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When Do Kittens Calm Down? Your Guide to Hyperactivity

Happy kitten running through green grass

Bringing home a fresh feline friend can be a very exciting experience, one that might even inspire some hyperactivity in pet parents, but if your new kitten seems to match that energy, it can be a little disconcerting. When your young cat starts to nibble, bite, and seemingly attack everything in sight, it’s common to wonder “when will my kitten calm down?”

It’s important to remember that hyperactivity in kittens is totally normal behavior and just their way of practicing to be an adult, channeling their more primal energy with playful violence. We’ve put together this guide to understanding kitten energy levels, when you can expect them to relax, and even some methods for calming them in the moment.

Do Kittens Calm Down With Age?

So, one of the first things that you need to remember when approaching your hyperactive kitten is that this increase in energy is most certainly a side effect of their age and won’t last forever. Your kitten is only ready to bring home from around 8 weeks old, and it’s at around this age that they’ll start to act a little more erratically. You can expect their manic energy to start peaking at around the age of 3 months, which is when things will start getting really interesting.

It can be a little bit frustrating as an owner, as a cat at this age can go from having a cuddle to biting your hands in a matter of seconds, but you just have to accept that this is part of their natural development. Don’t fret, because this is just a phase and one that they will move on from eventually.

What Age Do Cats Calm Down?

Now, you can rest easy knowing that your cat’s craziness is definitely passing, but when do kittens settle down, really? It’s important to remember that the early stages of a cat’s life act as a sort of rapid aging process for them, in both physical and mental terms. While a cat can live for anywhere between 12-18 years in human terms, the first year of its life is closer to around 15-20 years in terms of development.

With this in mind, you can expect your cat to start calming down once they hit around 6 months of age, with there being a gradual but predictable drop in energy levels up to the first year of their life. Now, of course, every cat is different, so this isn’t a black and white rule for you to refer to religiously, but it’s a good outline to follow if you’re wondering when you can expect your relationship with your cat to become more relaxed.

Also, if you’re scared of losing the playful joyousness of your kitten as it grows up, don’t worry. Just because they’re calming down somewhat doesn’t mean that they’ll lose the personality that you’ve fallen in love with in the first year, just that it will be a little less erratic.

When Do Kittens Calm Down at Night?

When getting down to the nitty-gritty of hyperactive kittens, there are some milestone phases that you might want to look out for. Notably, between 4 and 9 months old, they might start to sleep during the day and play during the nighttime.

Some pet scientists would argue that this could be considered their “teenage” phase, where they begin to channel more of their natural hunting and predatory instincts. While this may result in a few restless nights for you, it’s nothing to be concerned about – by the time they reach 9 months and older, this phase will pass.

Management Techniques

So when do kittens stop being hyper? Only time will tell, but if you need to maintain a certain degree of order in your house for any sort of reason, there are methods you can use to manage a cat’s hyperactivity in their early months.

We’ve listed some playtime methods that could help you to tucker your kitty out during this period of their life.

  • Create Hunt-Like Situations: This stage of hyperactivity is related to the primal, hunting instincts of a cat, so to satiate these feelings, you can recreate hunting scenarios. A good way of doing this sort of thing is by getting toys that they can chase around a room.
  • Give Them Their Own Toys: While playing with the kitten yourself is a great way to let them unload some of that energy, it’s also important to provide them with their own toys and tools. Scratching posts and bouncy balls are great choices for keeping them occupied.
  • Don’t Just Use Your Body: If you play with your kitten without the buffer of any sort of toys, they’re likely to treat your body parts like their toys. This will inspire scratching and biting to your body, which, while not dangerous, can still be the cause of some discomfort, so use toys when you can.

Final Thoughts

If you have a hyperactive kitten in your life, it’s genuinely nothing to worry about. It’s just a natural, normal part of their adolescence, and sooner rather than later they’ll transition into the adult cat that you can build a proper relationship with.

For all kitten and cat owners, consulting with your veterinarian when you have questions is always best. This is true of hyperactivity or kitten toys - and anything else! The quality of your relationship with your veterinarian will determine many of your cat’s health outcomes. 

Thinking through your kitten's lifetime health needs is an important part of your new life together. Check out our guide on why you should have cat insurance in Canada for more hints and tips. 

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