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Why Is My Old Cat Acting Like A Kitten? (This Weird?)

If you have an older cat and it’s acting like a kitten you may be wondering why…

Why is my old cat acting like a kitten?

Your old cat might be acting like a kitten because he’s bored with his routine and wants some change, he wants your attention, or is going senile and is behaving like an older adult returning to childhood. The behavior change may also be due to dietary changes such as the introduction of senior cat food or vitamins to regular catnip.

So, now you know. But, at what age do cats usually calm down? What are the behaviors of a kitten? Is it bad for your cat to be acting this way? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

Should you be concerned if your cat is acting like a kitten?

Why is my old cat acting like a kitten?

An older cat jumps like a kitten.

While most older cats will spend a sedentary lifestyle, you may see them have moments or days of playful energy. Often, there is no need for concern. Cats can suddenly reach a point in their lives where they decide they want to have as much fun as everyone else.

So, if you see your cat engage in kittenish silliness, just go with it and have as much fun as they are.

At what age do cats stop acting like kittens?

The age cats stop acting like kittens depends entirely on the cat. Physically, a kitten becomes an adult cat by 6 to 7 months of age. For the most part, cats are generally well-behaved.

They tend to mellow down with age.  However, some can act kitten-like their entire lives, never altogether outgrowing that playful kitten stage.

On the other hand, cats have been known to stop behaving like kittens when they are finally bored with trashing stuff. Once their curiosity begins to fade and they have learned all they can about their environment, cats do settle down.

Can a cat at any age become destructive like a kitten?

A cat of any age can suddenly become destructive if they feel they are not getting enough attention, love, play, food, etc. Considering that adopting a cat is an 18-20 year commitment, you need to be ready for behavioral changes in the long haul.

If you are looking at this from a training perspective, cats stop being kittens the moment they decide “who is in command.” Simply set up boundaries and rules, and remain consistent.

Rest assured that cats are relatively easy to train. Though younger ones are a little easier to manage, all cats are smart and can be trained at just about any age.

Why would your cat be meowing like a kitten?

A cat meowing.

A cat meowing.

Cats typically meow like a kitten when they’re being playful or want attention. Just like humans, cats have many different vocalizations, and each cat has its unique voice.

While we may associate a specific sound with a kitten, it is common for older cats to have the same tiny little meow as that of a kitten.

5 things that make cats look like a kitten

Here are a few things that cats who act like kittens tend to do…

  1. Race through the entire house: Boundless, freakish energy as they race through the entire house like a mad cat
  2. Pouncing on and playing with everything
  3. Chasing their tail, shadows, jumping insects, toys, etc.
  4. Attacking everyone (even other cats) for no apparent reason
  5. Fearless and adventurous, whether that entails playing hide and seek climbing curtains, or exploring the top shelf of closets

There’s an endless list of things cats can do that make them look like a kitten. We listed 5 of the most common ones that every cat owner will recognize above.

At what age do cats start to calm down naturally?

Typically cats mature at eighteen months, but the answer to this question varies. Some breeds are more playful than others. For instance, Maine Coons are particularly well-known for remaining “kittenish” in their play for a long time.

And then again, cats of the same litter can behave differently. So, you should be prepared to expect unusual behavior from each cat. While it’s true that kittens are more curious and outgoing, even an old cat might test your patience in other ways.

Examples of this…

One owner jokingly mentioned that his cat was born middle-aged and did not display kittenish behavior at all. At the same time, another said that theirs calmed down at about a year old.

But even this is not written in gold, as the owner described his experience. He had hoped to own a calmer adult cat by adopting a 3-year-old but was surprised to learn that it had the same energy level and play demands as a kitten.

The cat was so high on energy that he had to get his cat a kitten playmate. His advice- if you want a mellow adult cat, aim for 4–5 years old, at least.

Is it bad for a cat to act like a kitten?

It’s normal for an adult cat to still act and play like a kitten. Almost all healthy adult cats like to play. You’ll perceive a change about the time they turn one.

Most kittens at this stage begin to discover their inner cats and start practicing some form of restraint and dignity. They rapidly lose interest in this behavior at this young age and return to their romping and cavorting.

While some cats gradually grow more ‘mature’ over the next 1-2 years, others can maintain this personality for years to come, only to be slowed down by age-related issues such as arthritis.

They will retain some kitten personalities…

You must remember that a cat will retain some of its kitten personalities throughout its life. By keeping cats as housepets, we inadvertently make them stay indefinitely in an adolescent state. Because we take the mother cat’s place, constantly protecting and providing them with food, household cats simply do not grow up.

The individual personality of your cat governs how often it renews its kittenhood. But the good news is that even if the kitten mode remains active, you can expect it to become less prominent as they get older.

