Boy, we cat lovers love our cats! Sometimes, to the point of an obsession! We watch their every move and want to understand just what they are doing and why. One of the things cat guardians seem perhaps overly curious about is why cats, after a bowel movement, sometimes leap from their litter box and dart away as if they are being chased. I have observed my own cat running from the litter box so quickly that he hadn’t quite finished “his business.”
Internet speculation: why do cats poop and run?
I’ve recently come across an article by Amanda Bernocco, on HNGN, that speculates on this very issue. The posting says that “expert speculation” has finally revealed “a very scientific reason” why some cats might bolt out of their litter boxes after defecation (very exciting indeed). Bernocco goes on to say that cats are running because, in the wild, the smell of poop will attract predators.
Unfortunately, while the blog does name an “experienced pet writer (Lori Soard),” it’s unclear how the information was scientifically tested. No specific experts in veterinary medicine or animal behavior are mentioned, nor does it provide any references to scientific research on the matter. Therefore, while I find the speculation very interesting, I’d need to see more support before agreeing with this article's conclusion.
Medical reasons for a cat to poop and run
Bernocco’s article touches on the fact that some cats may run from their litter box after eliminating either urine or feces if they experience discomfort from the process. This important point I can confirm, and want to give special attention. Such discomfort could be caused by infections or inflammatory processes involving the urinary tract, colon or rectum. It could even be caused by constipation issues. However, once such medical conditions are ruled out (and they most certainly should be), any other ‘psychological’ reason for running away, after eliminating, seems not yet to be science, but rather pure conjecture (which can still be fun).
- Cats just feel better after relieving themselves
- Cats are “flaunting” their grown-up independence, because they don’t need mommy to clean them up anymore
- Cats want to call attention to their accomplishment
- Cats with digestive problems want to get away from the problem as soon as the can
So, in essence, as one of my professors said when asked a question he couldn’t explain or answer, “Sometimes that happens.”
It’s understandable that we should all want, almost desperately, to understand what is going on inside the hearts and minds of our feline friends. Do they do what they do because they are happy, sad, anxious or excited? It would be nice to know, but for now I will just have to accept that the exact reason my cat flies out of the litter box, like a booster rocket, will just be one of many mysteries of innate cat-ness. I have found the best explanation to be “There he goes again!”
Isn’t it exciting that there are still so many things to learn about these magical and mysterious animals?
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If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
Cat litter box: Inherited behavior
cat litter box –We have this theory of why do cats run from the litter box after pooping. Back in the wild, cats would try to relieve themselves far from their lairs as to not give their position to potential predators.
Once they were done, they would quickly run back to their lair, not in a straight line, but in a rather erratic motion, in case they were being followed. Today cats, which are much less concerned of predators simply inherited this behavior. This could also explain why kitties prefer the neighbor’s lawn than their own.
Cats Run From Litter Box After Pooping For A Very Scientific Reason
Experts finally revealed why so many cats frantically run away from their litter box after going to the bathroom.
Before this expert speculation was revealed cat owners wrote songs, inquired about the strange phenomenon on Internet forums and some even referred to this scientific book about human poop looking for an answer.
The real reason for cats acting this way is believed to link back to their animal instincts before they became a domesticated house pet.
Although cats are found at the top of many food chains, they are also the prey of many larger animals, Letrisa Miller, Feline Veterinarian, wrote on Quora.
Since cats are just as commonly predators as they are prey in the wild, sometimes it makes these cat phenomenons hard to read.
Running from the litter box could mean Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), kidney stones, inflammation in the colon or rectal area or the scent glands in the anal area called anal sacs, or it could be related to food allergy or sensitivities.
But if your cat has no other symptoms besides running away from their poop, veterinarian experts agree that it's likely the cat's way of reverting back to the wild feral behavior of their ancestors.
"Although we are used to our domesticated cats covering their fecal droppings, things are different in the wild," explains Lori Soard, an experienced pet writer who interviewed an "expert" on the topic.
If a cat is in pain it can have difficulty entering or exiting a litter box, or pain covering up its waste. Declawing is an example of a surgery that causes both acute and chronic limb pain in a cat, resulting in reluctance to use its paws or legs to cover poop.
Arthritis, hip dysplasia, or other chronic ailments make it uncomfortable for cats to jump in an out of litter boxes, cover their poop, or self-groom. Talk to your vet if you think your cat is in pain. They can prescribe pain medications or suggest environmental modifications to help your painful cat use their box. For example, switching the location of your cat's box could make it easier for them to use it. Litter boxes with "walk up" entrances, or low-bottomed entryways are easier for cats to use than boxes they have to hop in and out of.