Why Does My Cat Run Around After Pooping?

Cuteness may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Dogs notoriously have all sorts of weird rituals around pooping, but they're not alone in their weirdness. Cats, though they try to pretend they're the more dignified pet species, have their own set of pooping quirks. Chief among them is that some cats tend to go slightly nuts after pooping in their litter box.

Many cat owners have probably noticed that their cat sprints out of the litter box after defecating. But why do cats run after pooping? As with so many animal behaviors, there's no concrete answer, but experts have several theories.

Cats have a vagus nerve, which is stimulated by defecation.
Image Credit: NiseriN/iStock/GettyImages

Cat zoomies after pooping

Cat zoomies after pooping may occur because cats, like so many of us in the animal kingdom, simply feel good after pooping. Humans and cats both have a vagus nerve, which is stimulated by defecation. This can lead to a feeling of euphoria for your cat after pooping.

Advertisement

Cats may feel energized by the stimulation of this nerve, and may feel a desire to burn off that energy by taking part in one of their favorite activities: running around the house. It's their way of showing off how happy they feel.

Cat runs after pooping

Before and after defecating, kittens typically get their rear ends licked clean by their mother. This is done to stimulate them to eliminate and to clean them up afterward. By running or jumping in the air after pooping, adult cats are celebrating or showing off their independence. Maybe they're proud that they can clean their bottoms on their own now!

Advertisement

Why do cats run away

Cats may run away after pooping because they're trying to avoid predators. In the wild, cats generally bury their poop, most likely to mask their scent and throw predators off of their trail.

Cats might distance themselves from their droppings as quickly as possible.
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi/iStock/GettyImages

By bolting away from the litter box after pooping, cats might be trying to increase their chances of survival by distancing themselves from their droppings as quickly as possible. This would make it harder for predators to find them.

Advertisement

In multiple-cat households, less confident cats will bury their waste and then possibly sprint away to let other cats know that they aren't a threat. Monitor the cats in your household to ensure that one cat isn't bullying the other while she's in the litterbox and possibly chasing her off after she uses it. This could cause problems like inappropriate elimination if not dealt with by adding an additional litter box to the household.

Cats run to stay clean

Another explanation for cat zoomies after pooping is that cats are clean creatures, and they simply want to rid themselves of excess litter or fecal matter. Jumping and running right after being in the litter box would help to shake off anything sticking to their feet or any other parts of them, so it may be that it just helps your cat feel extra clean.

Advertisement

Sprinting away from the litter box quickly separates your cat from their smelly feces, which they want to get away from. After all, cats are fastidiously clean animals who never sleep or eat near their feces.

Cat pooping pain

They could be having a medical problem.
Image Credit: Nico De Pasquale Photography/Moment/GettyImages

If you notice that your cat runs away from the litter box and cries after eliminating, then they could be having a medical problem. This is especially true if you've never noticed this type of behavior before.

Advertisement

For cats who experience pain during elimination, they may run away from the box and avoid it afterward due to associating the box with the discomfort. To solve these types of litter box issues, visit your veterinarian to rule out a medical cause of your cat's unusual behavior.

Advertisement

references