Positive Pet Parenting
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by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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Getting Started - Hyperactivity

Felines can snooze the day away but as the sun starts to set, felines start their jets. Cats are nocturnal. It's normal for cats to sleep all day and party all night. Just as you begin to relax at the end of a long day, your kitten is revving up for a wild and crazy night of fun.

During evening activity, your kitten may suddenly explode into an excited frenzy - scurrying around the house, tail high and fluffed, mouth open, as if on a wild cat safari chasing after prey.

Your  kitten may literally bounce off furniture and hang from curtains.
This is a great time to wad up pieces of paper and toss them on the floor for your kitten to chase, fetch, or use for a rousing game of paper wad hockey.

The release of adrenaline gives the cat a wide-eyed, crazy expression with eyes wide and pupils dilated.
[1] Do NOT try to train your kitten or even pet your kitten during these night-time crazies. Your kitten's brain is somewhere else. You may be bitten or scratched for being in the wrong place a the wrong time. Instead, redirect the play to toys or ignore the kitten altogether until the steam stops coming out of the ears.

This normal behavior makes sense if you think about it. In the wild, the cat would stalk prey, lie in wait, then tear off in pursuit of food prey and pounce in victory. At your kitten grows weapons and hormones, an outlet must be found. Help direct this instinct to toys and try to expend this energy so you will get a good night's sleep.

If you don't provide outlets for this natural instinct, your kitten will act stir crazy. Daily playtime helps the kitten sleep when you do.

[1] Dunbar, Ian & Bohnenkamp, Gwen (1985). "Hyperactivity & Nocturnal Activity." Cats.

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Unwanted pet behavior is a leading cause of pet neglect, abuse, abandonment to back yard jails, surrender to shelters, and euthanasia 

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