Why Do Cats Get Zoomies

September 21, 2022 6 min read

Why Do Cats Get Zoomies

It’s a nice day. You are finally catching up on your favorite Netflix show, your pet cat dozing off beside you. Suddenly, your feline friend is up and running around your room at a dizzying speed, making your eyes follow them in every direction at a pace you didn’t think was possible. You don’t know what to do, what they are chasing, or how to stop them. All you can do is watch them ricochet off corners, go parkour from one wall to the other, and drop your coffee mug on the floor, which shatters to pieces. You wonder what happened in the blink of an eye. Just a few seconds ago, you were taking a video of them snoring softly, and now they look like they are chasing an invisible target across the room, meowing loudly while at it. However, they go back to dozing off in a few minutes as if nothing happened. 

So, what’s the matter? To put it simply, your cat has got the zoomies. Most cat parents are familiar with the term. However, it has a proper, technical name, too— Frenetic Random Activity Patterns, or FRAPs. As the name suggests, these random activity patterns are sudden and may happen at any hour of the day. So, the next time your cat goes from a calm and unbothered feline to a four-legged pet on an energy drink—as if a switch has been flipped— you will know what’s up.

While the zoomies are common in cats of all ages, dealing with these sudden bursts of energy, especially at the crack of dawn or when you have people over at your house, can be quite the task. If you’re wondering why cats get zoomies, here’s everything you need to know about them.

They Have A Lot Of Pent-Up Energy

Cats are whimsical creatures. While they might go out of the house and return after wrapping up whatever mysterious task they had to do, we often find them lying around and snoozing in some corner. Since cats usually sleep 12 to 16 hours daily, they are bound to have built-up energy in their furry little bodies. Cats fall under the category of ambush predators. They save their energy for short hunting sprees. Pet cats usually do not need to hunt, and in the absence of movement and exercise, the only way to release this excess energy is to zoom across the house until they are content. To help reduce these episodes, cat parents need to engage these furballs in regular exercise. It helps stimulate their muscles while allowing you to bond with them.

cats and zoomies

While it’s common for all cats to get zoomies, kittens and younger cats experience them more frequently.

They Want To Play

Does your cat often run across your lap or your keyboard when working? It might signify that they need your attention and want you to play with them. Regular playtime is excellent for your cat and tires them out for their next catnap. The next time your cat zooms too close to you, pause whatever you are doing and spend some time with them. Invest in toys and other playthings that will keep them occupied and give them the required physical stimulation. Mental exercise is also vital, so indulge them in things that will help strengthen their abilities to strategize, plan, and sharpen their skills. Interactive toys may come in handy during these times.

They Have Strong Instincts

You may pamper your cat and treat them like a baby, but that won’t eliminate their inherent hunting instinct. When it looks like your cat is chasing something, it usually means that their predatory instincts have grown stronger and that they are mimicking a hunting session. Most cat parents distract their pets by giving them a ball of wool or bringing out a laser pointer. Offering them treats also works in diverting their attention from the imaginary prey.

They Might Be Uncomfortable

At times, cats may get the zoomies to express discomfort or pain. For instance, when pesky fleas cause their skin to itch without a moment of relief, they try to get rid of the annoying sensation by running. Your cat may also suffer from allergies and want to flee from the unpleasant feeling. They also tend to get zoomies when they have dry skin. The next time they get zoomies, check for fleas, dry skin, or any additional signs of discomfort or pain, like excess licking, scratching, and uneasiness. If they keep licking or scratching a particular area, they might face some issues. 

For older cats, the discomfort goes beyond the concerns mentioned above. With the gradual loss of hearing or eyesight, cats often get scared easily, which may lead to another episode of zoomies. 

cats and zoomies

Even though your cat does not exhibit external signs of discomfort, if you find that the zooming continues even after regular exercise, paying a visit to the vet might be a good idea.

They Have The Post-Excretion Zoomies

Cats often get zoomies after using the bathroom. It may be because they have constipation, didn’t have a good poop, or something else. Look for signs of constipation if your cat starts zooming right after a dump. These signs include throwing up, pooping outside the box, or a change in the texture of their poop. If the zoomies are not related to bowel, then it might be because the smell of the litter box repulses them. Keeping the litter box clean is essential, so the odor does not overwhelm your four-legged furball. Stinky stool may also be a cause for concern, so make sure you research how to get rid of the smell and ensure your cat stays healthy. 

Also check out: 20 Cat Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

When Do Cats Usually Get Zoomies?

Cats are usually most active at the crack of dawn or just after sunset. The dim light at dawn and dusk helps the cats hunt stealthily. That is why cats exhibit zoomies late at night, usually after cat parents have gone to bed. However, most domestic cats are fed at different hours during the day other than dawn and dusk, so the timings of their zoomies differ accordingly.

When Do You Need To Contact The Vet?

Zoomies are usually not a cause for concern because it’s a common issue among all cats. You do not need to visit a vet if they are in good health. However, if you notice that the episodes of zoomies have increased considerably in the past few days, monitor your cat’s behavior closely and check for other unusual behaviors that may indicate something wrong in their body. For instance, if you notice that they are losing weight, there are changes in their stools or pooping schedule, or they sound different, then it’s time for a checkup to rule out any medical concerns or get on with the necessary treatment.

cats and zoomies

If there is a recent increase in their activity levels despite playtime and exercise, it may be a sign of an underlying medical issue such as hyperthyroidism. It is more common in older cats. While zoomies or FRAPS, are normal, they may be going through some health concerns if the activity is not aligned with their usual behavioral pattern.

Recommended Products For Helping With Zoomies

Cat Scratchers

Cat scratchers are usually covered with a rough material, so the felines have a nice place to scratch their bodies. The action helps them clean their claws by removing dirt and grime. It is also how they mark their territories–with the help of the scent glands in their paws. 

Listed below are a few types of cat scratchers.

  1. Cat Scratcher UBed
  2. Cat Scratcher Corner
  3. Premium Wall Cat Scratcher
  4. Cat Bed Deluxe
  5. Katzone Scratching Ramp
  6. Katsquare Cube Scratching Post
  7. Katrise Standing Scratcher
  8. Katwall Wall Scratching Post
  9. Katland Simple Cat Scratcher
  10. Vertical Cat Scratcher
  11. Cat Cube Scratcher
  12. Cat Scratcher Incline
  13. Simple Cat Scratcher
  14. Cat Scratcher Wall Pad

All these cat scratchers are available in various colors and can be an excellent choice for your feline friend.

Cat Litter Box Enclosures

Cat litter box enclosures are ideal for litter boxes. Cat parents can easily fit their pet’s litter boxes inside and close them when not in use. Besides, these enclosures can be used to keep other things on top or as a resting place for the feline. Most products listed below have a scratching pad on the door so the cat can enjoy a nice scratching session right after poop time!

Check out some of the cat litter box enclosures below.

  1. Cat Litter Box One Door Enclosure
  2. Katville Litter Box Enclosure
  3. Cat Litter Box Enclosure
  4. Side Entry Cat Litter Box

All the cat litter box enclosures listed above are available in various colors and are excellent for your pet.


The next time your cat gets zoomies, look out for additional signs of discomfort or sit down and play with them. To make the zoomies experience more enjoyable for your cat, you may check out the pet collection at Way Basics and Meowy Studio.

Also read: Smelly Poop? Here's What Poop Can Say About a Cat's Health

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