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FRAP: Why is your cat suddenly running away like a spirit led by the devil?

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Suddenly and for no apparent reason, your cat may go from lying on the couch in a frenzy to running around the house. Contrary to what it may seem, he has not lost his mind, and the fact is that these bouts of madness have an explanation.

These are called Zumi or FRAP (Frenetic Random Activity Periods or Random Period of Frenetic Activity in Spanish) and are very common in pets like cats. These bouts of explosive physical activity last for a few seconds and end when the animal calms down on its own.

In the case of cats, these zooms can sometimes seem silly, but the truth is that they usually simulate hunting patterns: during those few seconds, you will see your cat chasing, chasing something, hiding, or even biting you.

Energy release is the main cause of their occurrence, and while we shouldn’t limit them, there are ways to ensure they aren’t so frequent. In addition, their knowledge will help us distinguish them from other pathologies, because in excess they can be a symptom of stress and other diseases.

The main cause of FRAPs: energy release

It’s likely that what’s happening to your cat is that he wants to have fun after a day of little activity. Basically, these moments of madness are due to the release of energy or pent-up emotion, which, although more common in young cats, can also be seen in adult or even older cats.

Cat behaviorist and well-being specialist Lydia Lopez claims that “they are common when the cat becomes very happy, after grooming, eating or using the litter box.” They also appear when the cat is active, mainly at night due to its crepuscular nature, and increase in summer when the temperature rises during the day and they take advantage of the night to play without heat.

Although this is the main cause of their occurrence, you may notice that your cat runs away as soon as it uses the litter box. If this happens often, it’s probably not just because you want to release pent-up energy, but because you want to satisfy your survival instincts. To do this, try to get away from the sandbox as quickly as possible, making sure that its smell does not attract other predators.

In other cases, it can be caused by pain: “When a cat feels pain using the litter box, it is normal for him to associate that pain with the tray so that he will run to escape it after using it. “- explains the specialist.

How to behave before FRAP

Don’t be alarmed, these periods are completely normal and harmless, in fact the only danger they pose is dropping something on the ground that could cause injury or an accident.

So what’s the problem with letting them release their energy as long as it doesn’t endanger them and those around them? “When the cat experiences a period of FRAP, we have to give it until it is tired enough to remove the objects that can cause incidents when it falls,” explains Lopez.

To prevent these FRAPs from escalating, the best advice is to not encourage them by running after him, as he will play the game and repeat it more times than usual.

On the other hand, in order to reduce them, we only have to follow one guide: play with them. This will help them release energy while we adapt the game to their age and physical condition.

According to López, it is advisable to “fit the house with vertical space so that he can climb and climb high places, because this is a basic need of the cat and also helps him exercise muscles that he would not otherwise exercise. Offer him toys and interactive feeders that stimulate him cognitively and dynamics that do so on an olfactory level.”

Excessive zoom can be a symptom of disease

While FRAPs are usually normal, as veterinarian and feline medicine specialist Mireia Balliu explained, “When these ‘bursts of energy’ last longer than usual or are accompanied by other clinical signs, that’s when we should think they might be due to something else. The reason and we should refer to a specialist”.

If your cat is constantly fussing with zoom, it could be due to stress in cats, which is mainly due to lack of interaction with them. Faced with this unsatisfied excess energy, we must enrich their environment and satisfy the home, because play and exercise improve their emotional connection with us and produce endorphins to fight stress.

Something as simple as a cardboard box can be the best gift for our cat. This was shown in a 2014 study by the Department of Clinical Animal Sciences at Utrecht University, which found that crates reduce stress in cats.

Associated with emotional problems such as stress or anxiety, we find stereotyping, a way of compulsively channeling excess energy through a series of repetitive, unchanging movements with no apparent function.

Examples of this are over-grooming, which is repeated and uncontrolled sucking until the skin is damaged, or sucking, which occurs when a cat grabs a blanket and repeatedly bites and ruins it.

Also related to stress, we find feline hyperesthesia, “a little-known syndrome in this species that involves increased sensitivity to certain stimuli with crises characterized by sudden scratching and licking of the lower back,” explains the vet.

The symptoms are very similar to FRAP in that, in Balliu’s words, “they run away like something is bothering them and usually last for a few seconds,” but it differs from this in that it happens often, it’s a very stressful process. A cat that can be aggressive and is usually accompanied by waves of skin from shoulder to tail.

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Source: El Diario

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