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Why Do Pets Get the Zoomies?

Why Do Pets Get the Zoomies?

               We’ve all seen it. You come home and your dog makes multiple mad dashes around the coffee table or, for no apparent reason, your cat starts zipping around the living room. Yep, your pet has the zoomies! Ever wondered why pets suddenly get that burst of joyful energy?  Read on to find out!

               The “zoomies” actually have a scientific name: Frenetic Random Activity Periods or FRAPs. While FRAP occurs more frequently in puppies and kittens, any pet of any age may experience this phenomenon. It is thought that this crazy racing behavior is a way for pets to release pent up energy.  Zoomies generally indicate happy behavior, but, if excessive, they could indicate an underlying behavior issue such as anxiety or overstimulation or your pet may need more physical and mental stimulation if he or she has the zoomies frequently.

               Zoomies can occur out of the blue, but sometimes they are associated with a novel or stressful event such as after a bath, if a dog has been crated or confined all day, or during play. Dogs may get the zoomies when you return home, late in the evening, after defecation or when something exciting happens. Cat may get zoomies for similar reasons—most commonly cats experience FRAP when they have pent up energy or during play. Some kitties may take a lap around the house after using the litter pan.

Zoomies are not harmful to your dog or cat, but do make sure pets are safe and cannot run into things or hurt themselves.  Sometimes FRAP behavior gets a little out of hand, and pets could be accidentally injured if they zoom into furniture or walls or could injury themselves on slippery surfaces.

Do other animals experience the zoomies? It seems that many animals can experience FRAPs. Animals such as horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets all can do the zoomies and animals such as giraffes, elephants, tigers, wombats and others have been caught in zoos and in the wild experiencing episodes of wild play that qualify as FRAP or “the zoomies” as well.

If your pet is having the zoomies at inopportune times such as when you are trying to sleep, providing more play, activity and stimulation during the day may help. Otherwise, just enjoy the zoom while it lasts—it means your pet is excited and happy and they usually give us a good laugh when the zoomies hit!

This blog brought to you by the Patton Veterinary Hospital serving Red Lion, York and the surrounding communities.