Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > Why Do Cats Get the Zoomies After They Poop? 5 Vet-Reviewed Reasons

Why Do Cats Get the Zoomies After They Poop? 5 Vet-Reviewed Reasons

silver tabby cat inside a plastic bag playing

Vet approved

Dr. Amanda Charles Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Cat poop isn’t the classiest of subjects, but it’s something that comes with the territory when you’re a pet owner. Sometimes after pooping, they gallop out of the litter box like they’re in the cavalry, ready to begin a battle! But why do they do this odd behavior?

Let’s look at five theories why your cat might get the zoomies after they poop and whether you should be worried.

divider-cat

The 5 Reasons Cats Get The Zoomies After They Poop

1. It’s Stimulating the Nerves

Large bowel movements can stimulate the vagus nerve, a long nerve stretching from the cranium to the digestive tract. Once stimulated, it is hypothesized this nerve sends a euphoric feeling throughout the body, causing your cat to get the zoomies. Or, in this case, poophoria.

cat stretching in the wood
Image Credit By: Piqsels

2. Survival Instincts

Cats don’t linger in the same area they just eliminated. The scent of their waste attracts predators, so they like to leave the area before a confrontation goes down as soon as possible.

Cats also like to pop out of bushes and use their back legs for a nice run. It’s a nice adrenaline rush, especially after going to the bathroom.


3. It’s Relieving 

We don’t call it “relieving yourself” for no reason. Going to the bathroom alleviates a cat’s discomfort of holding in its waste, and pooping just seems to hit the spot. A quick sprint makes sense after removing all that weight from the gut.

Bengal cat running
Image Credit By: Jeannette1980, Pixabay

4. Discomfort

In some cases, pooping is painful instead of relieving for your cat. Constipation, diarrhea, severe matting, or recent surgery may cause your cat to run away from the litter box after the deed is done. It’s as if your cat is blaming the box.

You may also notice your cat pooping outside the litter box or not pooping at all, changes in their stools, or other signs of them being unwell. If this is the case, you should call your veterinarian immediately.


5. They’re Scared of the Box

Not all cats like a covered and enclosed litter tray, so it could be that your cat is afraid of the box and wants to get the heck out of Dodge. This is especially true if the box is in an obscure location with loud noises or an awkward door flap.

Scared-cat
Image Credit By: SakSa, Shutterstock

divider-cat

What if My Cat Gets the Zoomies After Peeing?

It’s unusual for a cat to get the zoomies after urinating, but it’s not impossible, especially if your cat was holding it for quite some time. A much-needed bathroom break could absolutely trigger the zoomies.

Other times, cats are just happy to be alive. If this is your cat, it’s probably a hyper cat that likes to express itself after using the litter box.

Tuxedo cat running at high speed indoors
Image Credit By: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

My Cat Cries When Peeing—Is This Normal Too?

A cat that vocalizes when it urinates may have feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). Cats are notorious for getting urinary tract problems for various reasons, and FLUTD describes a variety of conditions that affect their bladder and urethra. Several cats develop this problem without any obvious underlying cause, referred to as feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC). Other causes include urinary tract infections and bladder stones.

Urinary tract problems are treatable; however, they can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. This is especially true for male cats, as they can experience blockage in the urethra leading to a toxic build-up in the body.

Call your vet immediately if your cat is crying while they pee, having difficulty peeing or you see any blood in the urine. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Eliminating Litter Box Odors

If litter box odors are an issue for you and your cat, there are a few ways you can combat them. Thoroughly cleaning your litter box between changes is a great starting point. Adding a deodorizer to your box is another way you can neutralizer odors as they happen.

Our Favorite Products 

Incorporating Hepper's Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray and Litter Deodorizer fights even the toughest litter box smells. First, by keeping your litter box free of stuck-on messes each time you replace the litter, and second, by neutralizing odors upon contact. 

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor...
Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Cat Litter Deodorizer...
Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor...
Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Cat Litter Deodorizer...
All-natural
Eliminates odor on contact
Pet-safe
Removes stuck on smells
Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor...
Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor...
All-natural
Eliminates odor on contact
Pet-safe
Removes stuck on smells
Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Cat Litter Deodorizer...
Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Cat Litter Deodorizer...
All-natural
Eliminates odor on contact
Pet-safe
Removes stuck on smells

At Pet Keen, we've admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool company!

divider-cat

Conclusion

You can’t help but laugh after watching your cat race out of the litter box like it saw a ghost. But the reality is, the dirty deed probably felt good.

Getting the poop zoomies is part of being a feline, so allow your pet to run around like the crazy cat they are. Cats love it, and the act is equally entertaining for humans. Of course, call the vet if you suspect there’s something wrong with your cat, especially if there are sudden changes in their behavior. We certainly don’t want them feeling uncomfortable.

See also:


Featured Image Credit: Miss Zea, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets