- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Has your cat ever jetted out of the litter box faster than Usain Bolt pushes off starting blocks? And then raced in circles around your home at lightning speeds?
Cats are great at entertaining us with their strange behaviors. We scratch our heads and ask, “What in the world… Why?”
There are many reasons and theories about why cats defecate and dash.
My personal philosophy is that they’re trying to escape the stench as quickly as they possibly can. There’s really no contesting it. Cat poo is not a pleasant experience for our olfactory nerves.
Let’s explore some possible causes for cat zoomies post pooping.
1. Unclean Litter Box
Maybe your cat is a clean freak. Just like some people prefer to flush before they go so they can release in a clean bowl, cathealth.com suggests that cats like a clean space for pooping.
Darting out of the litter box after going could be their way of escaping the uncleanliness at warp speed.
It’s like when the only option at an outdoor event is a porta-potty. You touch nothing, go quickly, and escape as fast as you can.
2. Medical Issue
If your cat suddenly starts doing the zoomies after visiting the litter box and never did before, there may be an underlying medical problem to address.
If your cat starts popping out and zooming around after using the litter box, it’s a good idea to check the box for anything unusual like:
- Abnormally hard stool
- Blood in stool or urine
Give your veterinarian a call If you notice something doesn’t look quite right.
3. Survival Instincts
One theory suggests that cats dart and dash away from their dung as a primal instinct to avoid predators. The idea is that cats in the wild bury their poop to prevent predators from tracking down their scent.
They race away for two reasons.
The first reason is to distance themselves from the evidence.
The second reason is to escape the scent and throw predators off the trail.
This is only a theory. The fact is that some cats get the zoomies after relieving themselves in their litter box and some cats don’t.
Dr. Anish Sheth, a gastroenterologist and co-author of What’s Your Poo Telling You?, coined the term. It captures the feeling of euphoria after passing a large stool.
That euphoric feeling is thanks to the vagus nerve, which runs from our brainstems to our colon.
Just like humans, cats have a vagus nerve.
Dr. Sheth explains, “The distension of the rectum that comes with the passing of a large mass of stool causes the vagus nerve to fire. The net effect of this is a drop in your heart rate and blood pressure, which in turn decreases blood flow to the brain. When mild, the light-headedness can lead to a sense of sublime relation—the high.”
Thus, cat zoomies after pooping.
The Mystery of Kitties and Their Litter
We may never know with 100% confidence the exact reason for our cats going wild with zoomies after a visit to their litter box. It’s fun to think about, though.
There is one thing we do know for sure. When our cats engage in this highly entertaining behavior, they are both intriguing and hilarious.