Therapist

What helps kittens calm down

There’s nothing better than the joy of a new kitten, but sometimes those little balls of fluff can get crazy! If your new kitten is bouncing off the walls (literally), our experts at PrettyLitter are here to provide some helpful tips on how to calm a kitten down. 

First, we’ll understand why kittens are so hyper in the first place, then we will provide some tips on creating the healthiest environment for them. Finally, we’ll share some of our favorite tips to get the most out of playtime together. 

Why is My Kitten so Hyper?

After people adopt a kitten, they sometimes wonder why their kitten is so hyper! This is especially true if a kitten was more subdued at the shelter, and then after a few days at home they open up. 

All of this newfound energy is completely normal! Kittens play to learn how to be an adult cat and practice some of their most important skills, including running, climbing, and attacking. As your kitten gets older and becomes more familiar with their surroundings, they might push the boundaries even more with aggressive behavior. This could include climbing on furniture, playing roughly with claws and teeth, or attacking other animals in the household.

All of this behavior is healthy as your kitten is developing, but it’s important to know how to redirect it. You don’t want to risk hurting yourself, your cat, or your belongings. Let’s look at some tips on how to calm a hyper kitten down. 

Tips for How to Calm a Kitten Down 

Every kitten is different and will find different ways to channel its energy, but these tips will help you create a safe environment where your kitten can play to its heart’s content (without damaging anything in the process!). 

Create a Regular Playtime 

Cats love a consistent routine, and creating playtime at the same time every day will train them that it’s their time to let it all out. Depending on your kitten, this might be multiple times a day! We will talk more in this article about appropriate play and how to harness your kitty’s rambunctious energy, but creating a playtime routine is the first step. 

Depending on your cat’s energy level, this playtime could be 10-minutes long or 30-minutes long! Most cat experts recommend that adult cats get at least 30 minutes a day, but young cats likely need even more playtime. 

Provides Lots of Places to Play

Creating an enriching environment is one of the best things to do to promote a healthy lifestyle for your cat. As an indoor pet parent, you need to replicate all of the outside stimulation your cat is missing as much as possible. This includes having multiple scratching posts in areas where your cat will actually use them, providing different levels using cat trees, windowsills, and shelves that your cat can climb on, and having cozy places where they can go hide or sleep. 

When you enrich your indoor cat’s environment with all the things they need to play, they will be more likely to redirect their energy toward productive exercise, rather than toward unwanted behavior such as scratching your couch or chasing your toes. And if your indoor space is limited, bringing your cat outdoors for exercise is also an option. You can read more on our blog about how to train a cat to walk on a leash.  

Create a Kitten Space

In addition to providing plenty of enrichment, you can also create a space that is dedicated to your kitten. During those times when they just can’t seem to get all their wiggles out and you have to hop on a video call, put your kitten in their own space with calming music (classical and instrumental work, or streaming services like Spotify have cat playlists), lots of toys, and some food and water. If you’ve been wondering where to put litter box in your house, this could also be an appropriate area. 

Tips on Playing with a Hyper Kitten

Of course, the best way to calm a kitten down is to channel their energy into productive playtime, so they get tired out and learn how to play instead of destroying or distracting. 

We talked about having regular playtime with your new kitten. Once you have that schedule set, now it’s time to learn some tips on how to actually play with your cat to keep everyone safe and entertained. 

Don’t Use Your Hands and Feet

The first tip when playing with a hyperactive kitten is to not play with them with your fingers or toes. They are going to be tempted to bat at your feet as you walk or your fingers as you type. While it may be cute when they’re a little kitten, this behavior can get dangerous as they get older. 

Instead of playing using your fingers, make sure you always have a fun cat toy handy to redirect their attention. Wand toys that have attachments at the end are always a hit. Or, you could go with the tried-and-true crumpled up receipt, cotton swab, or hair tie!

Mimic Their Hunting Instincts

Learning how to play with your cat effectively makes all the difference between a hyperactive cat and a cat who is satisfied and tuckered out. The best way to play with your cat is to mimic their natural hunting instincts. 

Rather than move a wand toy wildly around and hope your cat will chase it, build up the anticipation by slowly dragging it or moving it around and trying to time their pounce. If you imagine a cat hunting in real life, they are going to spot a wounded bird or mouse and stalk it until it’s the perfect moment to make their move. Simulate this struggle by moving the toy around the corner, under a blanket, or with rustling noises. You’ll quickly get your cat’s attention and once they’re in the hunt, there’s no stopping them!

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Try Lots of Different Toys

Just like kids, cats all have different preferences on the toys that catch their attention. Try lots of different options, from crinkle balls to feather toys to battery-operated toys (such as the best cat laser toy) to see which ones your cat prefers. 

Don’t want to always buy new toys? Switch out your cat’s toys on a regular basis to make them seem new again! If you notice that your cat is getting bored with the same two or three toys that you always play with, put those ones away and break out some new ones in the rotation! Your cat will think they’re brand new. 

Have a Warm Up and Cool Down 

Just like when we exercise, cats need a warm-up before playtime and a cool-down after playtime. Because cats are hunters, they need to know that the chase is over and feel satisfied that they caught their prey. When you’re done playing with your cat, start to move the toy more slowly and let your cat catch it more easily. This will teach them that playtime is coming to an end and also satiate that hunter mentality. 

The Strategy for Calming Down a Hyper Kitten

As you can see, the idea behind calming down a hyper kitten is all about redirecting their energy. Young cats are hyper because they are learning about the world around them and how to act like a cat, and it’s up to us as pet owners to create as fulfilling of an environment as possible for them. This includes regular playtime, lots of places to play, and space just for them to calm down. 

