Why Do Cats Get the Zoomies at Night?

Why do cats zoom around the house at night?

The zoomies. Every cat owner is familiar with the incredible burst of crazy energy that all cats get occasionally. Then, it's on. The cat races around at top speed leaping onto and off furniture and generally tearing around making lots of noise.

For some reason, many cats seem to get the zoomies at night when their owner is trying to sleep. Why does that happen, and is there any way to curb it so you can get some sleep?

Why Do Cats Get the Zoomies?

There are a few reasons cats engage in wild bursts of running around the house, acting crazy. They usually have dilated pupils and act hyper-vigilant. They may do this because:

The vast majority of zoomies in cats have to do with pent-up energy.

But Why So Many Zoomies at Night?

Nighttime is when it's quietest in most people's homes, and a cat that slept most of the day while the owners were gone may be up and looking for something to do then.

Additionally, cats are crepuscular. That means they're naturally most active in the twilight times of dusk and dawn, which is when their rodent prey is most active, so they hunt most successfully. Even though our house cats don't have to survive on hunting, they still have the instinct to be active and "hunt" at those times. Hence, nighttime zoomies.

How Can You Curtail Nighttime Zoomies in Cats?

Here are a few things you can do if your cat has a habit of engaging in zoomies during the night.

Note: this is only for cases of pent-up energy zoomies. If you feel your cat's zoomies may be due to a medical problem, anxiety, or a litter box issue, consult with your veterinarian.