Why do cats run around after they poop

oldfarthenry: I do a Christopher Walken dance after a quality dump.
One must celebrate the little things in life.

Thank you. My co-workers would like to know why I am gasping and wheezing and I can’t tell them it’s from trying to hold in the schoolgirl giggles.

Pentaxian: They don’t answer the question of why does my cat’s poop smell so bad that I’m not thinking about calling a vet but calling an exorcist instead?

is your cat male? Males have major scent glands in the anal area (which can get plugged up – topic for another day) and also males are less likely to cover up their poop: because this is another way males mark their territory.

I have three cats, two females and a male, all fixed and they all eat the same diet. Yet the male’s poop and pee stink to high heaven while you can barely tell when one of the girls has used the litter box. It’s a particularly acrid odor, too, on top of a more-or-less “normal” poop smell. He does cover his poop, unlike most males, which is a good thing because otherwise he would drive us out of the house. It’s just a good thing cats don’t fart, or this boy would never be on my lap.

silvervial: Pentaxian: They don’t answer the question of why does my cat’s poop smell so bad that I’m not thinking about calling a vet but calling an exorcist instead?

is your cat male? Males have major scent glands in the anal area (which can get plugged up – topic for another day) and also males are less likely to cover up their poop: because this is another way males mark their territory.

I have three cats, two females and a male, all fixed and they all eat the same diet. Yet the male’s poop and pee stink to high heaven while you can barely tell when one of the girls has used the litter box. It’s a particularly acrid odor, too, on top of a more-or-less “normal” poop smell. He does cover his poop, unlike most males, which is a good thing because otherwise he would drive us out of the house. It’s just a good thing cats don’t fart, or this boy would never be on my lap.

Tell that to the five males who have kept me over the past twenty some odd years. I don’t care how they love it, they don’t get any fish based cat food ever again. You think it smells bad as it goes in the bowl? ::shudders::

My kitty doesn’t run around after a poop, but he does always let out a loud yowl once he’s done, which is weird because he’s usually pretty quiet.

He saves the running around like a crazy guy for sunrise and sunset for some reason.

Pentaxian: They don’t answer the question of why does my cat’s poop smell so bad that I’m not thinking about calling a vet but calling an exorcist instead?

When we brought our two newly-adopted cats home from the shelter, they gave us a bag of this “Chicken Soup for the Soul” -branded cat food. The cats’ waste stank to high heaven. As soon as we transitioned them off of that food, things improved considerably.

BullBearMS: My kitty doesn’t run around after a poop, but he does always let out a loud yowl once he’s done, which is weird because he’s usually pretty quiet.

He saves the running around like a crazy guy for sunrise and sunset for some reason.

My big floofball has developed a habit of yowling after he’s used the litterbox. At first I was concerned he was having pain from crystal issues again but no its just a thing he does now.

My younger kitty does the dash around like a maniac thing after he goes. Even when he does his business outside (yes I clean up after him). More specifically after a #2.

I can tell exactly whose urine clumps are whose when I empty litterboxes. My tuxedo girl is ridiculously precise and consistent. Perfect near spheroid clumps in the same spots in the same box. Every time. My younger male rarely covers his over (and tends to aim a little high sometimes). It’s odd that he doesn’t have a habit of covering over when he uses the box because everytime he pees outside he tries to bury it with leaves or grass.
He’s a weird cat.

And I can’t believe I just wrote a half an essay on kitty toilet etiquette. On the Internet.

Satampra Zeiros: BullBearMS: My kitty doesn’t run around after a poop, but he does always let out a loud yowl once he’s done, which is weird because he’s usually pretty quiet.

He saves the running around like a crazy guy for sunrise and sunset for some reason.

My big floofball has developed a habit of yowling after he’s used the litterbox. At first I was concerned he was having pain from crystal issues again but no its just a thing he does now.

My younger kitty does the dash around like a maniac thing after he goes. Even when he does his business outside (yes I clean up after him). More specifically after a #2.

I can tell exactly whose urine clumps are whose when I empty litterboxes. My tuxedo girl is ridiculously precise and consistent. Perfect near spheroid clumps in the same spots in the same box. Every time. My younger male rarely covers his over (and tends to aim a little high sometimes). It’s odd that he doesn’t have a habit of covering over when he uses the box because everytime he pees outside he tries to bury it with leaves or grass.
He’s a weird cat.

