What are the Zoomies? They are a nickname to describe a cat’s behaviour when they are darting around the home for seemingly no reason, and in many cases, giving you the crazy eyes.
Zoomies can take the shape of flying around rooms, running up to a scratching post and furiously scratching it, darting up and down stairs, running to the carpet and trying to pull it up, or running off and on your lap and around the house.
The good news is this is completely normal behaviour. There is actually a scientific name for the zoomies and it is Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPS). FRAPS can be startling, but sometimes they can be funny too. Cats are mysterious creatures and watching them bolt around your home can be quite funny and entertaining.
Causes of Zoomies
There are all sorts of things that cause cats to experience the zoomies. Sometimes loud sounds will trigger them, or perhaps the act of hunting an insect, seeing their owner after a long day, being near water for any length of time, or any number of other things that would spook or excite them.
One seemingly odd cause of the zoomies is using the litter box. To a human, we don’t understand why using the bathroom would cause anyone to run full speed immediately after, but the reason for this makes a lot of sense to a wild animal. In the wild, leaving behind your scent can be a matter of life and death if a nearby predator is looking for a meal.
When to Speak to a Professional
Most cats with the zoomies will often show signs of being excited or freaked out, but it only lasts for a few moments. If your cat is experiencing the zoomies paired up with what seems to be a lot of stress or fear that doesn’t dissipate quickly, you should take a trip to the vet.
Another instance where you may want to speak to a vet or behaviourist is when your cat seems to only experience the zoomies at night and it’s now affecting the family.
Cats aren’t nocturnal, they are known as crepuscular. They are most active at dawn and dusk, so they shouldn’t technically be up all night playing.
In this case, they may need an adjustment to their feeding schedule, or perhaps there is another reason they are feeling such a burst of energy at night, in which case speaking to a vet would be the next logical move to make.