In addition, how you play with your cat is just as important. Some important things to remember are to not use your fingers and toes as toys, try out many different toys to see which ones your cat likes the best, and mimic your cat’s natural hunting instincts by playing with them smarter, not always harder. Lastly, providing a “cool-down” for your cat when they are able to catch their prey and feel the satisfaction of their kill is helpful for both calming them down and making them feel accomplished. 

And after all that playtime, it’s important to help your kitty to refuel with nourishing food. PrettyPlease, our ultra-premium nutrient rich cat food, contains everything kitties need to feel their best.

What are your favorite ways to play with your little hunter? We’d love to hear!

Sources:

1. https://www.petguide.com/blog/cat/how-to-calm-a-hyper-kitten/

2. https://www.thesprucepets.com/cats-acting-crazy-554821

Get your kitten on a Zen path with tips on how to focus all that energy.

Kittens are cute and are naturally curious—it’s why we all fall in love with these little balls of fur as soon as we set eyes on them. But what we often forget is that kittens also come with an abundance of energy that never seems to let up. Breathe deeply and don’t lose your cool…there are many ways how you can help calm your kitty and train proper cat etiquette in the process.

Appropriate Play

Play is a great way to help expend some of that boundless kitten energy, so be sure to plan several sessions a day. Toys that mimic hunting, such as wands with feathers at the end or stuffed mice will hold your kitten’s attention and inspire her natural predatory skills. Keep her busy and challenged while you’re playing, but let her take down her prey—it will give her confidence and give her a sense of satisfaction.

Warming Up, Cooling Down

A good workout starts and ends with a warm up and cool down session. The same goes for kitten play sessions. In particular, the cool down lets your kitten know that it’s time to slow things down and relax. While winding the play session down, move the toy more slowly and let your kitten chase it without as much energy behind her movements. When you see your kitten beginning to get tired of the game, let her cool down and then give her food. Instinctively, your kitten will want to eat a meal, clean herself, and take a nap. Do this before bed at night so that she can go to sleep when you do.

Kitten Space

When your kitten is acting up, it’s time for a timeout in her own kitten-friendly space. A dimly lit small room is best, as it will help her unwind and keep her away from other pets, distractions, and people. This space should be equipped with things she can safely play with, so she can learn to play on her own.

Soothing Music

All of the new things that are introduced to your kitten in such a short amount in time can be unnerving. A new home, people, and pets can cause fear in your kitten, resulting in hyperactivity. When your kitten is in her safe space, play some soothing music at a low volume to see if this soothes her nerves. Easy listening, instrumental, or classical music can work mellowing-out wonders.

Cat Trees, Scratching Posts, and Scenery

It’s a big world out there, and your kitten wants to see what’s going on. That’s why she needs a cat tree to climb up and perch herself on, and a window to look out of so that she can view the world outside. As well, a few scratching posts are needed so she can release her energy in positive, non-destructive ways. On top of that, these will be little spots around the house that she can claim as her own.

Kitten Companion

Consider adopting another kitten around the same age—that way, your kitten will have a constant play pal. They’ll grow up to be great friends and they can keep one another company when you aren’t home.

Plenty of Attention

Your kitten needs to feel loved. In addition to playing with her every day, let her sit with you while you work on your laptop 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.

Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com , the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy’s been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.

Kittens are cute and are naturally curious—it’s why we all fall in love with these little balls of fur as soon as we set eyes on them. But what we often forget is that kittens also come with an abundance of energy that never seems to let up. Breathe deeply and don’t lose your cool…there are many ways how you can help calm your kitty and train proper cat etiquette in the process.Play is a great way to help expend some of that boundless kitten energy, so be sure to plan several sessions a day. Toys that mimic hunting, such as wands with feathers at the end or stuffed mice will hold your kitten’s attention and inspire her natural predatory skills. Keep her busy and challenged while you’re playing, but let her take down her prey—it will give her confidence and give her a sense of satisfaction.A good workout starts and ends with a warm up and cool down session. The same goes for kitten play sessions. In particular, the cool down lets your kitten know that it’s time to slow things down and relax. While winding the play session down, move the toy more slowly and let your kitten chase it without as much energy behind her movements. When you see your kitten beginning to get tired of the game, let her cool down and then give her food. Instinctively, your kitten will want to eat a meal, clean herself, and take a nap. Do this before bed at night so that she can go to sleep when you do.When your kitten is acting up, it’s time for a timeout in her own kitten-friendly space. A dimly lit small room is best, as it will help her unwind and keep her away from other pets, distractions, and people. This space should be equipped with things she can safely play with, so she can learn to play on her own.All of the new things that are introduced to your kitten in such a short amount in time can be unnerving. A new home, people, and pets can cause fear in your kitten, resulting in hyperactivity. When your kitten is in her safe space, play some soothing music at a low volume to see if this soothes her nerves. Easy listening, instrumental, or classical music can work mellowing-out wonders.It’s a big world out there, and your kitten wants to see what’s going on. That’s why she needs a cat tree to climb up and perch herself on, and a window to look out of so that she can view the world outside. As well, a few scratching posts are needed so she can release her energy in positive, non-destructive ways. On top of that, these will be little spots around the house that she can claim as her own.Consider adopting another kitten around the same age—that way, your kitten will have a constant play pal. They’ll grow up to be great friends and they can keep one another company when you aren’t home.Your kitten needs to feel loved. In addition to playing with her every day, let her sit with you while you work on your laptop 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.

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