Cat Problems - Hyperactivity

by Barbara
(Croydon, Surrey)

My cat is about a year old, she is a rescue cat. She is lovely and possessively affectionate, but is hyperactive when not asleep.

As there are no children for her to play with (I am elderly) should I buy her some toys to chase or wait for the weather to improve and hope she will use her energy in the garden instead of my chairs and carpets?

Reply from Liz (editor): Having an 18 month old cat, this is one of the cat problems I can really empathize with at the moment!

Your cat is at an age where she's got loads of energy and just has to get rid of it somehow! She will calm down eventually, but in the meantime you need to try and find ways that she can amuse herself without being too destructive. This is important - if she gets into the habit of being destructive now, it will continue and become more difficult to stop.

If you go to the page on this website Preventing Cat Scratching you'll find a number of ideas, and links to other pages with ideas for stopping destructive behavior.

In the case of your cat, she's partly being destructive because she's trying to use up energy. She'll really appreciate some playtime with you, so you need to direct that towards non-destructive pursuits!

With Terry, my young wannabe highly destructive cat, there are two things that have worked like magic, cost very little and kept me sane!..

A laser pen. You can buy them from pet stores, then relax on the sofa and move the light all over the room. Your cat will tear round after it (and tire herself out!) while you watch TV!

A plastic treat-holding ball with holes that I bought from the Pets at Home chain in the UK. I put treats into it, and my cat bats it round until the treats fall through the holes. You can reduce the size of the holes to make it more difficult for the cat to get the treats. This also keeps him amused for hours.

I hope this helps. A few clever tactics and cat toys can usually solve these types of cat problems.

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