Where does all the energy come from?!? They sure are cute, but how do you dial down a hyper kitten? Try these Zen-inspired tips to calm your kitty!
An overly hyper kitten can be a lot to deal with, especially since the average kitten is already a ball of furry energy that can be difficult to control and train. But it’s also important to keep in mind that it is totally normal for kittens to have a lot of energy, and to want to run around, climb, jump, chase, and play. In fact, if your kitten isn’t behaving that way, consider having a chat with your veterinarian to be sure your little fur baby is feeling well.
If your kitty seems to have endless amounts of energy, and you want to help her mellow out a bit, there are ways to calm down a hyper kitten. Most of the solutions involve simply giving your pet a variety of ways to release her energy in a positive manner. That way, she’ll be ready to rest and recharge. So, before you lose your patience with your rambunctious little feline, continue reading for a few tips. And if you’ve tried several different strategies, but nothing seems to work and you think your kitten is way too hyper, consult a vet for some support and guidance.
Give Your Kitten a Space to Call Her Own
If your kitten is acting up, let her relax in her own private haven. This could be a dimly lit small room where she can unwind away from other pets, distractions, and people. It should also be a space in which she can play and let out her energy without having to worry about her destroying anything.
Like all of the other rooms in your house where your kitten will be spending time, this space should be a safe one where she won’t be at risk of harm. So take some time to ensure there aren’t any areas where your kitten might end up getting stuck by accident (this might require blocking off parts of the room so that your kitten can’t get through and get hurt). It’s also a good idea to remove valuables or objects that might be broken by a fun-loving kitten who perceives just about everything as a potential toy. And make sure there aren’t any small objects that might be dangerous to your pet, or objects that could accidentally be swallowed.
With a safe, secure space that is filled with cat toys, scratching posts, a cat tree, a litter box, and food and water, your kitten will be ready to explore, play, and practice becoming the natural predator she is.
Play Soothing Music
Many times, kittens may act hyper as a result of uncertainty or fear, which can be caused by being in a new home, sharing this new home with strange new cats and people, or other stimulants in the environment.
After giving your kitten her own safe space, consider playing some music at a low volume. Stick with easy listening, instrumental, or classical music, as these are likely to soothe your kitten’s nerves just as music soothes yours.
Or, you can consider trying something like David Teie’s “Music for Cats,” which was composed with the help of researchers and scientists who worked on figuring out what sounds would work best at helping kitties feel at ease. Unlike music for humans, songs that are specifically written with cats in mind might be more effective at getting your hyper little furry friend to mellow out.
Playtime is necessary for developing kittens. They absolutely need to be able to let out their energy in a fun and positive way, and they will use every play session as an opportunity to practice their hunting skills. Plus, play is a great form of exercise, and as your kitten grows and becomes more coordinated, she’ll want to practice using her new abilities to climb, jump, stalk, and explore. While you can give your kitten time to play on her own, spending time every day playing with your pet will also help her release more energy and avoid boredom and loneliness.
Sharing numerous play sessions with your hyperactive kitten throughout the day is a great way to bond with her while helping her release excessive energy. The games you play should mimic hunting, so use toys like wands with feathers at the end or stuffed mice that will get your kitten’s attention and inspire her natural predatory skills. Challenge your kitten while you play, but also let her win so that she has the thrill of taking down her prey, even if it’s only in her imagination.
A warmup and cooldown is necessary during each play session. The cooldown, in particular, will signal to your kitten that it’s time to slow things down and relax. Start moving the toy more slowly and let your kitten chase it without as much energy behind her movements so that she can understand that it’s time to wind down. If this doesn’t work, though, toss a ball or other toy that she can safely play with on her own to tire herself out.
As the play session comes to a close when you see your kitten beginning to get tired of the game, let her cool down and then give her food. You can even let her catch her toy before giving her food to really mimic the act of hunting. Instinctively, your kitten will want to eat a meal, clean herself, and take a nap. All you have to do at that point is put any potentially dangerous toys away and let her go to sleep. Do this before bed at night so that she can go to sleep when you do.
