Kittens are notoriously famed for their boisterous personality. They spend much of their waking hours darting around the house, aggressively pouncing on their littermates and other objects nearby.
They also seem to delight in scratching and biting anything that they can get their claws or teeth on, including their very human parents.
Now, a kitten’s playful personality is generally cute and fun to watch. But it can sometimes get on your nerves. When that happens, you may start to wonder, do cats mellow with age?
The answer is a resounding yes. Cats do calm down with age. So, no matter how boisterous your kitten may be now, it’s reassuring to know that he’ll grow out of it someday.
If you’re a cat owner who happens to be blessed with a high-spirited kitten, it’s natural to find yourself occasionally asking, will my cat calm down as he gets older?
Well, this article is for you. In this post, we’ll highlight everything you need to know about overactive cats.
At What Age Do Kittens Calm Down?
Kittens are inherently filled with pent-up energy. One way they release that energy is through aggressive play. They’ll claw, bite, and pounce on anything within their patch. And when they’re out of sight, you can almost bet they’re getting into some trouble. Most kittens will only be calm when they’re asleep or down with a disease.
Now, living with such an exuberant housemate isn’t always fun, as you’ll never be able to tell when he’ll cause trouble next. That’s why it’s important to know if this behavior will go away on its own or if there are special interventions you can explore to help the situation out.
The good news is that kittens will grow out of their boisterous personality on a long enough timeline. But that only begs the questions, at what age do cats calm down and when do cats stop acting like kittens?
Ideally, kittens will stop acting like babies (so to speak) they enter maturity, which is usually around the age of one year. Some kittens might even start to calm down from around seven or eight months. However, by the age of 2 years, your cat will be way less of a troublemaker. This is the official age where full maturity sets in.
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When Will My Kitten Calm Down and Stop Biting?
One frequently asked question by cat owners raising overactive kittens is, do cats calm down at a certain age?
We’ve just pointed out that kittens will calm down when they start to enter maturity, which is typically around the age of one year. We’ve also mentioned that some kittens may even become less of troublemakers around the age of seven or eight months.
However, you could also be wondering as to what age kittens will calm down and stop biting.
Remember that compulsive biting is one of the signs of an overactive kitten. And kittens tend to be indiscriminate when it comes to selecting the objects on which to unleash their bite barks. It could be your furniture, your upholstery, their fellow littermates, or even your very own legs.
Although a kitten’s teeth may be smaller than that of mature cats, they’re no less sharp. So, even a single nip can inflict serious tissue damage, leading to gushing wounds or even infections.
Fortunately, kittens will stop biting when their teeth are fully grown. That’s around six or seven months. During this period, a kitten’s baby teeth will fall off, giving way to adult teeth.
However, note that calming down is a process and not an overnight event. Your kitten will not stop biting immediately he grows adult teeth. The habit may fade away gradually over several months, or even years.
It’s also worth noting that a cat may still bite way into his adult life. That’s because cats bite for several reasons and not merely as part of aggressive playtime. For instance, biting on things can help a cat release pain or anger. So, don’t get your expectations too high. As you shall find, patience is a virtue when dealing with aberrant feline behaviors, such as compulsive biting.
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Understanding the Various Stages of Kitten Development
Kittens can liven up an otherwise dull house, thanks to their exuberant personality. But an overactive kitten isn’t always fun to put up with. That’s why most cat owners raising kittens often wonder – ‘when does a kitten get calmer, at what age does a cat become adult and wiser?’
Now, we’ve already mentioned the average age that kittens generally become mellower. But even as you wait for your kitties to become less of troublemakers, it’s important to understand the various stages of kitten development. This information will help you know what to expect of your kittens during his different developmental phases.
First, let’s reiterate that not all cats develop at the same rate. That’s because there are usually numerous factors at play.
However, most cats will undergo the following developmental stages;
1. Neonatal Stage
Timeline: From birth to around 9 days
During this stage, kittens are wholly dependent on their mother for survival. They cannot see their way around because their eyes are still closed. So, they depend mainly on their senses of smell and touch.
The neonatal phase is also marked by reduced locomotor skills. You’ll notice your kittens stumbling a lot around this age.
