Have you ever observed your pet dashing about in fast, frantic laps of the backyard or living room? As much as this gives us great delight to watch, it is a
common behaviour that is known as frenetic random activity periods (FRAPs). Commonly referred to on Instagram & the Internet as zoomies, canned heat, midnight crazies, and binkies.
There is little scientific study into FRAP’s, however, what we do know is that this behaviour is relatively harmless. FRAPs allow animals to relieve stress, let out pent-up energy, display excitement, and play. They don’t last too long and it’s best just to allow your pet to enjoy this.
Sometimes your pet may appear to spontaneously burst into FRAP’s, but there can be triggers.
Triggers of FRAP’s
- When you get home from work
- After a bath or groom
- After a long car trip
- When there is snow or wind
- After going to the toilet or using the litter tray
- When they are let outside
Fun things you may not know about FRAP’s
- They are contagious, especially if you are in a dog park!
- FRAP's are harmless
- This is a normal behaviour in both wild and domestic animals
- In the rabbit world, this is also known as a binkie
- Elephants have been observed to experience FRAP’s
Pups tend to experience FRAP’s throughout the day, whereas cats are more likely to experience them at dusk and dawn because that's when they're most active. In rabbits, FRAPing is also referred to as a binkie. Bunny binkies can appear as running, twisting the head or body around, and hopping or jumping in the air. Ethologist, Mark Bekoff, has been fortunate enough to observed animals experiencing FRAP’s in the wild. The same frenetic behavior occurs in wild coyotes and elk deer and even elephants. Play in animals has long been known as a trait of intelligence, another positive aspect that pet owners should take away from this behaviour!
Remember, the majority of FRAP’s are a healthy expression of excitement. If you are concerned or observe unusual behaviour, get this checked out by your vet.
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