Why do cats suddenly run as if chasing something?

@casita (237)
United States
June 11, 2007 4:55am CST
OK..I have a cat and don't know too much about cat behavior. I'm learning as we go along. Sometimes she's just sitting just so still, looking out the back window or something. . .and then she takes off like a wild one and zooms up the stairs to one of the bedrooms. It would seem like she is chasing something, but there is nothing there. . .at least nothing we can see! Or she'll be lying on a chair in one of the upstairs bedrooms and suddenly go running all the way to the basement. Why do cats do this?????
1 person likes this
6 responses
• United States
11 Jun 07
Wild cats are genetically programmed to sleep for 22 hours and save up energy to hunt. Since cats hunt by stalking, waiting and then chasing down their catch with one huge burst of speed, they rest all day to save up for that great burst. These instincts are still prevalent in domestic cats and manifests in a cat just randomly running around the house at a breakneck speed for no reason other than they simply need to. I've never had only one cat, so I can imagine how strange your first cat experience must be when you only have one and it just randomly runs every once in a while lol.
@casita (237)
• United States
13 Jun 07
Your response makes a lot of sense to me, very logical. My cat does sleep a lot, but I don't worry too much about that because she does get that burst of energy and she is constantly going upstairs to where our bedrooms are or downstairs in the basement, where her litter box is. We used to think she was chasing fairies or ghosts or something!
• United States
30 Mar 08
I never thought about it that way GlomCookieLex I was going to say that it is something that humans would never understand LOL. They see things that we don't see. All of a sudden they cross the room with a purpose driven sride and go who knows where and do other unfathomable things.
• Canada
23 Jul 10
my cat goes wild to he like speeds around the house i got him from a farm and when he runs around the house it seems like something is trying to get him lol so its funny and we always ask him did it get you yet lol we love him and sometimes he stops and i always say to him go get it and then he does it again. he runs for like 20 mins around the house
@magikrose (5426)
• United States
11 Jun 07
I have 2 indoor cats and both of them do that. Sometimes at the same time and other times at diffrent times. When 1 is running arround and the other is resting they look at eachother like they are crazy. Personally I think it is funny. My kids tend to get nervous when they climb the chair and they are sitting in the chair. Most of the time the kids end up moving to the couch. The other thing I think is funny is when they are on the back of the chair in my living room and someone walks into the room they tend to play peek-a-boo with you by batting you on the arm and then giving you that playfull look and I cant help it but play with them cause they are too cute when they look at me like that.
@casita (237)
• United States
13 Jun 07
Yes, they are cute when they do stuff like that. You just can't help but smile and enjoy that they are a part of your life. My cat's name is Shifty. She's nothing fancy, just the runt of the litter some mother stray abandoned. But her little antics bring such joy to my life. While I have to admit I didn't want a pet at first I also have to say that I can't imagine my life without her! Is it true that people with pets live longer, are healthier? I tend to think so.
@TriciaW (2443)
• United States
11 Jun 07
I only have two cats now and it is my indoor cat that does that. The outdoor cat doesn't do that. It freaks me out when she does it when I am laying down to go to bed. It never fails I think she has found a mouse or something but then there is nothing there*L* My daughter loves to mess with her with she does that and they play chase. When the cat is in this mood my daughter will then run after her and then suddenly run away from her and hide. The cat will run to find where she ran off to and the chase is on. It is really funny to watch. My daughter will jump out and scare her and the cat will run around really fast then again my daughter will catch up with her and it starts all over again. I think it does have something to do with a burst of energy like your first poster wrote because just as quickly as it starts it ends. She will just decide she is done and no matter what my daughter does she will just sit and look at her like she is crazy for running around like that*L* Cats are so funny to watch.
@casita (237)
• United States
13 Jun 07
Yes, we do this hide and seek thing with our cat, too. I don't know how to explain it, but it's almost as if she is telling us, "OK, let's play now." Is it possible to be psychic with your pet???
@xxgutsxx1 (201)
• United States
31 Mar 08
Oh its fine! My cat does it all the time! He just glares at the mirror, gets into attacking mode, and BANG...he runs into the mirror at full speed. The thing about it is, he continously does it! What do you do? Just sit back and laugh!
@dierdre (2213)
• Philippines
30 Mar 08
ive had cats since i was 8 yrs. old, and they are always shifting moods, being laid back sometimes and then being hyper active at another moment, they are really just playing when they do that, they are imagining chasing something, try throwing a crumpled piece of paper or a string at them and make it move, then you'll see what i mean, when they chase something invisible, its just a means for them to amuse themself, since they have no other cats or a toy to play with, and they are feeling playful at that time, so they play with themselves.
@compumom (738)
• United States
25 Aug 07
Check out this article on cat body language: www.tidbitsandstuff.com/articles/pet/cat_bodylanguage.shtml. It might give you some insight as to why cats behave the way they do.