2. Transition Stage
Timeline: Between the 9th and 15th day of life
This is the period when a kitten’s eyes and ear canals open. They can now perceive sights and sounds, although still not very distinctly. The stage is also marked by increased mobility.
3. Socialization Stage
Timeline: Between the 2nd week of life and the 7th or 8th week
The socialization stage is when all the playing begins. During this stage, a kitten will constantly play with his littermates, mother, and virtually all other members of the household.
A kitten will also start to acclimatize to his environment around this period. Besides, he’ll become more independent and start to try other foods besides his mother’s milk.
And as the name implies, this is the right time to start socializing your cat.
Timeline: Between the 8th week to the 5th month
When a kitten enters the juvenile stage, he stops looking like a baby cat and starts to look like a small adult cat. It’s during this period that a cat will start to exhibit his true character, the same that may stay with him throughout his adulthood.
Cats will behave more calm in the juvenile stage than socialization stage. But games will still take up a huge portion of their waking hours.
Timeline: Begins between the 5th and 8th month for females and between the 6th and 7th month for males
A cat will truly start to become calmer during this period. The cat will no longer fancy running around the house and knocking things over.
However, as the sexual organs fully develop and the reproductive hormones begin to exert their influence, your cat may take on a different form of aggression. He may become more rebellious of his owner and intolerant of smaller pets in the household, such as hamsters.
So, it’s very important to monitor your cat as he goes through this defining moment in his growth and development.
Timeline: From around the 1st year of life onward
A cat will complete his adolescence from the time he enters puberty to around the first year of life. The cat will adopt his typical adulthood character from around his first birthday.
A cat’s adulthood is further subdivided into various growth and developmental stages as shown below;
a) 1 – 2 Years
Cats become more controlled and independent. They begin to find their place in the family hierarchy.
They’ll also find hiding spots to retreat to whenever they feel threatened or simply don’t want to be disturbed.
b) 3 – 6 Years
By this time, your cat has established his routine. He’s more of a habitual creature now, and any disruption in his routine is likely to upset him.
c) 7 – 10 Years
A cat at this age will become even more anxious if you disrupt his routine. Also, this period is considered a cat’s middle-age years.
d) 10+ Years
Cats become seniors when they clock their 11th birthday. They may still play and hunt at this age. But they’re way mellower and will prefer to nap at every opportunity they can get.
At What Age Are Kittens Most Hyper?
We’ve cleverly avoided using the term “hyper” in describing playful and exuberant kittens, and understandably so. Although the words are commonly used interchangeably, ‘hyperactivity’ may also denote a medical condition in which an animal is abnormally or unusually active. We’ll address this condition in the subsequent section.
But if the term ‘hyper’ is simply used to denote the same thing as being active, then it’s evident that cats are most hyper when they’re in their socialization stage. That’s between the ages of two and seven or eight weeks.
However, note that some kittens may remain hyper through their juvenile stage. As you’re about to find out, several factors determine a cat’s overall levels of excitedness and how long the animal may take to outgrow the behavior.
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Factors Affecting a Cat’s Hyperactivity Levels
Cats differ considerably in character and personality. That explains why kittens also exhibit varying levels of hyperactivity.
The following are the common factors that may determine how boisterous your cat is;
This is a no-brainer; kittens are comparatively more hyperactive than adult cats. A cat will mellow down as he transitions from juvenile to adulthood. The animal will become even calmer as he enters his senior years.
Maybe you’ve always wondered, do cats get more calmer with age?
Yes, they do. Adult cats tend to be way mellower than kittens.
Just like teething babies, teething kittens tend to be more prone to biting and chewing. This seemingly unusual behavior is perfectly normal. It helps to ease the discomfort the cat feels as their teeth break out of the jaw.
Therefore, all kittens are more active than adult cats. But teething kittens are even more susceptible to hyperactivity.
A cat’s breed plays a crucial role in influencing his personality. So, it’s not unusual for kittens from different breeds to display varying activity levels.
But what are the most active kitten breeds?
Listed below are the most hyperactive cat breeds;
- Devon Rex
- Egyptian Mau
- Japanese Bobtail
- Turkish Van
And here are the least active breeds;
- American Shorthair
- British Shorthair
- Exotic Shorthair
- Maine Coon
- Russian Blue
- Scottish Fold
- Selkirk Rex
Now, a good number of Bengal owners often wonder, do Bengal cats calm down with age?
