Cat Litter Box Habits: Does Your Cat Poop and Dash?


Cat litter box habits can tend to be a little unusual, especially when it comes to eliminating the good ol’ #2.

A few days ago I was doing some online reading, someone asked why her cat ran after using the litter box.

Below are some theories addressing this unusual cat behavior:

cat litter box habits

Instinctual Behavior

While dashing straight out of the litter box after completing this task seems rather bizarre, this behavior may have its origins in the cat’s innate survival instincts.

A cat’s goal is not letting any predators trace the smell back to the one responsible for it. “Get the heck out of Dodge now before anyone suspects anything!”

Relief From Digestive Discomfort

Some veterinarians suggest this “poop and bolt” behavior might be the result of discomfort from certain food allergies or infection.

Renewed Energy

Then there is the camp that believes that when a cat uses a litter box, it gives him some new energy, resulting in that one favored activity: running frantically around the house, going Mach One with his hair on fire!

Escape From Scent

If you asked a cat, however, he might tell you that he bolts out of the litter box after leaving that “dumping ground” so that he can escape any remnants of waste or that he doesn’t favor the smell of his own poop. (Face it – how long do you hang around in the bathroom after you have completed the task at hand?)

Gastroenterologist Dr. Anish Sheth, as quoted on, has offered that the act of defecating is actually quite pleasurable for cats and results in “poo-phoria.”  But sometimes, depending upon the cat, it may seem as if he has just gone crazy!

In reality, and not surprisingly, there has been little research in this area.  The good news? Your cat is regular and enjoys keeping it that way!  Your job is to just keep scooping up the litter and ensuring that your cat remains happy and healthy.

At the very least, cat litter box habits may serve as a mild form of entertainment for you!  Have you ever wondered why he follows YOU into the bathroom?  Perhaps he is doing a bit of his own research on your bathroom habits. It’s only fair!

Written by Ann Butenas

Ann Butenas

An internationally-recognized author and writer, Ann began her professional writing career at age 12 and began speaking while in college. She has been published thousands of times over the past three decades in all media forms, was former editor and publisher of KC Metro Woman magazine, and has also hosted three talk radio shows in the Kansas City area.