4 Ways to Calm a Hyper Kitten

Have a hyper kitten? Of course you do! Kittens have lots of energy to burn. Use the power of adjusted 80s song titles to find out how help your cat calm down.

By Marilyn Krieger, CCBC | Updated: October 11, 2014, 12 p.m. PDT

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Hyperactive Kitten
It's natural for kittens to be hyperactive. Give them ways to burn some energy!
Q: My 11-month-old cat sleeps a lot, but when he’s awake, he’s a terror. He endangers his own safety. I am afraid to leave him alone. He has gotten stuck between brackets, under a large leather, double-recliner sofa more than once. It almost is impossible to get him out. We have blocked off every way to get in, but he still does it. He is declawed, but bites his way through things.

We can’t seem to control him. He walks on the range, and I’m afraid to cook when he’s around. He chews on electrical wires. Spray repellent smells awful, but doesn’t discourage him. We have to close the door to his room at night so he doesn’t get into trouble when we’re asleep. I am not much of a disciplinarian because I love him so very much.

A: You can channel this little one’s energy into more constructive activities in many ways.

Cat Plus One

You can't babysit your kitten 24/7, so consider bringing another kitten home. Most kittens do well with another friend who has an energy level close to his own. When you bring in another cat, make the introductions gradually.

Play, Play, Play
Hold frequent play sessions that imitate hunting activities to disperse some hyper kitten energy. A fishing pole toy is ideal. Pretend that the toy at the end of the pole is prey by changing the speed and jumping it into paper bags or under sofas. Play should be fun and challenging for your cat or kitten.

To stop, slow the play down, giving your kitten a cool-down period. At the end of the cooling down time, let your cat or kitten catch the toy, then feed him. His natural response will be to eat, groom, then go to sleep. One of these play sessions should be just before you go to bed. Please make sure that you put the toy away when you are not around to supervise the play. 

Hungry Like the Cat
Instead of leaving food around in bowls for your cat, make him work for his meals. If he eats dry food, put the dry food in treat balls instead of keeping the food in bowls all day. Treat balls are hard, solid, plastic balls with holes in them. In order to eat, your kitten or cat will need to bat at the treat ball and roll it around.

Up Where Cats Belong
Cats love tall cat trees in strategic places around the house. Good locations include next to a secure window and around family hangouts. Look for cat trees with wide shelves and a covered box or hiding area. The cat trees must be stable so that they won’t fall over when your cat is in a particularly playful mood. Interactive toys, such as puzzle boxes or turbo scratchers will also help alleviate boredom. Cats will spend hours trying to fish toys or treats out of these types of toys.

Find out all about kittens >>
See the hunting postures of cats >>
Make gradual cat introductions >>
Play with your cat interactively >>
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Reader Comments

Susan    Princeton, BC

10/13/2014 4:56:53 PM

First of all, anyone who loves cats would never declaw a cat. It is the worst thing you can take from them not to mention the pain you cause. So, how can you complain about the behaviour when you did way worse yourself.

Jennifer    Salem, OR

3/7/2014 1:54:50 PM

This article is the perfect advise. Dr. Foster & Smith has an interactive toy called "fling-ama-string" that uses a conveyer belt that flings a string and winds it in and it runs on batteries and hangs on a door or wall. I can be home all the time with a kitten because I am a retired musician and have a home studio, but if I had a kitten I think this would be good. It could run when you're not home.

Steve    Washington, DC

2/6/2014 1:44:13 PM

I'm sorry, but this isn't really helpful. I don't have time to play with my hyperactive cat all day - and that's all she wants to do. She'll chase things I kick to her or drag in front of her for 3 or 4 hours straight - and I'm not exaggerating. If I don't play with her most of the day she gets angry and will tear around the house, make 'ambush' attacks on my legs, and generally be disruptive. What I need is advice on how to make this activity stop - or at least lessen it. I don't want to be told to play with her until one of both of us drops. As one other poster asks - is there anything akin to kitty tranquilizers?

sandy    west jordan, UT

12/28/2013 1:42:32 PM

Don't give your cat/kitten a catnip scratch post because it makes it worst. I think I need kitty valium is there any such thing?

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