lookout for medical emergencies. While there are so many causes of hyperactivity in cats, illness, injury, or pain should not be ignored. You should carefully examine your cat for other signs. For example, hyperthyroidism could cause hyperactivity, but it is also accompanied by other signs such as weight loss and increased appetite. Injuries could be accompanied by limping or cries of pain. Ferocious itching and red rashes could signify flea infestations. Allergies and other infections can cause itching and discomfort.

If any observations cause you alarm, you should not hesitate to consult the vet for proper medical attention. On the other hand, if health issues have been ruled out, then these other measures should help.

Put Him Out Of the Bedroom

Cats love to share your bed, right? So what happens when their nocturnal nature kicks in? You either become nocturnal like them or one sleep-deprived fellow. You can solve this by taking your dear cat out of the bedroom.

A ginger cat relaxing in his owners bed

Don’t think for a moment that this is going to be easy; he will scratch the door and cry for some time. You might need the help of a double-sided sticky tape, a remote-controlled vacuum cleaner, or anything non-harmful that will work to discourage him from coming back. Yes, it breaks your heart to have to push him away, but tonight’s an exception. You can make amends and find a better solution tomorrow.

Make the Cat’s Room Comfortable

Kicking the cat out of your bedroom is great, but if he doesn’t have something to occupy himself with in his room, it is pointless. Provide something to keep him busy if he can’t sleep.

  • Did you know that there’s music specifically made for feline ears? This will go a long way in calming him down and helping him sleep.

  • There are also cat videos that can keep him glued to the screen till he drops.

  • Also, noisy toys might be great for your cat during the day, but they are a distraction for everybody during the night. It would be a good idea to keep them away at night.

  • One reason that would make cats not want to go to sleep in their own bed is because it’s cold. You cannot hold your cat and keep him warm then expect him to go and sleep peacefully on a cold blanket. Apart from getting self-warming cat beds and blankets, you can manually warm your cat’s blanket by putting it in a drier for a few minutes just before sleeping time.

You can also consider locking him in his room at night once you have ensured his total safety.

Feed Him

No, it’s not a good idea to feed your cat outside of his usual hours, but cats are crepuscular, meaning that they are active at twilight.

Cat eating from an orange bowl

Even if you go to sleep at roughly the same time as your cat, he will most probably wake up before you do. If he tends to wake you up to ask for breakfast, ensuring that it is ready early on might just save you a few hours of sleep.

Synthetic Pheromones

Pheromones are chemical substances produced and released into the environment by animals to influence the behavior of others in their species. Synthetic feline pheromones can be used to make cats calm down and relax by making the environment feel safe and familiar.

Synthetic Pheromones for cats on a table

They come in sprays, plug-in diffusers, or calming collars. Have some prepared and see if they work for your cat in times of emergency.

Discipline Him with Love

By discipline, we don’t mean that you should hit your cat or yell at him for waking you up. Don’t threaten him into submission—it might just make things worse. A firm no and isolation for a short while might work. It might take several tries, but he will associate the behavior with your displeasure eventually.

Don’t Give In

The urge to hold and cuddle your cat when he calls for you at the door at night is hard to resist. It is understandable, but remember that most of his tactics are meant to draw your attention. Any form of reaction is regarded as an invitation to repeat.

Black cat meowing at his owner

So you shouldn’t give in. Close your eyes and plug your ears to keep his pitiful mewls out. This sounds really harsh but rest assured that it’s not that bad. Cats are intelligent animals. They learn and form habits very fast. So as to not feel guilty, ensure that whenever you spend time with your cat, you give him your full attention.

Long-Term Preventive Measures

The late-night emergency is over, but that doesn’t mean you can breathe easy now. To keep the same thing from happening again, you’ll have to put down some long-term preventive measures.

Set Aside Some Play Time

Have you ever spent your day lazing around doing nothing all day but nap? How did you end up at night? Your cat is no different. When your cat spends most of the day sleeping, he will most probably spend the night trying to vent all his energy and needless to say, you will be on the receiving end.

Cats are naturally playful. Some love supplies on trees, others love puzzles, while some enjoy playing in the water. If the right materials are not provided, cats are smart and resourceful enough to improvise. Left to their own devices, they use what they can find around the house.