And I can’t believe I just wrote a half an essay on kitty toilet etiquette. On the Internet.

I had to get scoopable litter for this kitty because he has a habit of doing his business, then scratching the top edge of the litter box instead of the contents of the litter box (which might actually bury something).

Cats do lots of things that make our minds wonder, “what the heck are they thinking!?” One of these crazy cat behaviors is most certainly the zoomies! Have you ever wondered why cats suddenly get cuckoo brains on you and scurry across the room, running around as if they’ve totally lost their minds? Well, we can explain to you why your cat gets the zoomies—especially after they’ve used the litter box. Just keep reading, cat lover!

Why do cats run around after they poop

Why does my cat get the zoomies?

Dogs certainly do this silly behavior, too, but for them it’s generally following a bath. Also known as the cat crazies, this can happen after your cat goes #2 or simply just because. When it’s simply just because, and usually when you’re not expecting it, your cat may choose to release their pent up energy by way of going bananas all over your house.

If you’ve returned home after a long outing, your cat can get the zoomies because they are naturally excited that you’re home and this has triggered their feline minds that it’s time to party! Most of all, your cat doesn’t care if you’re exhausted, they get the cat zoomies on their watch and you just better hope all the breakables are out of the way.

We can’t talk about cat zoomies without a good cat zoomie video!

Something to keep in mind, though, if your cat is yowling or angry when they are experiencing cat zoomies, this could be a cause of concern. If your cat is in pain, they act this way as a way to express their frustration.

Why does my cat get the zoomies after he uses the litter box?

Many cat owners can certainly relate to this. And the cleanup is never fun when there’s litter sprinkled all around the litter box and the floor. For cats, there are a few highly hypothesized reasons as to why they get the zoomies after they’ve made a stink in their bathroom box.

Why do cats run around after they poop

Let’s break them down for you so you can better understand the feline mind…

That smells dreadful, goodbye!

When it’s after they’ve had a moment in their litter box, it’s a chemical reaction that makes them excited for having just released a bowel movement. (That brain gut connection is a very real thing, even for cats!) But additionally, your cat is literally zooming away from that nasty poop they don’t want to be anywhere near. Cats are the epitome of cleanliness, they aren’t trying to hangout next to that stinky thing!

Why do cats run around after they poop

Although domesticated, your cat is still wild at heart

Not to get graphic, but for your cat, when they are going #2, this is when they are most vulnerable as their minds are focused strictly on the task at hand. Once they’ve done their thing, their instinctual fight or flight adrenal response may kick in and flip them into survival mode. Although it’s silly because clearly our cats are pampered and not at risk in our own homes, this response is hardwired into their DNA. Hence, the zoomies after pooping reaction! Poop and run, folks, poop and run.

Why do cats run around after they poop

I feel good now!

Okay, again, keeping details vague here. But I think it goes without saying that there is an immediate feeling of relief once we’ve used the restroom to rid our bodies of you-know-what.

Although as humans we simply keep it to ourselves our inner elation, your cat is a cat and they will often express their feelings of contentment for all to see. Both humans and cats have a vagus nerve running from their brain stem. And this is what triggers this “poo-phoria” response and sends them zooming across your living room post-poop.

Why do cats run around after they poop

Interesting zoomies poop factoid: many have hypothesized that kittens often display this behavior as a way of showing independence from their mothers. As if to say, “I’m a big kitten now, Mommy! I can do this on my own!” When they were itty bitty, they needed their mothers to spot clean them afterwards. Now, they’re big kittens now and don’t need mommy babying them post-poop any longer.

This reason is less likely, but it can be a clear indication that something is wrong with kitty. If your cat is associating the litter box with pain, it’s very well possible that they will zoom away from it immediately after using it. In this circumstance, a cat will often cry out or meow loudly as a way to express their frustration and pain. Remember, zoomies after pooping are completely harmless. But if your cat is crying out too and appears distressed, take notice. This is a clear sign that they need you to take them to the vet to assess their situation pronto.

Did you learn anything new about our feline friends? Share this with other cat lovers so that they can learn something, too!

