Is your cat doing the cat crazies at night, charging around the house in a maniacal fashion? Now that our cat is elderly, the crazies have all but disappeared, he is nearly 17 after all.
He did surprise us a few weeks ago with a modified cat night crazies mad dash, so the instinct is still there even though the body is slowing down.
What Happens When A Cat Gets The Cat Night Crazies?
Believe it or not, this is normal cat behavior and most cat owners will have tales of their cats doing the crazy, crazy dash.
Cats are strange creatures. They’re independent, yet loving. They can be lazy one minute and full of energy the next. And they have a habit of galloping around the house in the middle of the night, as if they’re possessed. So why do cats go crazy at night?
There are a few theories. One is that cats are naturally crepuscular creatures, meaning that they’re most active at dawn and dusk. Since most people are asleep at those times, cats have the run of the house and can really let loose. Another theory is that cats are simply responding to instinctual hunting urges. After all, they are descendants of wild cats, who would spend their nights stalking prey.
Regardless of the reason, cats usually calm down after a few minutes and settle in for a long nap. So if your feline friend is keeping you up at night, just give them a little time and space to run around and they’ll soon be back
In the case of our cat, harking back to youthful times, one minute all would be normal and then… it was as though he has some internal message saying there was the sale of the century at IKEA and he would take off like a rocket.
He would gallop along on the wooden boards, skid out the door, sprint around the yard, perhaps up the tree only to return inside gallop around a bit more and then lie down as though nothing had happened and with no sign of moving anywhere.
He never appeared stressed or fearful, he was just on a mission.
These antics could happen at any time of the day or night and in fact were often in the middle of the night.
Why Do Cats Do The Crazy, Crazy Dash?
It is just part of the cat’s pent up energy. It is just catches us off guard.
They do it because instinctively they are hunters and their inbuilt radar tells them to go and catch their prey. This may involve sudden short bursts of energy. This is much like watching a big cat on TV stalk his prey and then go in for the kill.
It’s all in the surprise. Sorry to sound gruesome but it is part of kitty’s natural behavior.
The night part is because cats are crepuscular which means that they are most active at dawn and dusk.
What Can I Do About The Mad Dashing Around The House?
First of all, the cat night crazies is not a behavior you are going to stop and there is no need to worry about it. We all know kitties work in mysterious ways.
Keeping the cat active and stimulated can replicate hunting behavior. Provide toys that he can chase and provide interaction.
If your cat is only an indoors kitty, you will need to be the provider of stimulation.
Remember to let the cat catch the toy (prey to your kitty) so that he has some satisfaction of catching what he was chasing.
Toys such as fishing rod toys are great for playing with the cat.
Simon Tofield’s animation absolutely nails the cat crazies and there is some excellent advice from a cat behavior expert. I couldn’t stop laughing while watching this video.
Can It Be More Serious Than The Cat Night Crazies?
If the behavior described above doesn’t sound like your cat’s behavior and you are concerned that your kitty’s behavior is more extreme, it may be a more of a serious behavioral problem.
There are also more threatening conditions such as Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome or FHS. There is more information about FHS here.
Common symptoms include:
- rolling or twitching of the skin
- self grooming considered to be excessive
- aggressive biting and attacking of the tail
- a dislike of being touched on the back or at the base of the tail sometimes resulting in aggressive behavior
If you have any concerns it is always best practice to go to the vet. The symptoms mentioned above are for your reference only. There is nothing that will substitute a diagnosis from a veterinarian.
For most of us, the cat night crazies are just part and parcel of owning a cat and we wouldn’t change anything for the world.
Common Cat behaviors – demystified
Why do cats love tearing paper? By the way, not all cats do this but if your cat does, you will know what I mean. We absolutely could not leave a piece of A4 lying around or it would be shredded.
Do you have indoor plants? Indoor plants are having somewhat of a revival at the moment so it is quite likely that you have. How is your cat coping with this? Some cats cope by pushing plants over. Now this is annoying, messy and can be expensive. There are ways to keep your kitty away from the greenery.
What about your cat escaping from the yard? You have to hand it to cats. They are so persistent. This can be solved. It may take a combination of methods. We have done it and there was certainly some trial and error involved.