Remember, don’t let your kitten nibble on or scratch your hands and fingers, as this habit will be a hard one to break if she starts to think that hands are toys.
Provide Cat Trees, Scratching Posts, and a Great View
Be sure to give your kitten scratching posts, a cat tree or two to climb up and perch herself on, and a window to look out of so that she can view the world outside. These activities will help her release energy in positive, non-destructive ways, and she’ll also have little spots around the house that she can claim as her own, which will make her happy.
In addition to scratchers and trees, you can also find wall perches and window perches that will give your kitten the chance to climb up to a high spot so she can check out her surroundings. Cat condos are also a great choice because your kitten can play inside the hideaway with her toys, and you can also use it for interactive play, letting your kitten hide inside the condo while you dangle a toy outside the opening so she can pounce at it.
All of these products are designed to help you enrich your kitten’s environment and make it more interesting and fun. As she explores and plays, she’ll let out her energy, and once she needs to recharge or she is ready to eat, she’ll settle down.
Let Your Kitten Explore the Outdoors Safely
If you think your kitten is hyper because she has a lot of energy and she’s bored with being in the house, letting her explore the great outdoors in your own backyard for a little while might be just what she needs.
Whether you build or purchase an outdoor catio, or you buy a large outdoor enclosure for cats, you can sit outside with your kitten while she enjoys the fresh air and sunshine, watches the birds and insects, and finds exciting new ways to release her energy.
We can’t stress this enough: if your cat is spending time outside, you need to be there to supervise and ensure she remains safe and secure at all times!
Try Puzzle Toys
Puzzle toys are a great way for kittens to get some physical exercise, but they’ll also be getting a mental workout as well. With these toys, you can hide treats strategically, so your pet will be required to work a bit to figure out how to get to them. Also, this type of toy can grab your hyper kitten’s attention, and once she smells the treats inside, she’ll need to use her energy to figure out the puzzle and get to those yummy treats.
There are many different puzzle toys to choose from, so you can find a few that are sure to keep your energetic fur baby entertained for a while as she “hunts” for her “prey.” And after she’s done hunting down the treats, your kitten might even be ready for a nap.
Extra perk: Once your kitten has grown into an adult cat, you can continue using these toys to help her stay active and reduce boredom.
Give Feline Pheromones a Try
Feline pheromone products, such as diffusers and sprays, contain synthetic pheromones that mimic those that are released by cats. They can be used in your furry friend’s environment to help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as promote a sense of calm. So, it might be worth giving these products a try if you have a hyper kitten.
Just be sure to purchase high-quality products from trusted brands, and check the ingredients list so you can avoid unwanted extras like essential oils that might be harmful to felines.
Get Your Kitten a Companion
If you don’t have any other kittens or young cats in the house that your kitten can play with to release energy and learn as she grows, consider adopting another kitten around the same age. After being slowly introduced to each other, they’ll grow up to be great friends and they can keep one another company when you aren’t home. Plus, you’ll have two forever friends instead of one.
Give Your Kitten Plenty of Attention
Make sure your hyper kitten feels loved by paying plenty of attention to her. In addition to playing with her every day, let her sit with you while you work on the computer or watch television, snuggle with her in bed, and pet her while she purrs contentedly in your arms. This is a great way to prevent negative behaviors that would arise as a result of feeling lonely, bored, and neglected.
Enjoy Every Moment with Your Feisty Feline!
Kittens grow up fast, so take in every moment along the way. Before you know it, that tiny little ball of fur will be a fully grown adult cat who’s naturally calmer. In the meantime, there are quite a few strategies that you can try when you need to calm down a hyper kitten.
Just remember that kittens are feisty because they’re learning and growing through play, imagination, and exploration, just like human children do. Having all of that playful energy is simply part of being a kitten, and it’s also one of the things that makes them so adorable and fun to be around.
Author: Lisa Selvaggio