Preventative Care@3x

The Zoomies Explained!

Nov 5, 2021 | AZPetVet, Cat, Dog, For Your Pet

“Zoomies” Meaning

Zoomies or Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs) is a word to describe cats and dogs running around erratically as an explosion of pent-up energy. And yes, zoomies in cats exist, too!

You’ve likely seen this vibrant outburst more than a handful of times. Although each pet experiences zoomies differently, they often feature frantic, repetitive behavior such as spinning around, sprinting back and forth across the yard, or running in circles. For zoomies in cats, it might include pouncing on everything in sight and paying no mind to your… well, anything you love.  

Reasons for Cats & Dogs Doing Zoomies

While most of the time, the zoomies’ meaning is just normal excitement and no cause for alarm, there are some behavioral and medical origins that pet parents should be aware of for their dogs and cats. 

Feline Hyperthyroidism: This is the most serious medical cause of zoomies in cats. If you have a middle or older-aged cat who suddenly becomes restless, staying up late, losing weight, behaving oddly, or acting jittery, have them checked out by your veterinarian.

Health Conditions: Conditions like Cushing’s disease can cause sleep alterations and unusual behaviors. Additionally, kidney and liver disease, arthritic pain, toxins, and brain tumors can also lead to odd behaviors. 

Flea/Tick Bites: A bite by one of these pesky bugs can set your pet off. Consider doing a tick check if you notice them suddenly zooming during the night or out of the blue. 

Age-Related Dementia: Cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) or dementia can be a cause of abnormal behavior. Changes in hearing, sight, and smell can also contribute to unusual behavior.

Emotional Imbalances: Stress and anxiety can heighten your pet’s senses to the point of reacting to any sort of stimulus. Depression can also create unusual social responses. 

While zooming could be rooted in a behavioral or medical issue, it’s also how some indoor cats relieve their inner predator – think hunting, pursuing, pouncing. This is a healthy expression of excitement. 

Some other harmless and highly common times your pet may be whizzing and whirling around the house include:

  • After bath time
  • After eating certain foods
  • First thing in the morning
  • Upon seeing/visiting a familiar friend or animal
  • After spending some time in the crate
  • When visiting the vet 
  • Getting petted in their favorite spot
  • When they smell something that interests them

Ultimately, if your pet suddenly springs up and begins zooming about the house when he’d normally be relaxing or sleeping, consider seeking veterinary advice. Otherwise, if you see your cat or dog running around erratically, rest assured that this behavior is a completely normal and feisty (and hilarious) moment of self-expression!

Whether you’re concerned or just plain curious about your cat or dog doing zoomies, we’re here and happy to answer any questions! Connect with us at any one of our 21 AZPetVet locations today.

Disclaimer: Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.