Why Does My Cat Get “The Zoomies” After Pooping?

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on October 23, 2017

Have you ever wondered why your cat turns into an Olympic sprinter after using the litter box? You’re not alone. Many cats get “the zoomies” after pooping, and while scientists have many theories, there is no hard science yet as to what makes cats feel the need to run after making a deposit in the litter box. Here are some of the leading theories behind this crazy behavior.

#1 – It’s a survival instinct

It’s thought that cats in the wild might want to get as far away from their poop as fast as possible so that a predator can’t trace the poop back to its source.

#2 – They might be in pain

It’s possible that your cat could have an inflamed colon, an anal fissure, or another medical condition that actually makes it painful to poop. If your cat screeches after pooping or his poop zoomies are a new behavior, you might want to get him checked out by a vet to rule out a medical issue.

#3 – They’re flaunting their independence

Kittens have their bums cleaned by their mums, so as an adult, maybe their post-poop zoomies are a way to celebrate the fact that they don’t need their mother to clean up after them.

#4 – Pooping feels good

Like humans, cats have a vagus nerve that runs from their brain stem. Pooping can stimulate the nerve, leading to feelings of “poo-phoria” or “post-poop elation.” So, cats may be running to burn off the extra energy received from stimulating the vagus nerve.

(H/T: Mental Floss, The Dodo)

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