How To Calm A New Kitten Down? If you have a kitten right now, they are most likely running around like a maniac or sleeping peacefully until their next moment of play attack!
We all know that kittens are adorable, but at some point in their young age they turn into little monsters who climb your legs with their sharp claws and chew on every charger cord you have.
That’s right, having a kitten isn’t all fluffy and cute, but have no fear, your precious fur ball will eventually calm down some.
You’re probably thinking, “great, my kitten is only 3 months old and is crazy, and I have to wait maybe 5 more months for them to chill out?” Well, yes, that’s true. But trust me, it is worth it!
While some people may start to have some kitten regret once they don’t feel like their home is safe from the little furry demon, there are ways to curb their unwanted hyperactivity and play aggressive behaviors.
Key take aways:
- A kitten will calm down and stop being so hyperactive usually around 8 to 12 months of age.
- Tire your kitten out with lots of playtime and activity so they don’t turn their claws to you.
- Feed and play with your kitten before bed so they don’t keep you up all night with their shenanigans.
- Kittens are so hyper because they have tons of energy and get bored easily.
- You should always have your cats spayed or neutered, but it won’t slow down the kitten zoomies for long.
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What Age Do Kittens Calm Down?
Most kittens will calm down around 8-12 months after hitting their peak hyperactivity levels around 5 months. Obviously, it depends on the cat, some are more chill than others and some will continue to be crazy for a little longer.
Don’t feel like their hyper behavior will ever end, while they’re scratching you and climbing the curtains it may feel like an eternity but just remember, it’s only in their nature to behave this way at their young age.
A kitten is so hyper mostly because of their age and energy levels. Plus, just like a human child, they can become bored easily which can lead to some unwanted aggressive play or destruction of owners’ things.
It’s completely normal for them to want to run and play and burn off energy, so let them! Their kitty instincts are encouraging them to explore and jump around, afterall, cats are curious and energetic creatures.
Sometimes there are other stimulating factors that can lead to your kitten having a spurt of crazy energy and climbing the walls like the exorcist.
It is not unusual to see a kitten run around and jump off things after having an exciting petting session. Sometimes cats can become overstimulated by being petted on their back, specifically the base of the tail can get our kitties going.
There are a lot of nerve endings in that area and it is not always pleasant for them, which is why some cats will swat or suddenly run away.
This is a common reason for kittens to lash out excitedly, maybe even aggressively towards you or your furniture or other items.
Boredom is something that doesn’t fit most young animals well and they should have plenty of toys and entertainment to keep them from turning their attention to things you’d like to keep safe.
Felines are natural hunters and predatory animals. They are always looking for something to chase or stalk, so it should be no surprise that we see them slinking around and darting towards small objects on the floor.
Providing them with tunnels or toy mice can be a great activity to burn energy and feed their natural instinct to hunt… instead of attacking your feet when you walk by.
Kittens are little kids. Playing, running around and parkouring off your walls and furniture is all just fun and games to them! It’s hard to really get too mad at them for just wanting to play and honestly they’re burning off energy so hopefully they aren’t running rampant through the house while you’re sleeping later that night.
As someone who has fostered, owned and worked on many, many kittens, having scratches and bite marks on your hands is just a part of the process.
While it can be painful and annoying to deal with tiny claw lines and teeth marks all over, the kittens will learn eventually. And they’re not usually trying to be mean.
Being sure to give them a healthy outlet for their play aggression and not getting them overstimulated can help a lot in preventing unwanted kitten attacks. When cats, even kittens become irritated, you will want to watch out, as all the paws and claws may be directed towards you.
It can take some time and discipline to teach your kitten to stop scratching and biting during play time. And sometimes they still do it, even as adults.
If your little fur ball didn’t have much time with their mom or kitten siblings then it is likely that they never learned that all the biting and scratching was an unwanted behavior. Proper socialization is something that can take time for them to pick up on.
Overstimulating them and playing rough with your kitten will only encourage crazy play aggression.
Most of the time, cats are happiest if they live more peaceful and calm lives, so if you or your child continue to amp up your kitten to the point of attack, then this would be something that needed to stop. You don’t want to teach your kitten that this is how to play, especially as they get bigger.
Being the center of a hyperactive and amped up kitten is not a fun experience for anyone!
