How to Calm a Hyperactive Kitten

By Tammy Dray

To calm a hyper kitten, games, interaction and a few changes in lifestyle might be in order. Keep in mind, however, that being full of energy is a natural part of being a kitten. Eventually, he'll grow out of it.

Reasons for Hyperactivity

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There are many reasons your kitten might be hyper. He could be bored and embracing his predatory, nocturnal instincts. He could be searching for more interaction with you or other members of the household. If the hyper behavior is recent, it could indicate a medical issue. For example, cats with severe itching or other skin conditions, feline infectious peritonitis, feline AIDS or hyperthyroidism might become hyperactive or have bouts of "crazy energy." If you suspect a health problem, talk to your veterinarian right away.

Tire Him Out

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A healthy kitten naturally will have a lot of energy. The best thing you can do to calm him is to make sure he uses as much of that energy as possible. Games, exercise and entertainment are key to keeping a hyper kitty under control. Toys and games that encourage hunting behavior -- such as a fishing pole toy or chasing a laser light -- will get kitty going, and tired. Cat trees, perches and high shelves that allow your kitten to climb, jump and hide are also good energy burners.

Don't Use Force

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Yelling at or hitting the kitten will not help the situation and can make it worse. If the kitten bites or claws at you, use a similar technique as his mother and litter mates would. Say "Ow!" in a high-pitched voice and ignore her for a few minutes. Don't pet her again until she has calmed down and you think she won't try to bite. If your kitten insists on biting you, rub Tabasco sauce or another foul tasting product on your fingers. This will discourage her from biting and might help calm her momentarily.

Getting Professional Help

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Regardless of whether you have a male or female kitten, you should talk to your vet about having the kitten spayed or neutered. While castration doesn't necessarily alter a cat's level of energy, it could help lower aggression and the need for rough playing. In addition, neutered and spayed cats don't feel the need to roam and might be content with just relaxing at home and playing with his human family or other pets. However, keep in mind that just neutering or spaying a kitty will not alter his natural play instinct. You will need to tire him out or address other issues if you want him to calm down.