Bengal is classified among the most hyperactive cat breeds. But just like any breed, your Bengal furball will eventually become mellow with time.
It’s also important to emphasize that a cat’s breed determines how long the animal takes to attain full maturity. Larger breeds like Maine Coons take longer to fully develop than smaller ones.
Therefore, larger cat breeds spend more time in their pre-adolescent years than smaller breeds. That means they also remain hyperactive much longer.
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Sex is another factor that plays a huge role in determining a cat’s activity levels. Male cats are generally more hyper than their female counterparts.
But at what age do male cats calm down? And what of female cats, when do female kittens calm down?
Kittens (male or female) will typically start to calm down when they enter puberty. That’s around 5 – 8 months for females and 6 – 7 months for males.
5. Hormonal Changes During Breeding Seasons
Kittens may start to mellow down by the time they reach puberty. However, cats will always become aggressive during their breeding seasons.
Note that this form of aggression isn’t similar to the largely-harmless playful behavior observable in kittens. It’s rather more serious as it involves actual fighting.
During breeding seasons, male cats will go out seeking receptive females to mate with. And whenever two or more dominant males contend for the same female, there will be blood.
When a male cat’s reproductive hormones take over, the animal may become even more aggressive towards his human parent. You may earn vicious bites just for attempting to block the cat from accessing receptive females.
The following are signs that your cat is in heat;
- Urine spraying
- Intense vocalization
- Attention-seeking behavior
- Pushy or demanding behavior
- Sudden desire to spend more time outdoors
- Head-butting nearby objects
- Rolling on the floor
- Raising the hind legs into the air
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6. Training and Socialization
We’ve just seen that some cats are more hyper than others. So, if raising a hyperactive breed, the onus is on you to train and socialize the cat early enough.
The objective is not to train your cat to become a couch potato. However, you want him to know when to play rough and when to lie still.
7. Activity Hours
If you own an overactive kitten breed, you’ll realize that the cat is more active at night than during the day. That might get you wondering, why is my kitten so hyper at night?
So, why do kittens run around like crazy at night?
Well, cats are both crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk) and nocturnal (active throughout the night). Cats spend much of the day asleep and generally start to get active at dusk. Therefore, the obvious reason your cat is more hyper at night is that he’s a nocturnal creature.
However, kittens may also engage in late-night activities more intensely than adult cats due to their higher energy levels.
8. Underlying Medical Condition
Some kittens will only be hyper at night. But others may act excited all the time. And that might get you wondering ‘why is my cat so hyper all the time?’
If you’ve ruled out all the above reasons, then your kitten’s hyperactivity could be due to an underlying medical condition. One such condition is simply called Hyperactive Kitten Syndrome.
What Is Hyperactive Kitten Syndrome?
Medically known as feline hyperesthesia syndrome (FHS), hyperactive kitten syndrome is a condition that causes cats to act erratically. Interestingly, this disease is more common in older cats than kittens. It has no recognizable cause.
Common symptoms of FHS include;
- Running around the house frantically
- Jumping over and across furniture
- Pursuing people or other pets enthusiastically
- Compulsive scratching, pawing, licking, or biting
- Attention-seeking behavior
- Increased vocalization
The following are additional factors that may influence a cat’s hyperactivity levels;
- Metabolic rate
- Certain foods, especially high-carb diets
- Certain medications
- Environmental factors like stress, loneliness, and boredom
Is Cat Hyperactivity Something To Be Concerned About?
Kittens are inherently playful and exuberant. But there will come a time when this behavior begins to get on your nerves. It’s worse if you happen to own a hyperactive cat breed.
If not properly managed, hyperactive cats can easily throw your house into disarray. Hyperactivity may also cause the cat to get into unnecessary conflicts with other cats, leading to vicious injuries.
Worse yet, an overactive cat may frequently inflict bites on your skin. This might cause severe wounds or even full-blown infections.
Therefore, you have all the reasons to be concerned about a hyperactive cat. Fortunately, there are several ways to mitigate the situation.
When Do Cats Stop Being Hyper?
Unless a cat’s hyperactivity is due to feline hyperesthesia syndrome (FHS), then the animal should begin to outgrow the behavior as he enters puberty. That ranges from 5 to 8 months for female cats and 6 to 7 months for male cats.
