When my cat does “Turbo Kitty” and races around, is she entertaining herself?

This is an example of what people call the “cat crazies”. Your cat is entertaining herself but primarily she is burning off energy and she’s doing it because she is not able to use that energy in a normal way when hunting. In other words, she needs more playtime (a hunting substitute) and that can only come from the cat’s guardian if the cat is an indoor cat or another cat with whom she is friendly.

Turbo Kitty
Turbo Kitty. Picture in public domain. Words by Michael
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People are amused by this sort of cat behaviour but in a strict sense it is a symptom of cat caretaking failure. Domestic cats should not have pent-up energy like this and should have plenty of opportunity to express themselves naturally even when they are inside all the time for their safety.

So, yes, she is entertaining herself but it is much more than that. It is an instinctive desire to hunt without the opportunity to do it. You might describe it as an expression of boredom and I have seen that description used before. You do not want your cat to be bored.

I believe that in an ideal home, the family cat never does the cat crazies. You should never see Turbo Kitty except for kittens because no matter how much you play with them there is still some excess energy to play some more. So for kittens you’ll see it but for adult cats you should not see it in my honest opinion.


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