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Why Is My Kitten So Hyper? 8 Vet-Reviewed Reasons for This Behavior

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

2 Grey Striped Kittens Playing on a Blanket with Toy

Why Is My Kitten So Hyper? 8 Vet-Reviewed Reasons for This Behavior


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Kittens are easily among the most lovable animals on the planet. They are full of life and hilarious antics, and watching them learn how to act like cats can be great fun. But have you ever wondered whether your kitten is too hyper or if their behavior is normal play?

As we all know, cats are simply weird, so it can be difficult to distinguish between normal and abnormal cat behavior. This can cause a great deal of anxiety, especially for first-time kitten owners. To ease your worries and help identify potential problems, here are eight reasons that your kitten may be face divider 2

The 8 Reasons Why Your Kitten is Hyper

1. Instinct

Cats are predators by nature, but they aren’t born knowing exactly what to do. Instinct drives their behavior as they grow, but there is still a learning curve for kittens to develop hunting skills. Even indoor kittens that may never need hunting skills will instinctively develop them, so finding toys for your kitten that simulate prey and develop hunting skills, like tunnels and balls, can be beneficial to their development.

kitten playing on grass
Image Credit by: paffy, Shutterstock

2. Social Development

Like most mammals, kittens need time and guidance to develop appropriate social skills. Usually, their mother and littermates help with this process, but kittens that are taken away from their mother too early or that have recently left their mother may require additional practice.

Social development in kittens helps them learn not to bite or scratch people or other animals unless threatened, as well as normal interaction with other cats that will not lead to a fight. Teaching your kitten not to bite or scratch you during play will help tremendously with these skills.

3. Energy Levels

Kittens are young and full of energy! They love to run and play, and sometimes, they just need to burn some of that energy off. Kittens and cats spend a lot of time sleeping, so during the hours they are awake, they may act hyper to burn off the energy they just built up during their slumber.

side view of a young playful maine coon cat
Image Credit by: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

4. Fun

Sometimes, your kitten may just want to play for no reason other than having fun. While play is often to develop different types of skills, watching kittens do flips and wrestle can be just as fun for you as it is for them. Kittens may choose their favorite toys or activities, which is a strong indicator that some of their hyper behavior can just be for fun.

Looking for toys that cater to the many needs of your cat? The Hepper Hi-lo Cat Scratcher is one of our favorite cat products. Its clever thee-angle design offers multiple ways for your cat to climb, stretch, and exercise. Made of a sturdy plywood base and a replacement cardboard insert, this scratcher is an option that can be enjoyed by cats for years to come. If your cat requires a little encouragement for self-play, the Hepper Plush Mouse Kicker is a fantastic choice. Equipped with bite and kick-resistant fabric, an enticing internal bell, and organic catnip, cats can satisfy their natural prey instincts while getting the physical activity they need to thrive. 

Hepper Mouse kicker toy white cat playing on a scratching postscratcher
Hepper Plush Mouse Kicker Toy Hepper Hi-Lo Scratcher
Multi-level play
Multi-level play:
Multi-level play:
Interactive :
Interactive :
Promotes exercise
Promotes exercise:
Promotes exercise:
Replaceable parts
Replaceable parts:
Replaceable parts:
Satisfies prey-instincts
Satisfies prey-instincts:
Satisfies prey-instincts:

At Catster, we've admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

5. Boredom

If you notice your kitten seems hyper frequently, they may be bored. Evaluate how much time you are spending playing with them, as well as what types of toys they have. Interactive toys can be great options to entertain your kitten when you’re trying to work from home or focus on other tasks. Providing new and different toys regularly for your kitten will also help keep them from getting bored.

cat in a loaf position
Image Credit: Jasmin Bauer, Shutterstock

6. Fear and Anxiety

Kittens may be fearful or uncertain when introduced to new environments, animals, or people. When your kitten starts acting hyper out of the blue, did something happen just beforehand? Did your kitten see a dog for the first time or hear a new noise in the house? Usually, hyperactivity due to fear or anxiety is short-lived and the kitten will find a place to hide until they feel secure again. Help your kitten feel secure by slowly introducing new things and being patient while they adjust.

7. Overstimulation

If you’re petting your kitten and suddenly, they talk off across the room or turn around and bite or scratch you without warning, they may be overstimulated. Some cats develop petting-induced overstimulation problems and when triggered, they will quickly overreact to the stimulus.

If your kitten starts to show sudden play aggression or bolts out of the room while you’re petting them, watch closely next time you’re having a petting session. Is your kitten’s skin twitching? Are they flicking their tail? Are their ears pinned back or being moved backward and forward rapidly? One way to help avoid overstimulation in kittens and cats is to avoid petting or scratching the area near the base of the tail. This area has a lot of nerve endings and can be very sensitive, so many cats do not like being pet there.

Bengal cat sitting in a catio
Image Credit: TheCats, Shutterstock

8. The Zoomies!

Your kitten may become hyper suddenly for no apparent reason. If your kitten suddenly takes off and starts running laps around the house, it may just be experiencing the zoomies!

Many cats seem to have the zoomies after using the litter box, especially after a poo, and there does not seem to be an explanation for it. Cats and kittens also may have the zoomies in the middle of the night after sleeping all day. As long as your kitten has a safe area where they can’t hurt themselves during the zoomies, then there’s nothing to be concerned about.

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Cats and kittens are so much fun, and there are so many reasons that they could be acting hyper. Kittens need stimulation, play, toys, and a safe resting place. Watch your kitten for changes in behavior and if anything seems off to you, there’s nothing wrong with calling your vet and asking questions! Vets are happy to answer questions and would rather help identify a problem early rather than need to treat a more complex or dangerous problem later.

Enjoy your kitten while they’re still small and playful! Soon, that kitten will turn into an adult cat, so bring them up well and enjoy the many healthy, fun years to come.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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