However, don’t expect your cat’s boisterous behavior to suddenly stop by the 8th month. As already indicated, mellowing down is a process rather than an overnight event.
So, at what age do cats stop being hyper?
Again, hyperactivity will start to reduce when a cat enters puberty but will fade away gradually as the animal transitions into his adult life.
How Do You Calm Down A Hyper Cat?
There are numerous tips for managing hyperactive cats. But first, it’s important to understand the trigger factors. These are basically the factors that make your cat more inclined to become overactive.
Common trigger factors include;
- Suddenly waking a sleeping cat
- Handling a cat the wrong way, such as holding him by his limbs or grabbing him from behind
- Yelling or otherwise reprimanding your cat
- Encouraging hyperactive behavior, either purposely or inadvertently
- Invading your cat’s territory or privacy
Another important tip before adopting the right remedy for hyperactive cats is to establish when the behavior started and when it’s most intense. That will clue you in on its underlying cause.
For instance, if a cat becomes overly excited whenever you return home or just when you’re about to leave for work, then there are good chances the animal is suffering from separation anxiety. Similarly, hyperactivity during grooming or petting could be indicative of inadequate training and socialization.
However, note that these conditions only apply to mature cats. Kittens will generally be hyper until they reach puberty.
Listed below are a few ways to calm down a hyperactive cat;
1. Tire the Cat Down
Cats require regular exercise. Exercise helps in strengthening a cat’s muscles while also promoting healthy metabolism.
Exercise can also cheer your cat up. Most importantly, it helps tire the animal down, making him less inclined to become hyper.
2. Enrich Your Cat’s Environment
Some cats become hyperactive due to insufficient mental stimulation. Such cats may become too curious and begin to explore their environment aggressively. And that’s where toys come in.
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3. Train and Socialize the Cat Early Enough
Kittens should be trained and socialized as early as four weeks. The training and socialization programs should continue throughout the cat’s juvenile years.
One way to socialize your cat is by making him familiar with and comfortable around other household members.
As for training, insist on programs aimed at reducing your cat’s energy levels and vocalization. Don’t forget to incorporate treats where necessary.
4. Give Your Cat Something to Bite
This mainly applies to teething kittens. The pressure exerted by teeth as they break from the jaw may be too much for your kitten to bear.
Your best bet here would be to get the cat something soft to bite on as a way of relieving the discomfort.
5. Spay and Neuter Your Cats
Spaying is basically the removal of a female pet’s ovaries and uterus, while neutering is the removal of a male pet’s testicles. These procedures may help to reduce adverse hormonal reactions which could make a cat unduly agitated.
Do cats calm down after being spayed?
If you have overactive cats that you’re considering spaying or neutering, you could be wondering, will my kitten calm down after being neutered?
Neutered and spayed cats are less inclined to overactive behavior than their unneutered and unspayed counterparts. However, note that spaying and neutering mainly address hyperactivity associated with the reproductive hormones.
6. Take Your Cat for a Professional Checkup
If all the above interventions fail, then your only recourse is to take your cat for a veterinary checkup.
Your vet will examine the animal and establish whether his overactive behavior is normal or a symptom of an underlying disease.
Other Frequently Asked Questions Relating To Cats And Hyperactivity
At What Age Does A Cat Become Calm?
Cats will start to calm down at puberty and then continue settling down as they enter their adulthood.
What Age Do Cats Settle Down?
Most cats will begin to settle down from around one year when they enter adulthood.
Is A Calm Kitten Normal?
Kittens are expected to be boisterous and hyperactive. However, some cat breeds are known to be calmer and less playful.
Do Cats Calm Down In Old Age?
Yes, cats do mellow down with age.
Do Cats Get Less Energetic As They Get Older?
Yes, older cats are generally less energetic than younger ones
Do Cats Become More Affectionate With Age?
Yes, they do. While activity levels decrease as a cat ages, affectionate levels increase.
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Kittens are inherently overactive. But the behavior begins to fade away as they enter puberty.
As a caring and responsible pet parent, all you can do is exercise patience with your overactive kitty. Do not yell or even attempt to reprimand them for their exuberance.
It’s also important to note that there are several effective techniques you can apply to make your kitten and even larger cats become less frisky during their playtime..
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