Zoomies is the term applied when a cat has a sudden burst of energy and sprints around your home in a wild, uncontrolled fashion. It’s an adaption of the onomatopoeic verb to zoom which means to travel or move very quickly which aptly describes this energetic cat behavior.
Why do Maine Coon Cats Get The Zoomies?
Maine Coon zoomies occur for three broad reasons: to release pent up energy after a long spell of inactivity; to flee from where they think an enemy could materialise, for example where they have just been to the toilet; and when acting on a sudden instinct to hunt.
Zoomies in a Maine Coon teeter between cute and crazy. In fact they are sometimes referred to as “cat crazies.” They’re not always amusing and can be indicative of a deeper, psychological problem.
People who don’t own Maine Coons might think they are cool and collected felines. Witnessing their zoomies where they hurdle furniture, skid across a coffee table scattering objects, and lose control at corners would certainly change their opinion.
One Maine Coon is never the same as another so let’s look at the various triggers that drive a cat to zoom about like a creature possessed.
Common Causes of Maine Coon Zoomies
It is thought that zoomies occur more frequently in Maine Coons that live in small spaces, or are left alone for long stretches of time. They are simply releasing pent-up energy that hasn’t been spent on hunting activities or playing throughout the day.
After going to the bathroom
This is the most common cause of Maine Coon zoomies, and I’ve witnessed it many times. All of my Maine Coons have done this at one time or another: they use their litter box or got to the toilet in the garden, quickly cover their business, and then run away at lightning speed.
I used to think they were escaping from the smell as quickly as possible but then came to realise it was more than this.
There are three strong reasons for the ‘I’ve just been to the bathroom’ Maine Coon zoomies:
- They feel vulnerable so sprint to safety. Though a cat is perfectly safe in its litter box in your house or garden, its instincts want it to get as far away from the toilet site as possible before the scent attracts a predator. This seems like the most logical reason for Maine Coon zoomies.
- They experience pain as they pass urine or feces. It is possible for very firm stools to hurt as they are passed. Cats can also develop anal gland infections which cause them pain when peeing. Either scenario leaves a cat wanting to run away as it associates the pain with going to the toilet.
- They find the smell obnoxious. Try to scoop your Maine Coon’s litter box as soon as it has used it. The cleaner it is kept the more comfortable it will be using it. A cat may really feel the urge to zoom away from the area if it smells terrible.
Inactivity and boredom
If your Maine Coon has long periods of inactivity or feels bored, it might engage in a zoomie session to release pent-up energy. Indoor Maine Coons are particularly prone to displaying such bursts of energy.
If a Maine Coon is cooped up in a small space or is on its own for long periods, it will expend its energy reserves at any given opportunity. Help your cat out by giving it access to as much space as possible in your home. Avoid closing it in one room.
Remember, Maine Coons are natural-born hunters, designed to exert energy in small bursts. Introduce hunting-style games that encourage your cat to stalk and pounce to allow it to fulfil its natural urges.
Our Maine Coons love Da Bird because it sounds like a real bird! This is for supervised play only because it’s on a fine wire! Mona has worn herself out with it below!
Though Maine Coon kittens are likely to need more playtime than adult cats, cats are happy to engage in play into old age.
Maine Coon zoomies can be a sign of anxiety. Cats can develop anxiety or stress for many reasons but it’s usually linked to a change in routine or environment.
A new Maine Coon will find everything in your home strange, or moving home may be enough to unsettle your current Maine Coon.
Adding a new pet into the mix will do it too! If you change your daily habits and leave your Maine Coon alone for long periods this can trigger anxious behavior.
If you have a inkling that your cat has anxiety for one of the reasons mentioned, spend some quality time with it and engage it with some fun play sessions. Swap toys regularly to keep your cat interested.
You may like to try a pheromone diffuser to help relieve feelings of stress when you are not around.
Occasionally, an underlying medical condition can trigger Maine Coon zoomies. If your cat seems to be speeding about and you can’t attribute its behavior to one of the usual reasons, it could be due to any of the following:
- Fleas. An infestation of fleas is enough to make your Maine Coon run around in an attempt to escape their bites. So check for the presence of fleas if your cat is running here, there and everywhere as if it’s possessed.
- Stings. If a Maine Coon catches an insect such as a bee or wasp it can get stung. It’s reaction is often to zoom around because of the shock or pain
- Hyperthyroidism. This is caused by excessive production of hormones from the thyroid gland which in turn leads to increased energy. It often affects older Maine Coons and leads to them zooming around in a somewhat youthful fashion.
- Changes to ear function or eyesight. This generally affects older Maine Coons. If a cat’s hearing isn’t as sharp as it was it may be surprised more easily or it may not spot someone approaching. If a cat is taken by surprise, it might react by rushing off.
How To Stop Night Time Maine Coon Zoomies
If you have a Maine Coon who gets the zoomies at night when you’re trying to sleep, you are not alone! Although it’s hard to stop a cat mid-zoomies there are thing you can do to help to prevent them.
An energetic play session just before you go to bed can really help. After this your cat should be ready to settle down and sleep. In fact, the more a Maine Coon is entertained during the day, the more likely it is to relax during the night.
Oh, and don’t make the mistake of playing with your Maine Coon in the middle of the night as it will remember this as a good consequence of it zooming around and learn to do it all the more!
Are Maine Coons Super Hyper?
As kittens, Maine Coons have a lot of energy and may seem super hyper. Maine Coon kittens tend to calm down at around 9 to 12 months.
Playing with a kitten will ensure it uses up its energy in a controlled way. Maine Coon kittens zoomies will cause short bursts of hyperactivity but these shouldn’t last too long.
Maine Coon Zoomies – the conclusion
Maine Coons can quickly change from sleepy, lazy balls of fluff into speeding maniacs, ready to wreak havoc. Cat zoomies are perfectly normal cat behavior – most of the time!
As you become familiar with your Maine Coons habits, you’ll be able to refer to this guide to decide if it’s having a normal zoomie moment or if there might be a cause that needs further investigation.
Tip: if your Maine Coon has clumsy zoomies, clear the decks of breakables in advance!
You may notice Maine Coon kittens often run sideways as they zoom around, and even adult cats do this at times. It’s their way of looking bigger and bringing their paws and claws closer to any perceived threat.
Here are some of my favorite products for cats
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you found it helpful whether you own a cat or are considering it. I thought I’d share a few of the cat products I love which you might find really useful too.
The following are Amazon affiliate links, and if you decide to use them, I’ll earn a small commission from Amazon at no cost at all to you.
An indoor cat tree: This is an excellent item to satisfy a cat’s urge to climb and scratch. There are several sizes to choose from so you can pick the right height for your home. Our cats love this Amazon Basics tree with multi-levels, scratching posts, and a little hideaway.
Drinking fountain: Cats love to drink from flowing water. Many don’t seem to drink enough so a fountain is a good way to get them interested. This Orsda Fountain is quiet, has a large capacity, and looks stylish too.
Scratcher Lounger: The more cat-scratching posts you have the better. Many cats like to claw horizontally which is why we chose the PetFusion Ultimate cat scratcher. It has seen quite a bit of action from 4 Maine Coons but still looks great.