Could your cat just be hyperactive?

Your cat could be hyperactive, but there are chances that a medical problem, such as hyperthyroidism, is causing bouts of hyperactivity.

Experience has shown that older cats are typically more relaxed and not as outgoing as kittens. They may resort to peeing outside the litter box or hyperactive chaos to make a point. For example, some behaviors are food, hunger, or attention-driven.

When you should be worried…

However, suppose you notice something more than distinguished pointed chaos, such as a cat that is suddenly always running around. In such a situation, you may want to consult your veterinarian and get a proper diagnosis. Medical issues might be causing the change in your cat’s behavior.

Hyperthyroidism is one such ailment that can make a cat both ravenous and manic. They become more active, get ramped up, or start meowing at night. Treatments your veterinarian prescribes will resolve the problem.

How can you calm down a cat acting like a kitten?

To calm down your cat you could buy an assortment of stimulating cat-friendly toys (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad), tennis balls, etc.

Interact with your cat

Cat playing in the grass next to barefoot human.

Cat playing in the grass next to barefoot human.

Interact with your cat a little more and make time to play with them. You may want to take them out for a walk, considering that they have been locked indoors for a while.

Consider adopting another animal?

Additionally, you might want to consider adopting another animal in the house so that your cat has company.

A cat that has more energy or is demanding more attention will need to be handled slightly differently. You need to provide safe, structured ways to entertain themselves and release their energy.

Is it normal for a cat to suckle a blanket like a kitten?

It is quite normal for cats to suckle on their favorite blanket. Cats of all ages have exhibited this behavior, ranging from young one-year-olds to older ones as big as 9. A cat that was weaned too young may exhibit this behavior.

Can cats go crazy in old age?

Age affects all of us and your cat is not an exception. Over time, they can develop conditions such as CDS or ‘Cognitive Dysfunction syndrome’, which is also known as feline dementia. This can affect overall awareness, and responses to various stimuli, and even make learning new things more of a challenge for your cat.

Keep in mind, however, that your cat is not necessarily crazy – your cat might be suffering from other age-related conditions. Cats can suffer from arthritis, for instance, and in such a case, pain and discomfort from this will show in their behavior.

Bring your cat to the vet for a checkup and this will help you to get to the bottom of any erratic behavior. It’s not necessarily mental decline but your vet can help to ensure that this is not the case.

Do cats usually decrease their appetite with age?

When your cat is getting up in years and spending a lot of time napping inside, they certainly need fewer calories, but they will typically always eat and anytime their eating behaviors change, then you should get them in to see the vet for a checkup.

On average, a senior kitty needs the same calories as an adult cat, which will fall into a range of 280 to 360 calories a day. For cats that spend a lot of time outdoors, you want to go closer to 360 calories each day, while cats that are not very active should do fine with 280 or a little over.

Should I be concerned if my older cat starts acting aggressively?

An aggressive/crazy-looking cat in a tree looking down.

An aggressive/crazy-looking cat in a tree looking down.

Yes, if your older cat is behaving more aggressively of late then it could be a sign of an underlying condition that you will need your vet’s assistance to address. For instance, if your cat’s hearing or vision is becoming compromised, then they might react aggressively because they didn’t see or hear you coming.

Arthritis or joint pain can make even the gentlest stroking or petting a painful experience, and this can also cause your cat to lash out. Provided that you haven’t recently made any changes in the house, such as new people, pets, or even furniture, a vet checkup to rule out any health issues will be your best first step.

Do older cats usually slow down with age?

Older cats will be a bit less energetic than young adults, certainly, but when they start slowing down it is often related to health concerns, rather than not having enough energy. Heart conditions, for instance, can cause your cat to quickly tire with exertion, and arthritis will make them want to move around less.

Your cat might even start staying up late at night and this could be hyperthyroidism or high blood pressure. Age affects us all, unfortunately, but with vet visits every 3 months you can help to catch any health conditions as they come so that your kitty will be as comfortable as possible in their old age.

Why would my older cat stop responding to its name?

If your older cat is not responding when you call out their name, it might just be that they do not hear you. Hearing loss can and does occur sometimes with older kitties and usually is accompanied by louder-than-usual meows from your cat.

If you suspect that this might be the case, a quick checkup with the vet should help you to confirm this, although you can also just try making different sounds near your cat to see if they respond. If only the loudest sounds are getting attention, then most likely your cat’s hearing is succumbing to old age.

Do older cats usually sleep more?

Senior cats sleep more than young adult cats, with up to 20 hours a day being the norm for kitties 11 years or older. Compare this with a young adult’s sleeping requirements of 12 to 18 hours a day and that’s certainly a noticeable difference, but it’s just a by-product of your furry friend getting old.

Lindsey Browlingdon