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Home > Cats > Do Cats like Privacy When They Poop? Deciphering Your Cat’s Behavior

Do Cats like Privacy When They Poop? Deciphering Your Cat’s Behavior

Two cats using a self cleaning litter box

No, you’re not weird for wondering—every cat parent has probably wondered at some point if their cat feels self-conscious when doing the deed or if they are…exhibitionists? I mean, certainly, some readers have had a cat keep them company while they are trying to relieve themselves—it makes you wonder!

Do they want you to return the favor? How do they get in there, anyway? There are so many questions, but we only have time for the critical ones. In this article, we answer a very important question—because somebody must do the heavy lifting in this world. In short, yes, keep reading as we explain further.

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Do Cats Need Privacy When Pooping?

cat sniffing on the litter box
Image Credit: cheyennezj, Shutterstock

While we can’t resist poking fun, it’s actually very important to your cat’s health that they are comfortable with using their litter box. All bathroom humor aside, there is a serious element to this—because if a cat is uncomfortable with using their litter box, they won’t use it. If you’re lucky they will find somewhere else, like your laundry basket or bed. Yes, you read that correctly, you would be lucky. That’s because if a cat doesn’t poop for too long, it could be in serious trouble.

Cats need to have a bowel movement at a bare minimum once every day. That’s because they are prone to a condition called feline megacolon which can be caused by constipation, whether that is due to a GI issue or discomfort with their litter box doesn’t matter. The effect is the same. Feline megacolon is a chronic condition that can be fatal, and it doesn’t take as long to develop as you may think.

How Long Can a Cat Go Without Pooping?

If your cat goes longer than 48 hours without having a bowel movement, then it’s time to go to the vet. Unfortunately, our precious little pals don’t take very long to develop serious problems if they aren’t able to poop. If it hasn’t reached the 48-hour mark, but you suspect your cat isn’t using its box, then there are a couple of things you can try.

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What to Do if Your Cat Isn’t Pooping

Cat drinking from ceramic bowl
Image Credit: Pattysan, Shutterstock

Again, this is only to be attempted if you haven’t reached the 48-hour mark yet. Once it’s been 2 days or 48 hours, you must take your cat to the vet, their life likely depends on it.

  1. More Water – A cat who hasn’t drunk enough water can be prone to constipation. If they don’t feel like drinking, you obviously can’t force them, however, if they usually eat dry food, you can try giving them wet food. Cats aren’t the biggest water-gulpers—they get much of their H20 from the meat they evolved to eat, so switching from kibble to wet can be a way to sneak some water into their systems. Offering your cat a cat-safe bone broth, cooked without salt or spices and investing in a water fountain,  are two great ways to improve your cat’s water intake.
  2. Minimize Stress – Cats are quite particular. They have routines, they have spots, and they like their world to be a certain way. This includes their litter box. We’re going to go a little more in-depth about how to make their litter box more comfortable, but aside from that, small disruptions in their lives can cause stress. Pay attention to your cat’s needs and make sure you’re respecting their life and routine. Cats always get coined ‘little people’ and it’s almost literally true. They don’t submit like a dog; they need to be treated according to their terms.
  3. Fiber, and ProBiotics – This might be the first choice for some, but you should still pay attention to the other needs of your cat. That said, probiotic and fiber supplements for cats can be useful tools.

You’re likely wondering what you can do to avoid all of this. Let’s talk about how to make your cat’s space comfortable and avoid some of the hassle and heartache that comes with treating a constipated cat.

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How to Make Your Cat’s Litter Box More Comfortable

Privacy

This does, of course, bring us back around to our first point—Your cat needs some privacy. Set up the litter box somewhere where they won’t feel on display. The basement is a good spot, some people like to use a spare room, closet, or bathroom.

Come on, you probably wouldn’t want to take a poop in front of a bunch of people? This has got us wondering about cats who like to keep their owners’ company in the bathroom again—maybe they’re just trying to make a point! Regardless, give them their space. There are a few other things that you can do, however, to help make the litter box more comfortable.


Litter

Try using a soft litter or substrate. There are many products on the market that don’t use silica dust, which can irritate your cat’s sensitive eyes, nose, and ears. Some of these use walnut shells and others use old newspapers to create pellets. They are good products, and we had some success with our cat who had developed a nasty nasal infection as a result of the dusty litter that was used previously.

cat litter box cleaning
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Hygiene

Keep it clean! Nobody likes to use a filthy bathroom, not even your cat. We’re sure you already do this, but you know—we must cover all our bases! Using an uncovered box in a private location is ideal for this for 2 reasons. Firstly, there is more room for cats to move around and do their business and secondly, it’s much easier to access and clean regularly. Scoop at least twice a day, and fully wash the box out every month.

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Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray

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Comfort

Keep at least 2–3 inches of litter in there, so there is enough for them to comfortably bury it and walk around. With any luck, making a couple of minor adjustments like this will help make your cat happy enough to poop in their box comfortably, and live a long healthy life.

corn cat litter
Image Credit: Lilia Solonari, Shutterstock

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In Summary

Do cats like privacy when they poop? Of course, they do! In fact, they need it. As loving pet parents, it is important to make sure that our little ones who trust us are comfortable in all aspects of their lives—especially the awkward and sometimes gross ones.

Our feline friends have a unique set of needs that isn’t really all that different from our own, except for how serious it can be. It’s our job to tend to those needs!

(And you thought we were joking when we said it was an important question!)

See also:


Featured Image Credit: Lightspruch, Shutterstock

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