Updated on Apr 23, 2022

Why do cats run around after they poop

While coprophagia (eating either one’s own or someone else’s feces) is generally more associated with dogs than cats, cats have been known to eat their own poop from time to time. However, the reasons why cats engage in coprophagia are vastly different. So, here’s why you might see your cat turning their litter box into an extra meal.

What Is Coprophagia?

Coprophagia is relatively common in the animal kingdom, and many creatures, from dung beetles to rabbits and, yes, even cats, will engage in this behavior on occasion.

The reason behind the behavior varies from animal to animal. However, it can largely be determined by whether an animal is engaged in autocoprophagia (eating one’s own feces) or allocoprophagia (eating someone else’s feces.)

Autocoprophagic animals usually do so for nutritional reasons. In the case of rabbits, many necessary nutrients in their food are not adequately broken down and absorbed the first time their food moves through the digestive tract.

By consuming food that has been partially digested, they’re able to run the nutrients through their digestive tract a second time. Since the food has been partially digested, it’s easier for the body to break it down into its nutritional components, and they get the full nutrition out of their food.

In the case of allocoprophagic animals like dung beetles, feces represent a core food source for them, as gross as that may sound. While this behavior might be objectionable to us, dung beetles see feces as a delicacy, and they’re biologically composed to consume and process feces for nutrition.

Why do cats run around after they poop

Why Do Cats Engage in Coprophagia?

Coprophagia in cats is uncommon, but when it occurs, they generally engage in autocoprophagia. For cats, this behavior has to do with cleanliness. It might sound counterintuitive, but cats can’t clean their space with brooms and Lysol wipes the way we do.

It’s important to remember that few animals are strictly predators or prey. Most animals lie somewhere in the middle of the food chain; they’ll hunt the animals below them and be hunted by those above them.

Leaving feces about makes it easy for an animal to become the victim of a predator. It leaves a clear scent trail that a predator can follow to find a cat’s territory. So naturally, cleaning up after themselves makes it harder for predators to find them, and the only way cats know how to clean up their dung is by eating it.

Nursing queens, in particular, have been known to eat both their feces and the feces of their kittens to mask the scent of their litter and protect the kittens from predators.

However, most indoor cats do not need to eat their feces. This is because their humans are cleaning up after them. They’re also not particularly susceptible to predators indoors. For an indoor cat to eat their feces, most vets would suggest an evaluation to ensure that your cat isn’t suffering from an illness or deficiency causing the behavior.

Why do cats run around after they poop

Image Credit: Ninotee, Shutterstock

While a stray or feral cat may have gotten in the habit of eating their feces while they lived outdoors, a successful transition to indoor living should end this behavior.

Feral cats are generally trapped, neutered, and returned to the wild because their transitions to living as companion animals are usually unsuccessful. Still, a stray who has experience with humans should stop eating their feces once they’ve realized that they are no longer in danger of predation.

If a cat has been living indoors all their life, there is no reason they should be eating their feces. In this case, the behavior would be considered maladaptive. Here are some common causes of maladaptive coprophagia in cats.

Causes of Maladaptive Coprophagia in Cats

1. Malabsorption Syndrome

If a cat has a malabsorption syndrome or lacks digestive enzymes, and does not above nutrition from their food, they may begin eating their feces to pass their food through their digestive tract multiple times. Essentially, they’re feeling ravenous and are trying to get some nutrition.

Why do cats run around after they poop

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2. Parasite Infestation

Some cats eat their excrement when they’ve become infested with gastrointestinal parasites. If your cat has recently begun eating their excrement, it’s good to have their stool tested for parasites to ensure that they are parasite-free.

Why do cats run around after they poop

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3. Dietary Deficiency

Cats may also begin eating their excrement if they suffer from a severe dietary deficiency. Cats fed low-quality food, don’t get enough water, or are otherwise looking to compensate for a dietary deficiency, may look to their litter box for salvation.

Why do cats run around after they poop

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4. Behavioral Problems

Eating feces is common amongst cats who are frightened or disturbed. This behavior is most common in boarding kennels, where your cat is in an unfamiliar place surrounded by unfamiliar animals who may or may not be predators.

To feel safer, your cat may begin cleaning up after themselves in order to hide their scent.

Additionally, studies show that cats who are punished for inappropriate or improper elimination habits may develop a negative association with the action of pooping and begin eating their excrement to hide the evidence of their eliminations.