So your cat wouldn’t wreak havoc unsupervised, you should set aside a slot in your schedule for playtime. Controlled playtime not only helps your cat exercise but also wears him out—making it easier for him to rest.  

owner playing with her cat

When playing with your cat, you don’t have to go out of your way to spend on toys. You can come up with a wide range of toys such as strings, ribbons, paper bags, flashlights, and sticks to name but a few. You can also invest in some hands-free play items such as lightweight tail bells to keep him busy while you do chores around the house.

If he is often left alone in the house, things like an aquarium and puzzle toys will keep him entertained for hours; otherwise, he will live for the moment when you come back to the house to make up for the lost activity. Only leave him with toys that he can safely play with unsupervised because he might get entangled or strangled by ribbons and strings.  While your cat should be engaged most of the day, some play time just before bedtime would do both of you a lot of good.

Consider Bringing Home a Companion

Have you ever considered that your cat could be trying to get your attention due to boredom? A companion will not only solve this boredom but will also act as a playmate for your cat. Some cats would do well with dogs while others will welcome another cat that matches their level of activity.

dog-and-cat-playing-together-outdoor

Note that this has a downside to it as well. Cats are territorial, and so introducing another one might make the situation worse. Some cat breeds are known to be friendly and easy going while others are not. Consider this before making the decision. Your observation on how your cat behaves in the company of others could also help.

Spay or Neuter Your Cat

Spaying entails the removal of ovaries and the uterus of a female cat while neutering means the removal of a male cat’s testicles. Spaying eliminates hyperactive behaviors like calling out for a mate, rubbing themselves onto surfaces, and other movements which are all characteristic of a female cat in heat.

Vet spaying kitten

In the same manner, a neutered male cat is not territorial and will not be interested in mating. This reduces aggressiveness, fights, wandering, and spraying—all of which are aimed at getting the attention of a female cat in heat. It is important to do this before the undesirable behaviors become habitual.

Make Eating Time an Outlet to Work Off Extra Energy

You can make mealtimes exciting for your cat by mimicking a hunt. Put his food in treat balls or mouse-shaped pods and hide them in different places in the house and let him hunt. This will not only help your cat sharpen his hunting skills but will also help him vent some of that excess energy in the process. In return, your cat will have a more relaxed and fulfilled life with his predatory instincts fulfilled.

Ensure that Your Cat Feeds Before Going to Bed

Cats are known to have a deep sleep after a good meal. If you feed him just before bedtime, it is likely that he will sleep through the night and not wake you up later for food.

A fluffy cat eating wet food from a bowl

If this doesn’t seem to work, get an automatic feeder and set it to dispense food at different intervals. Be sure to provide enough water as well to keep him hydrated. Also, be sure to consult your vet first to make sure you won’t be overfeeding him.

Wrap Up

Hyperactivity comes naturally especially in kittens that are just starting to learn everything about their environment. Their energy levels increase each day, and since they are predatory by nature, they employ all their senses in an attempt to hone their instincts.

Does this mean that only kittens are hyperactive? No, adult cats can also be hyper due to a wide scope of reasons. Depending on the triggers, different measures can be used to control it. The measures generally revolve around your cat’s mental and physical wellbeing. All the above tips are aimed at creating a wholesome, cat-friendly environment.

A hyperactive cat playing on the kitchens floor

Provide your cat with sufficient playtime, nutrition, sleep, exercise, discipline, and overall love and care in order to live peacefully with your cat. Please note that patience is required when trying any of the above measures to establish a routine. While there may be other countermeasures, these should do well to help you calm your cat down and return your feline friend to his sweet, lovely self.

Did you find this helpful? What would you like us to change or improve? Do you have any extra tactics for calming a hyperactive cat that have worked for you? We will be happy to hear from you. Leave us your feedback in the comments box below.

About the author
Martha Harvey
Martha Harvey

Martha Harvey is a skilled veterinarian and a member of American Veterinary Medical Association from Greeley, Colorado. She has 20 years experience of working in Animal Hospital. Martha loves all of her patients, but her favorite one is the Russian Blue cat Stitch, who lives with her.

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