"Zoomies": what are fits of euphoria in dogs and cats?

 "Zoomies": what are fits of euphoria in dogs and cats?

Tracy Wilkins

If you've ever seen a dog or cat running around out of nowhere, you may have wondered where all the excitement came from and if everything is okay with the pet. After all, it's not exactly common to come across a situation like "my dog got agitated out of nowhere." Usually, there are specific stimuli that awaken this more animated side of the pet, such as the time of the walk or meals. So what explains these stimuli?Sudden bouts of euphoria in dogs and cats? We'll tell you all about zoomies below.

What are zoomies?

Zoomies are also known as Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs), characterized by energy spikes that leave animals in a state of high activity, as if they were having an adrenaline rush.

Despite seeming completely random, zoomies are usually caused by small triggers that arouse a great deal of euphoria and excitement in pets. This, in practice, ends up causing overstimulation, which can make the cat or dog agitated out of nowhere - which, in fact, is never totally "out of nowhere".

To identify zoomies, simply pay attention to canine or feline behavior. Pets may run at high speed from side to side, or even adopt a more inviting posture for play (especially when other dogs and cats are around).

What can make a cat or dog agitated out of the blue?

The exact causes of zoomies are not known for sure, but some stimuli contribute to them happening. In the case of cats, for example, reports suggest that Frenzied Random Activity Periods are more common after felines use the litter box to poop. According to some studies, this is likely caused by stimuli in the gut region that hit the nervevague and result in positive feelings and euphoria.

In dogs, FRAPs are a way for animals to release accumulated energy, especially when they are puppies or younger dogs that don't have as much stimulation on a daily basis. To keep them minimally active, zoomies can take care of the animal as soon as the guardian gets home after work, for example.

It is worth noting that none of this is a rule: it is also possible that you will find your dog or cat agitated out of the blue at other times of the day, such as after a nap or after eating. These are factors that help to replenish the animal's energy and can contribute to zoomies occurring.

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Dog and cat running out of nowhere: when is it a cause for concern?

Zoomies are not usually a concern because they are part of the natural behavior of animals, either because of the accumulation of energy or because of some specific stimulus that he receives at certain times. However, when it becomes something compulsive and that comes associated with other problematic behaviors - such as a dog licking his paw without stopping, for example - it is good to consult a professional.veterinarian to understand what is actually happening with the pet.

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A stressed and/or anxious dog or cat tends to assume a compulsive posture on a daily basis, and can be related to various health problems. It is therefore something that should be investigated and closely monitored by a specialist.

Know what to do during the zoomies

In general, besides wondering "why does my dog run out of nowhere", many guardians also wonder what to do at these times. If there is no associated health problem or risk nearby, the best thing to do is to take advantage of these moments of euphoria to play with your pet and give him attention. If it is a minimally risky situation, with cars nearby orobjects that can break, it is good to redouble your attention to the kitten or dog to prevent it from hurting itself.

Tracy Wilkins

Jeremy Cruz is a passionate animal lover and dedicated pet parent. With a background in veterinary medicine, Jeremy has spent years working alongside veterinarians, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience in caring for dogs and cats. His genuine love for animals and commitment to their well-being led him to create the blog Everything you need to know about dogs and cats, where he shares expert advice from veterinarians, owners, and respected experts in the field, including Tracy Wilkins. By combining his expertise in veterinary medicine with insights from other respected professionals, Jeremy aims to provide a comprehensive resource for pet owners, helping them understand and address their beloved pets' needs. Whether it's training tips, health advice, or simply spreading awareness about animal welfare, Jeremy's blog has become a go-to source for pet enthusiasts seeking reliable and compassionate information. Through his writing, Jeremy hopes to inspire others to become more responsible pet owners and create a world where all animals receive the love, care, and respect they deserve.