Coprophagia can be learned as well. For example, if a young cat is raised around older cats who eat their excrement, they may pick up this behavior from their seniors.

Why do cats run around after they poop

Image Credit: AjayTvm, Shutterstock

Should I Take My Cat to the Vet If They’re Eating Their Own Poop?

Yes. While there are some benign causes of coprophagia, this behavior is very uncommon in cats, especially indoor companion cats. Having your cat evaluated for medical issues or deficiencies can help you start the path to getting your cat’s mouth out of their litter box.

Why do cats run around after they poop

Image Credit: Irina Vasilevskaia, Shutterstock

Final Thoughts

Coprophagia might be revolting to humans, but it’s a relatively common behavior in the animal kingdom. Still, companion cats don’t usually eat their excrement. So, it’s best to get your cat checked out by a veterinarian if they’ve started doing so.

Featured Image Credit: Mikhail Olykainen, Shutterstock

Why do cats run around after they poop

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Why do cats run around after they poop

Dogs have several behaviors that would seem odd if a human were to do them but are completely normal in the canine world. Kicking the hind legs after pooping is one of these behaviors that may appear to have no purpose, but, in reality, there are reasons why your dog may be doing it.

Marking Territory

Dogs have scent glands in the bottom of their feet that they use to mark their territory. Domesticated dogs don’t necessarily need these glands, but their ancestors used them to claim their domain.

The scent glands contain invisible scent-marking chemicals called pheromones and these chemicals are a dog’s calling card or identifier. Urine and anal gland secretions also contain pheromones and may be used to mark territory. Other dogs will smell the pheromones after a dog kicks, even though humans cannot, and will be able to tell that the poop belongs to someone else.

It could be used as a warning signal for territorial dogs or as a sign that a dog is ready to mate. You may even notice your dog kicking like this after sniffing another dog’s poop or urine. This may be in an effort to cover the other dog’s scents with their own pheromones.

This kicking behavior is a natural form of communication for dogs, even if there is no longer a need for it as a domesticated canine, and it isn’t something to be concerned about.

Dogs that tend to be more dominant, however, are often the ones that do the most aggressive kicking after pooping. If you live in a multi-dog household, you may notice that some of your dogs hardly kick while others put on quite a display.

Burying or Spreading Waste

Another reason why your dog may be kicking its feet after pooping is because it could be trying to bury its waste. This behavior is more commonly associated with cats, but dogs may try and bury their waste too.

The act of burying waste isn’t done because a dog is trying to hide something, though, but rather to spread the scent of their poop further. Kicking up dirt and covering it brings more attention to the feces so it is another way a dog marks its territory after pooping.

On a rare occasion, a dog may actually try to bury its feces if it feels threatened and is trying to hide its presence, but this is more common in wild canines.

Wiping Paws

Some dogs do not enjoy having dirty paws, so if they get something on them after pooping they may be kicking in an attempt to wipe their paws off. They don’t like the feeling of the dirt or debris on their paws and are simply trying to flick it off, much like they would rub their face on the ground if they feel as though something is on it.

Although kicking can be a sign of discomfort or an attempt to get something off paws, when this is done only after the act of pooping, it is more likely to be associated with one of the other two reasons above.

Can You Stop Your Dog From Kicking After They Poop?

While your dog may mean well when it kicks after pooping, many dog owners don’t enjoy the damage it causes to their landscaping. However, where possible, the kicking behavior your dog exhibits should not be discouraged since it is natural and instinctive.

There are some management techniques you can apply, however, to limit the damage it may be causing to your grass.

Walking your dog on a leash off of your property is the best way to protect your landscaping. This avoidance method will still allow your dog to kick after pooping, but since it will be down the street or in a public dog walking area, you won’t be upset if the grass gets ruined.

Another option is to train them or limit them to pooping in a specific area like a dog run. Designate an area for your dog to go potty and instead of using nice grass, put down river rocks, pebbles, or mulch so your dog won’t do any damage. This way your dog can do what it does best and you don’t need to worry about it.

Attempting to stop this behavior by yelling at your dog after pooping could result in your dog becoming fearful of pooping around you and it can damage the bond of trust between you. It may start pooping in the house in an attempt to do it in secret or develop diarrhea due to the stress of being yelled at.