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There are two cats in my family, one is 7 years old and the other is 3 years old. They are usually very quiet at home and sleep most of the time. But sometimes, they will suddenly run around the house like crazy. Do you know why?

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  • Do they run around playing and chasing? Or do they seem scared?
    – SerenaT
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 8:36
  • this question is most likely asked here before in some shape or form so i think it might be a duplicate. Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 17:15

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While there are many theories on why cats make sudden movements, the one I like the most is built-up energy. A cat's anatomy is evolved for short bursts of extreme movement, followed by hours of rest. A housecat, however, does not have a predator chasing him or prey he wants to pounce. As a result, he might not have any reason to move as his wild ancestors. Therefore, one way to discharge the built-up energy is these crazy runs, without a proper reason.

Another explanation is simply being spooked. Cats do not see as well as humans in most occasions, but their hearing is impeccable. Something that you can't hear might spook them which results in these crazy runs.

Note that these theories are not necessarily disjoint. Cats might look for a reason for bursting into action and some auditory cue that we can't perceive might just trigger it. This is actually something you can experiment yourself. While we cannot control the auditory cues as we can't hear them, we can control how much energy the cat has. Tire your cats until they can't move a couple of hours before they act crazy and see for yourself if they are still running crazy.

It is also common for cats to move like crazy if their partner is moving like crazy. This kind of behaviour suits prey more than predators, i.e., a prey animal gets agitated simply because another member of his herd is agitated without knowing the reason of agitation. However, predators might act this way too. I have seen a cat getting fixated on a point on the wall urging his buddy to get fixated on the same point.

The bottom line is that it is a normal behaviour. There is no reason to be alarmed, both for your safety and for your cats' health.

I hope this helps.

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only they know why. It's often referred to as "the zoomies" and most cats (especially younger ones) will do it on occasion.

Generally it's thought to be caused by excess energy, maybe in combination with them thinking they hear something that needs investigating.

More jokingly, cat owners tend to see it as proof that cats can see ghosts and chase them around the house :)

It's pretty harmless, though they can end up making a mess if they bump into something that then falls over.

My old cat was an elderly gentlecat of 12 years and generally didn't engage in it, my 2 current youngsters who are a year old do it a few times a day and then end up falling asleep shortly after, more often than not snuggling together.

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