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Why do cats sometimes act so crazy?


Picture of adult cat, Joey

Joey sometimes shows symptoms of FHS

Photo Credit: © Franny Syufy
Question: Why do cats sometimes act so crazy?
Why do all cats, doesn't matter the breeds, all of a sudden out of nowhere run across a room, meowing like a nut, 50 miles an hour, meowing or crying again and again, darting faster and looking around all over the place then stopping?

I have to get hysterical with laughter when they all do that! I just never know when it will happen and do all cats do it?

Answer: The actions you are describing are sometimes referred to as the "night crazies," if they happen at night. My family generally calls it "going ballistic." Sometimes one of my cats will add another action to the mixture, by racing up to a corner of the room and then stopping and staring at an invisible point somewhere up on the wall.

Although the reasons for these amusing actions can vary, it is difficult to pinpoint any one cause. Reasons can be:

  • Simple Zest for Life
    Although this is a more common reason for kittens and younger adult cats with excess energy, I have occasionally seen senior cats going ballistic for no other apparent reason.
  • An Errant Flea Bite
    Particularly when meowing is involved, a cat could simply have an itch in a place he can't reach to scratch. If you suspect fleas to be the case, time to de-flea your cat and your home.
  • Rippling Skin Disorder
    Also called Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome (FHS)is a more serious cause of cats acting crazy. If the skin on your cat's back appears to be rippling while he is chasing about, or if he frequently bites at his back above the tail, suspect this cause and see your veterinarian for treatment options.
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