How to Calm a Hyper Cat

Wondering why your cat goes from a peaceful slumber, then ends up zooming around or hyper-playing the next moment? While cats are typically very quiet and reserved, some exhibit hyperactiveness. We must first understand the causes before we can learn how to calm a hyper cat.

How to Calm a Hyper Cat

Cats tend to be hyperactive because they need to release suppressed energy in their little bodies. To calm a hyper cat, the key is to drain pent-up energy by playing with them and scheduling proper mealtimes. Likewise, we can ensure they get proper grooming and try using calming solutions. 

Since cats have various personalities, medical histories, and households, some ways may work, while others won’t. Explore and see which of these solutions can calm your hyperactive cat. 

Plan Mealtimes  

Cats show a burst of energy when they’re hungry. Yet, they also tend to sleep after a big meal, so it would be ideal to schedule their main meals at least one hour before bedtime. 

Cat looking at a toy

Hold Play Sessions

No matter how serene cats look, they still have lots of energy to spare. For this reason, it would be best to dedicate playtime sessions to at least 20 minutes per day. By structuring a playtime, we can reduce hyperactivity and control energy. 

We can divide this into two or three playtimes or a single session until our cat completely spends its energy. We can then experiment until we see what works best for the cat. 

To help calm our cats, we consider these kinds of toys for playtime:

  • Toys they can chase: A piece of string, laser pointers, or wind-up toys. 
  • Toys they can scratch: Keep your cat’s claws sharp by using a scratching post. Besides, this lets you save precious furniture! 
  • Toys they can hit: Cats enjoy batting at things that move easily across the floor, like ping-pong balls or a soft ball. 
  • Toys they can jump onto: Cats love to be up high, so devote a safe space for their climbing needs. In this way, you can also help your pet burn calories.

Clean Your Home 

Domestic cats come from a line of solitary hunters, so a household with several cats or other pets can make them all worked up. It’s possible that there would be various pet urine stains on the walls, floor, or furniture, causing our cat to feel stressed, and consequently, become agitated and hyper. 

While cats generally groom themselves, we still need to keep their litter boxes clean. Likewise, we can make sure to remove urine and defecation marks properly. 

Meanwhile, if a cat struggles to groom itself, it may cause them to show bad behavior due to stress. This normally occurs when the cat is overweight and is unable to reach some parts of its body. 

Address Any Hyperthyroid Issues

About 10% of senior cats screened for hyperthyroidism suffer from the disease. This condition causes cats to have an overactive thyroid gland, which controls a cat’s energy levels. Hyperthyroidism makes cats have reduced appetite and lack of sleep, resulting in heightened energy and stress levels. 

We can treat this condition through medication, radioactive iodine therapy, or surgical removal of the thyroid gland. 

Try Calming Solutions

Another way we calm down a hyper cat is to try calming products such as herbal calming sprays, pet-friendly cannabidiol oil, and feline pheromone diffusers.

A gray tabby cat with green eyes

Determine Environmental Triggers 

While dogs have expressive faces and body language, cats have emotional vagueness and impassive behavior. Hence, there are times when we can’t interpret what our cats are trying to communicate with us. 

Take note of the condition or environment when the cat becomes hyper. Observe whether our pet tends to purr, yowl, or wag its tail before showing an active behavior. Determine if it’s around mealtime or after a nap. 

When we piece together such factors, we can identify what triggers our cat to become hyperactive. In this way, we would know how to respond and what to avoid. 

Reasons Why Cats Become Hyperactive

A hyper cat may do compulsive licking, meow excessively, chase people or other pets and jump between furniture. All of these may come from constrained energy or even boredom. Yes, even cats want to entertain themselves! 

So, remember these things when thinking about how to calm a hyper cat. 

Predatory Instincts

Cats are natural predators, and domestic cats may sustain predatory instincts to some extent. Active cats tend to show hunting behaviors, escape techniques, or offensive stances. 

If we feed our cat all the time, it won’t have the chance to hunt for food, stifling unused energy. This is why it’s essential for cats to spend time playing or exercising

Nocturnal and Crepuscular Instincts

Cats can be crepuscular or active mostly in daylight, which is why our pet may be waking up too early and create noises in the day. Meanwhile, some cats are nocturnal or active mostly at night, waking us up with cries.  

If we tend to be outside most of the day, our cat may be waiting for us to come home, resulting in its energy to come out at night. If our cat tends to sleep most of the night, it needs the morning to release its energy. 

A cat lying on cardboard

Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome

Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome (FHS) can cause cats to exhibit odd behavior, especially those aged between one and five. Cats with this condition often bite at the back above the tail, even after grooming. Petting at the base of a cat’s tail may also trigger our pet to bite or scratch the area, then run around crazily. 

If we notice this, it would be better to have a veterinarian check your pet. 


As cats age, their brains and bodies may function differently, causing them to show strange behavior for no apparent reason. Senility’s effect on a cat’s memory, responsiveness, awareness, and learning triggers anxiety, and therefore, bursts of odd energy.


Fleas are common feline parasites, and this infestation can cause discomfort. When fleas suck blood, cats will experience horrible itching, causing them to become irritated as well. This is why it’s crucial that we groom our cats and ensure their living areas are clean


While learning how to calm a cat may be challenging at first, there are many ways we can try. We need to consider our pet’s age, personality, and environment before anything else. If we suspect anything out of the ordinary, it would be best to consult a veterinarian.

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Doctor Joe Alcorn received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 1981, and founded Care Animal Hospital in 1991 in Temecula, California. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.