Offer your kitten a healthy outlet for their play and aggressive hyperactivity. If they are being destructive or harassing you, another family member or pet in the house then redirecting their attention to something more appropriate would be necessary.
Everyone knows that cats sleep A LOT. Kittens sleep for close to 16 to 20 hours a day! It is no surprise that if you have been at work all day and your kitten has had no entertainment that once you get home in the evening, they are zooming around and trying to climb everything.
Thankfully, they’re not gremlins, but they can become little monsters once the sun sets! Try feeding them and giving lots of play time before bed so they won’t keep you up as much. Calming a kitten down at night once they are already hyper can be difficult but here are a few tips for handling your little excited fur ball.
One of the first things to do if you are having an issue with your kitten being bananas once you’re trying to sleep is wearing them out beforehand! Play with them and burn some of that energy they have pent up.
Remember, they are young and full of tons of energy, finding a healthy outlet for play is key in making sure that you don’t become their focus of unwanted activity later.
A kitten with a full belly is less likely to be hyper and parkour around the house while you are trying to sleep. Feeding them before bed is a good practice, if you need to give them a few treats as well, then go for it. However, back off on the calories if they seem to be gaining too much weight.
Kittens need toys and other things to play with to keep their attention, plus it helps if they are chewing on their things instead of yours. Have plenty of different enrichment activities for your kitten to keep themselves entertained during the nighttime hours.
Get toys that don’t have too many bells or jingly parts that make lots of noise when batted around.
Making your bedroom of limits during the nighttime hours will help keep the foot biting and messing about while you are trying to sleep to a minimum. It may not eliminate them waking you up, especially if you are like me and are a light sleeper.
I personally wake up to anything. But my husband on the other hand never heard all the galloping and batting around mice and puff balls during the wee hours of the morning when the kittens decided it was play time.
Ok, hear me out! I know it seems crazy, especially if one kitten seems like a lot of work already. But if they had a friend they would at least have someone to play with. That’s assuming they get along of course, which can definitely be hit or miss.
Make sure that you adopt another kitten that is close to the same age and energy level. You wouldn’t want to get an adult cat who would probably be disinterested and annoyed by the little one.
If you want to know more about the pros and cons of getting two kittens, check this article:
Having a kitten is a lot of responsibility and making sure that you are providing enough entertainment and activity is a great way to bond, plus it will burn off some of that crazy kitten energy!
Surely, this seems obvious but PLAY. Playing with your kitten is the best way to tucker them out. They will get a lot more enrichment, stimulation and fun if you are involved in the process.
This is a great opportunity to bond with your kitty and form a positive and healthy relationship with them. Afterall, playtime can also be fun for everybody! There is nothing more entertaining than watching a cat or kitten running in circles after a laser pointer or jumping high in the air after a feather on a string.
If you are struggling to redirect their attention with toys or play, then using food can also be helpful. Their own kibble works, or you can use treats, catnip or a healthy and lean snack like some chicken breast.
Having plenty of options for scratching and enrichment is very important when raising a kitten. There are interactive toys, puff balls, scratching towers and much more available for you to purchase for your furry baby. I’ll go ahead and narrow down the options to some of my favorites.
Having a scratching post or scratch board is super important for maintaining your couch arms and wall corners. Cats have to scratch, it is a natural behavior that they do and you cannot turn it off. You can train your cat from a young age what is appropriate for scratching and what isn’t, but they still may not always listen.
The best way to protect your furniture and any other unwanted areas that you don’t want them scratching, is by supplying plenty of other options for them to actually take their claws to.
I don’t have a lot of room in my house for tons of scratching posts and cat towers, so I prefer to use the flat cardboard scratchers, like the Coching Cat Scratcher Cardboard Pad. It’s relatively small, lasts a while and is cheap. I also like this style of scratching post for kittens to use.
You can’t go wrong with a soft cotton stuffed toy also filled with catnip. When it comes to finding little toys for them to kick and bat around the house, finding something like the DoraKitten Plus Chew Toys will certainly be a favorite with your fur ball.
Attract your kitten’s eye with sparkling toys like the PetFavorites Glitter Pom Pom. You will surely enjoy watching them play until they pass out with these fun and fuzzy toy balls.
