Cat Zoomies: The Bizarre Behavior Explained


It can be sudden and quick. You see something lurking in the corner. Without warning...your kitty dashes across the room as fast as they possibly can! While it may appear like something is chasing your feline friend, they’re just having a case of the cat zoomies.


What Are Cat Zoomies?

Some may call it the witching hour; others know it as the nighttime “crazies.” Most commonly known as the “zoomies,” this sudden burst of hyperactivity mystifies many cat parents. It often includes frenzied running, pouncing, bopping, and even excessive meowing—seemingly out of nowhere.


Why Do Cats Get the Zoomies?

A variety of situations can cause the zoomies! Let's break down a few reasons why your feline may be getting this unexpected surge of adrenaline.

Pent-Up Energy

Cats spend so much time napping—especially if they have plenty of alone time. This leads to built-up energy, which eventually comes out in a short, quick rush. Try planning playtime sessions throughout the day to avoid the cat zoomies right before bedtime or in the middle of the night.

To prevent cat boredom when you’re not home, be sure to leave out toys for mental stimulation plus a cat scratching post so your kitty can stretch their muscles. You can even turn on the television to treat your cat’s senses to unique sights and sounds!

Potty Time

Potty time can make a kitty (or anyone for that matter) super antsy! While this is more common with dogs, you may notice your feline friend act fidgety before the time comes. If you see your cat suddenly scurrying around the home, make sure they have easy access to their litter box just in case.

Irritation or Aggression

A quick change in behavior can sometimes indicate your kitty is in distress. When your feline friend is irritated or aggressive, they may exhibit cat body language such as lowering their tail, exposing their claws, or leaning their ears backward. If your cat’s temperament remains out of whack for an extended period, reach out to your veterinarian for advice.


Related: Cat Behavior Explained: 7 Quirky Kitty Habits


Just Because!

While cats may have a reputation for being sassy and serious, like many animals, they have a silly and playful side that can come out when you least expect it. In fact, it’s one of the most common reasons why cats get the zoomies. For the most part, it’s just a completely normal expression of their quirky personality!

white bengal kitty playing


Do Cats Grow Out of the Zoomies?

While kittens do tend to mellow out with age, the zoomies don’t necessarily stop! One of the best parts about having a furry companion is discovering their unique personality and eventually learning how to predict when your feline likes to let out their “crazies.” Treat the cat zoomies as an invitation to enjoy some extra-special bonding time with your best friend!


Take Our Cat Behavior Quiz!

Do you think you know what your kitty is trying to tell you? Test your knowledge on common cat behaviors!

Take the Quiz