3 Ways to Help Calm Down Your Crazy Cat
Does your cat have a case of crazies?
If only cats had an off switch. If you’re a cat owner, no doubt you would have witnessed your furry friend suffer a case of cat crazies. We know cats need to blow off steam. They are high-energy animals displaying bursts of energy, whose idea of fun is tearing around the house, ricocheting off walls, climbing up curtains, knocking over family photos and precious ornaments. It can make you feel frustrated, angry and enough to make you come down with the crazies yourself. The good news is that this is normal behavior.
I’ve experienced a case of the crazies first hand. Our Ossie Cat, Maisie, loves to tear around the house, using it as an obstacle course. One minute she will be silent and docile, giving her fur a good clean. The next, ZAP! like someone came along with a cattle prod. With a leap in the air that seemed to ignite the start of her engine, she is off.
She has almost destroyed the parlor palm. The sofa isn’t safe from her claws, and she has gnawed our precious picture frames to an inch of needing to be replaced. Not to mention our record collection. Tearing at their plastic sleeves, she appears to favor the band Madness. How poignant.
As cat owners, we have accepted her high energy temperament and learned what ways we can give her the play and attention a young cat needs. But, making sure they have run out of energy by the time we want to settle down for the evening. Thus preserving our sanity for another day. Here are a few of the strategies that worked for us.
Get off the couch and get outside
It might suit us owners to just sit on the couch waving a toy in your cat’s face while it flicks it with its paw for 5 minutes. But for real playtime stimulation, you need to get outside.
I’m lucky to have a backyard I can go out to. Our Maisie loves to be around me when I’m outside, so I use it to my advantage. Simple toys, like a tree branch or a long piece of string with a toy mouse attached, will attract her like a magnet. Bounding across the lawn towards us, she knows there is an exciting toy waiting in my hand for her.
Even if you don’t have a backyard, you can use your house or apartment as a play zone. Use a long piece of string or a feather duster to lure them around the house. Use it while playing hide and seek. Peering around corners and having them chase after you down the hall when you hide. This activity channels their natural hunting instinct.
The key for any playtime is to get them moving. The more energy they burn outside, the less they will need to burn off inside. By having a structure to your cat’s playtime, they will instinctively know that there is a time for play and a time to rest.
Smart toys for smart cats
We know how highly intelligent cats are. They love toys that engage their mind and keep them physically active. The best toys make rapid and unpredictable movements, like a bird or mouse.
Our Maisie loves it when I bring out the laser pointer. The point of light dances around her and provides a constant point of amusement. I move the pointer around the floor and over the sofa the same way a wild creature would move.
Another smart toy to entertain can be cardboard boxes with holes. Poking small feather dusters in and out of the holes will send your cat into a frenzy, chasing the feathers into all corners of the box hoping to nab the ‘critter’ you are teasing them with.
I’ve found that exercising their brain as much as their body can make them feel exhausted. Soon enough they will lose interest in your games and find your lap the best place to curl up and go to sleep. The perfect reward for both of you.
Ideas just as crazy as they are
I’ve come across some crazy ideas to cool down your cat’s energy levels. It’s not always possible to play with your best friend when they need it. Luckily, there are tools at your disposal that may help.
I’ve found that there are several YouTube videos for creating healthy distractions for your cat. From 8-hour long videos of birds to soothing music. The videos provide an interesting alternative and expand on the choices we have to entertain our cats.
It’s good to know that other forms of technology can find their way into your cat’s life as well. iPad games are all the rage for cats with playful personalities. Games that have mice flying around the screen can distract and engage your playful friend.
These types of playtime tools are fun if they work. They of course can’t be a true substitute for spending quality time with your cat when they need it. The most important thing to remember is to mix up the games to play. Cats will get bored if they play the same game too often.
The key takeaway here is to try different approaches to keeping your cat moving and engaged. They will appreciate the attention and playtime you give them.
Its natural behavior and you love them, regardless
We love our cats. They are our best friends. They might tear around the house and jump over our furniture. Even breaking the odd family heirloom. Cats with a case of crazies are the most natural thing they do. We shouldn’t be too tough on them.
After a big day of exercise, there is nothing more rewarding than the comfort of your beautiful friend curled up on your lap or sleeping at the foot of your bed. I’m sure they know how much you love them. Even if they secretly love stressing you out with malicious intent.