A roller toy is always a favorite with kittens as they can spin the balls around forever, chasing them or lazily pushing them after hours of playing. The PetStages Cat Track Toy was one that my foster kittens would play with for hours on end, appeasing their desire for hunting and chasing as they never seemed to get enough of it.
My husband’s cat, Gilly, adores any toy that has a feather on it. She just loves them and will chase and play with them until she is exhausted. Sometimes she will carry around her toys in her mouth, meowing and begging someone to play with her. One of her favorites is the Cat Wand, with the feathers obviously, or anything like it. As long as it moves she’s going to chase it!
Foster kittens always enjoy playing with the Rainbow Cat Wand, it’s colorful and fun and they will chase, jump and attack it until they have no more energy.
My daughter has a blast spending time with the kittens and playing with the cat wands. They are honestly one of the best toys to use and actually play WITH the kittens, it helps build a bond, plus you know they are getting some energy out.
Kitten proofing your house is very important for both the cat and you. Always keep dangerous places closed off and prevent them from getting up into places where they can fall and hurt themselves. Kitten proofing will help keep kitty safe, plus hopefully keep your home from incurring too much damage during the naughty phase of your cat’s aging process.
You will want to do a little preparation, like making sure that small spaces and any rooms you want them to avoid are closed off from your kitten’s reach. They are curious creatures and will inevitably find what you don’t want them to.
I also consider spaces that are too high for kittens to be danger zones. Sometimes they think that they can make it all the way to the top of that rafter or book shelf but are too ambitious and hurt themselves.
Yes, cat’s can usually land on their feet but if it’s not a long enough distance they will not have the time to correct in the air, resulting in an injured leg or back.
Putting things on top of surfaces that you don’t want them to get to can help deter them from jumping or climbing up to them. However, it is not always possible to kitten proof every inch of your house and they will have to learn by risking the fall or deciding that it’s not worth it.
Just remember that kittens are like kids and that accidents will happen! Hopefully without breaking themselves or something valuable. It is the way of life, they learn by experiencing things, either positive or negative.
Sure you can keep a spray bottle handy but it may not fix the unwanted behavior. It is likely that your cat will stop doing so many annoying things once they get close to a year old, but it’s also possible that they will continue to be the curious, goofy, cute and frustrating critter that you got at 8 weeks old.
Have patience with your kitten as they learn the dos and don’ts of life, what they should scratch and chew on and what their owner doesn’t like.
It takes time, have faith that your kitten is truly a smart animal that will calm down and stop being so frustrating one day soon. I’ll admit, I hated the kitten phase with some of my fosters. They were messy and annoying but so dang cute! At the end of the day, I couldn’t be mad at those adorable little faces.
Will My Kitten Calm Down After They Are Fixed?
Your kitten will calm down maybe a small amount, but honestly that is debatable. Some cats become a little lazier and less hyper but most of them act like nothing has phased them.
This does not mean that you shouldn’t bother to have them spayed or neutered! As a matter of fact, please have them fixed!
You don’t want a male cat peeing on your stuff or a female screaming all the time when she’s in heat or pregnant. Like Bob Barker said, “spay and neuter your pets!”
How Can I Raise A Happy Kitten?
Cats are beautiful, intelligent and curious creatures. They do truly enjoy bonding with their humans, so raising your kitten by respecting their boundaries and showing them love will surely create a strong relationship between the two of you.
It is important to understand your cat’s behaviors, personality and emotions as they mature, that way you can interpret how they are acting and notice if there are stressors or things causing them to act out.
Raising your kitten in an environment where they feel safe and confident will ensure that they live a fulfilling and happy life with you and your family.
Cats are great, and just like humans children and puppies, when they’re young they can do some really irritating things. It’s a process for both you and the kitten as you grow and learn from each other. Sometimes they’re going to chew on your stuff, scratch you and climb your walls like spiderman and other times they’re the sweetest thing you’ve ever met.
Afterall, your kitten will grow up to become one of the feline overlords of the world, so showering them with love, food and gifts is only expected.
Freelance Writers’s Bio:
This article was written by freelance writer Allison Salonko .
My name is Allison and I have been a veterinary technician for 10 years. Writing and art are my passion. When I’m not working in the pet clinic I enjoy spending my time writing, painting or watching movies with my three cats, two kids and husband.
Updated by CAKW editorial team on 9/23/2022.