Strange cat behavior in brief spurts

by Celia
(Rhode Island)

Hi. I have a Calico cat. She is a rescue, so I'm not positive of her age, but we estimate that she is about a year old now. My cat has had no behavioral problems so far, and I've had her about 6 months now.

Maybe once or twice a day at most, and without warning, she starts running around the apartment at top speed, feet skittering across the wood floors, climbing up the window, flipping backwards against walls, and meowing quite loudly. When she stops in the middle of running, sometimes she has a wide-eyed expression, and her ears tilted back, as if she's afraid. This may last for five or so minutes, and then my cat will stop and settle down somewhere and relax and be normal again.

This doesn't bother me at all, and if she's having a blast then I see no reason to change this behavior, but I'm wondering if something triggers the fits, and I'm wondering if she's just being playful and energetic or if she's genuinely afraid or upset.


Dear Celia,

It sounds to me like your kitty is just having fun and being playful. While something may trigger this cat behavior, your cat could even just be pretending she is chasing something or that something is chasing her. Rest assured, the behavior you described sounds like classic cat playfulness.

Thank you for writing in with concern for your cat. Enjoy your precious kitty and her spunky, playful personality!

Best wishes,
Dr. Neely

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