As cats owners, we know that these fur friends exercise on their own terms. This is why many owners are amazed when their cats have a sudden passion for exercise. It's not unusual to see a cat running around like a maniac. This phenomenon is referred to as the "zoomies." Most domesticated cats sleep for 18 to 20 hours each day. That is not laziness. Cats need to sleep this much because they need to store energy to hunt prey and run away from predators.
Indoor cats rarely need to chase and capture targets, so this excess energy must be released in other ways. Cat zoomies are usually a result of stored energy that remains unused.
What Causes Zoomies in Cats?
The word to note here is energy. The most typical cause for this phenomenon is bottled-up energy. That's not the same as anxiety, aggression, or other negative feelings.
The mere act of being awake can be tiring for cats. We should also consider that cats keep a near-constant state of awareness. As mesopredators, cats know that they have several predators as they do prey. This means that a cat will always watch, listen, and scent for threats.
A deep sleep state is when a cat's body and muscle mass are repaired. As an outcome of this tiring way of life, cats need their rest to be safe. Often, the cat will flip-flop between deep sleep and REM. REM sleep is akin to dozing and having dreams.
The purpose of deep sleep is to guarantee cats are strong, dynamic, and with vigor when needed. Our cats never lose their wild natures, despite domestication. Even one of the most loving and tame pets wants to hunt.
Domestic cats do not need to hunt; therefore, pent-up energy occurs. Because of this, it needs to sweat off some excess strength and vigor. Zoomies make this possible, and your cat quickly finds itself exhausted once again.
When Should I Worry?
Cat zoomies are not a huge issue. They disappear as quickly as they happened, seldom lasting more than a couple of minutes at once. Nearly all cats experience these sudden bursts of energy once in a while. All the same, let us know the reasons why cats run around frantically sometimes. Coupled with other symptoms or unusual behaviors, your cat may be feeling unwell.
For example, you should be concerned with zoomies if they become constant. Something is amiss if your cat spends more time running around than sleeping, especially past kittenhood.
The periodic burst of energy happens in all cats aged 10 or younger. Some aging felines might still show erratic bursts of energy to move at speed unless they have gotten to old age.
Uncharacteristic behaviors can be concerning in cats. To know your cat zoomies, if zoomies are normal, monitor when they happen. Over several days, you should determine the driver for your cat's zoomies.
If your feline's tendency to run around seems random, look for other odd behaviors or physical symptoms of ill health. Some research links hyperactivity to problems in the thyroid.
The signs to look out for in hyperactive cats include:
- Loss of hair
- Consistent scratching
- Limping and other outward signs of pain
- Wide and dilated eyes
These symptoms could have a variety of medical diagnoses, from an allergic reaction to the intake of toxins. A bout of zoomies without underlying issues is typical and is not a cause for concern.