When owners start looking for ways to calm down a hyper cat, they often end up doing more harm than good.
Cats are sensitive creatures, so it is important to meet them at their level.
Hyperactive cats can usually be calmed by playtime with interactive toys. Scheduling playtime for dawn and dusk will mimic a cat’s natural hunting cycle, making them less likely to wake owners in the middle of the night. Rotating toys and providing shelves and cat trees to climb can also help cats calm down.
Does your cat keep waking you up with the Zoomies? Or has your cat become destructive due to its high energy?
Read on to find out how you can help your hyper cat calm down.
15 Ways To Calm Down A Hyper Cat
When cats become bored or stressed, they tend to become so high-energy that some owners have a hard time keeping up with them.
If you want to learn how to calm down a hyper cat, here are some things you can do that are almost certain to make a difference.
The most obvious way to calm down an overexcited cat is through playtime.
Since cats are built for speed rather than endurance, they do best with short sessions throughout the day rather than one long play session.
Most cats need to be played with at least 15 to 30 minutes a day. It is also important to provide different kinds of playtime.
Maine Coon owners should alternate between the following types of toys to provide their cat with more stimulation than if they simply grabbed the same toy to play with every day:
- Chaser Toys
- Throwing Rattling Mice Or Balls
- Wrestling With A Cat Kick Toy
These are my Favorite Maine Coon Cat Toys.
For more information on How Much Exercise Does A Maine Coon Need, read this guide.
2. Catnip Or Silvervine
Catnip and Silvervine often have an energizing effect on cats, but this can also help release pent-up energy.
Cats often become much more playful after eating catnip or silvervine, so sprinkling some on their favorite toys encourages a hearty play session that will wear them out.
3. Obstacle Course
Building an obstacle course is a great way to help your energetic cat release some of its pent-up energy.
Some owners even install the following along their walls:
- Rope Bridges
If you feel like your house is cramped enough as it is, maximizing your vertical space will provide lots of enrichment for your cat without taking up too much space.
You can also build or purchase customizable wall furniture, which you can move around to add spice and variety to your cat’s playtime.
Just make sure everything is well-secured so your cat does not accidentally fall from a dangerous height.
4. Go For A Walk
Did you know that dogs are not the only pets you can train to walk on a leash?
Purchasing a leash and harness for your cat might just be one of the best decisions you ever make.
The outdoors is incredibly dangerous for cats, but if your cat needs more exercise and enrichment, going on supervised walks will help your cat let out some energy without the chance of being:
Unlike dogs, cats need a harness as well as a leash, since their flexible collarbones make it easy to slip out of collars.
This is how you Teach A Maine Coon To Walk On A Leash.
5. Keep A Schedule
Cats are creatures of habit, and many of their behaviors can be changed by keeping a steady schedule.
If your cat is too hyper during the day, establishing a schedule for playtime might make your cat less likely to be overly energetic.
When cats know they can anticipate food, playtime, or cuddles at the same time every day, they are less likely to demand things before that time.
Keeping a schedule also helps to reduce a cat’s stress and anxiety, since they prefer stable, dependable routines.
6. Interactive Toys
If your cat has a hard time keeping itself occupied, consider getting some more interactive toys.
For example, the following toys will occupy your cat for a few hours:
- Robotic fish that swim in bowls of water
- Mice that zoom down the hallway when they detect motion
- Mount teaser toys to the wall or door
Interactive toys do not have to be expensive, either since you can make exciting cat toys out of cardboard, paper towel tubes, paper, and much more!
7. Play Gently
Sometimes, the way we play with our cats can have an impact on their energy levels.
Have you ever started playing rough with your cat only for your cat to suddenly start running or biting?
Even though cats love to play, they can become easily overstimulated by too much fun. This can make them hyperactive and even aggressive for a short amount of time.
Try to avoid spinning toys in your cat’s face or overwhelming it during playtime.
Furthermore, do not let your cat play with your hands; instead, make sure your cat likes to take out its energy on toys instead.
If your cat plays too rough and has a tendency to ambush you or claw your hands, you should gently redirect your cat by giving it a toy, instead.
Over time, your cat will eventually learn that toys are for playing, not hands! Gentle redirection works wonders for training cats.
Any kind of reaction, even a negative one, is only more likely to cement your cat’s behaviors rather than change them.
9. Close Doors At Night
Does your cat get the Maine Coon Zoomies while you are trying to sleep?
Sometimes, cats get so excited that they try to wake their owners for an impromptu play session!
While closing the door to your bedroom will not stop your cat’s zoomies altogether, over time your cat will likely learn that nighttime is not the time to play with its owners.
Eventually, this should discourage your cat from bothering you at night.
Learn more about Maine Coon Zoomies in our awesome cat guide.
10. Rotate Toys
Some owners get confused when their cats show signs of hyperactivity but refuse to play with any of their wide array of toys.
Sometimes, though, even an abundance of toys can leave your cat feeling bored.
It is important to rotate cat toys every month or so. Keeping three or four plastic bins of different toys will keep your cat feeling interested in playtime.
Cats can even become tired of their favorite toys if you play with them too often!
Giving your cat some space from the toys it’s used to playing with every day will reignite its interest in them a few months from now.
11. Calm Down
Sometimes, our behavior can have an impact on our cat’s mood.
Cats are experts at picking up on human emotions, and your stressed attitude can rub off on your cat.
Furthermore, talking to your cat with an anxious or hurried tone can heighten their stress levels, as well.
Make sure to use a calm, gentle voice when talking with your cat. Yelling often increases stress but does little to change your cat’s undesirable behavior.
12. Positive Reinforcement
Cats respond much better to positive reinforcement than yelling or punishment.
Give your cat praise or treats whenever it plays gently, but ignore or redirect your cat when it is too hyper.
Even though cats can be stubborn at times, they are eager to please their owners and will often learn quickly if it means making you happy.
Training your cat is possibly one of the best ways to curb hyperactive behavior.
Cats often become overly energetic when they do not get enough exercise, mental stimulation, or both.
If you train your cat for ten minutes each day, your cat will be more focused and its brain will have to do a lot more thinking.
Training also deepens the bond between an owner and their cat, and you can teach your cat to do all sorts of adorable tricks or even useful tasks like coming when called.
Here’s How To Train A Maine Coon Cat.
14. Plan Mealtimes
Cats often become incredibly energetic and excited before mealtimes and tend to be sleepier after they eat.
You can strategically plan mealtimes around your schedule so your cat is more likely to be calm and sleepy when you need to work or sleep.
It is important to provide your cat with meals every 12 hours since more than 12 hours without eating causes discomfort and this can cause nausea.
Your cat might also eat too quickly, which may lead to vomiting.
15. Visit The Vet
Hyperactive cat behavior is usually normal, but in some cases, it can indicate an underlying health problem.
For example, some cats experience behavioral changes before a seizure. Learn more about the Signs Of Epilepy In Maine Coon Cats.
Another cause of hyperactivity in cats is hyperthyroidism, a condition that leads to an increase in heart rate as well as hunger.
Cats with hyperthyroidism drink and urinate more frequently. They often lose or maintain weight despite eating a lot.
There are many ways to calm down a hyper cat such as providing a steady schedule for playtime, using more interactive toys, or going on walks.
Providing variety and mental stimulation is the best way to meet a hyperactive cat’s needs. Otherwise, they can become bored and destructive.