Why Do Cats Run After Pooping?

cat running

Cats will never cease to be a source of wonder and mystery. Cat parents know this fact: you can live with a cat for ages and not really know that cat much. When it comes to cat behaviors, there are a few that baffle and confuse even the wisest cat whisperers among us. For instance, cats’ bathroom behaviors and rituals are some of the most interesting in the world of domestic pets. We all know that dogs are pretty specific when it comes to pooping.

They can go round and round the same spot 20 times before deciding to go, or they’d just move on to another spot before performing the same ritual. Cats happen to have some curious quirks about the way they use the bathroom too. You might catch your cat running ferociously right after pooping and wondered why your cat might do such a silly thing. You are not alone. Cats do have that running tendency, and there might be a few reasons that could explain why they would do such a thing. Here are a few reasons why cats run after pooping.

Survival reflex

Most domestic pet behaviors can be explained by observing the behaviors of their counterparts in the wild. As such, cat running after pooping might be the result of a survival tactic that wild cats perform on a daily basis. In the wild, cats normally bury their own poop in order to mask the scent and prevent predators from hunting them. Wild cats will quickly flee the area where they defecated in order to get away from a potential run-in with a predator. Domestic cats that do the running behavior at home could very well just be exhibiting those latent behaviors that lay dormant in their genes.


True cat parents know that cats are just as attention-seeking as other four-legged pets. They may not show it blatantly, but they do show it in their own subtle ways. Running after pooping could be your cat’s way of showing you what it has just accomplished. Pooping is, after all, an achievement in many ways. Maybe your cat did it properly in the litter box, or maybe your cat did it extra fast this time. Whatever it is that your cat may be wanting to show off to you regarding its most recent poop session could be the reason why it’s running right after.

Relief and joy

There’s a sense of relief that comes with relieving yourself of bodily wastes. That relief stems from a biological response to a physical stimulus. Cats also have a vagus nerve. Also known as the pneumogastric nerve, the vagus is the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system and connects various organs and bodily functions. The vagus is stimulated during a large bowel movement, and the result of that stimulation is a pleasant sensation that oftentimes come across as joy. In addition, pooping just naturally brings about relief. Your cat could be running around after pooping simply because it’s just happy and relieved. Any cat parent or any human really could relate for that matter.


It might be a bit of a stretch for some, but independence could be a valid reason for why cats run after pooping. This is especially relevant for kittens and younger cats that are just beginning to be on their own. Most people know that cats are fairly clean animals. They like to clean their own bodies and coat by licking, and they actually do the same after pooping. Mother cats will lick the bottoms of their litter after pooping in order to keep their little ones clean. When younger cats begin to poop and clean themselves without the help from mom, it brings about feelings of accomplishment as well. If you find your cat running after pooping, it’s probably all a show of their independence.


There is a possibility that the reason for your cat’s running behavior is a negative one. Domestic cats are oftentimes quiet and poised animals. That’s why cats zooming through after pooping could be perplexing to see. There could be an underlying medical problem that’s making your cat act the way it does. One reason why cats run around could be pain as a result of constipation or even an infection. Anyone who has ever gone through constipation could tell you how much discomfort it brings. Cats feel the same when they are constipated. If it isn’t constipation, it could be a number of inflammatory infections that’s causing your cat to act differently after pooping. Any medical problem that’s making your cat run around due to pain could potentially be more serious than what it appears. There could be a more serious physical reason that warrants a visit to the vet.

Staying clean

We’ve already said it: cats are clean creatures. They like to be clean and keep clean. Cats actually spend a lot of their time cleaning their bodies. After they poop, cats will always want to get back that feeling of total cleanliness. Running is likely a way for cats to shake any litter pieces or dirt off their bodies. It may sound too simple, but it’s also the most likely to be true. If your cat isn’t exhibiting any pain, it’s probably just trying to get clean by running around. In addition, running away from the litter box could also be an impulse to just get away from the smell of poop. Cats never sleep nor eat anywhere close to where they relieve themselves, so it makes sense that they’d run away right after pooping. It’s a good reminder for cat parents to maintain the cleanliness of the areas where your cats hang around and relieve themselves. It’d be good for the overall wellbeing and mental state of your feline friends.

You can also read:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.