Felines vocalize to announce their bowel movements when they have a health problem. If your cat meows loudly when defecating, it’s likely because the experience is uncomfortable for them.
If your cat is meowing after using the litter box, pay attention to what they’re trying to tell you. It’s your cat’s way of alerting you that they have a problem that needs your urgent care.
- 1 My Cat Meows Before Pooping
- 2 My Cat Meows While Going to the Bathroom
- 3 Why Would it Hurt a Cat to Use the Litter Box?
- 4 My Cat Meows After Pooping
My Cat Meows Before Pooping
Cats feel very vulnerable while eliminating. There are two reasons for this:
- While a cat is using the bathroom, they’re entirely stationary. This means they cannot flee quickly from predators if they need to do so.
- A cat’s waste can give off a distinct aroma. This gives away your cat’s location, which makes them anxious. They’re informing you of their plans so you can remove the scent straight after.
When your pet announces a litter box visit, they are saying, “watch my back.” Cats loathe feeling vulnerable, and it’s almost impossible not to do so while emptying their bowels.
This, in turn, can be a balancing act. As much as cats feel exposed while pooping, they still want some privacy. When your cat starts to vocalize, follow them but sit back. If they can smell you, they’ll know that you’re nearby. This will give them the confidence to do what needs to be done.
You’ll still need to react afterward, though. Once your cat has finished eliminating, get your scoop and remove the evidence. This will make them feel more comfortable.
My Cat Meows While Going to the Bathroom
If your cat is vocalizing while eliminating, a medical explanation is more likely. A cat that meows, howls or cries in the litter tray is almost certainly in pain.
It’s always possible that you’re just too close! Your pet may be asking for a little privacy to retain their dignity. Likewise, they may be warning other household pets that the litter tray is occupied.
If your cat is very young or very old, they may also be confused about the litter box. Kittens sometimes struggle to understand how to eliminate, and they’re calling for their mother to help.
Very senior cats, meanwhile, can be subject to feline cognitive dysfunction. This is a condition of senility, which leaves them confused about basic tasks.
What’s most likely is that your cat is experiencing discomfort while eliminating. Several medical ailments cause such problems.
Why Would it Hurt a Cat to Use the Litter Box?
Many medical concerns surround a cat’s litter box habits. These include:
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Intestinal Blockages or Bladder Stones
- Feline Interstitial Cystitis
- Swollen Anal Glands
Any of these conditions can be painful, and some of them may be dangerous.
Urinary Tract Infections in Cats
Urinary tract infections are common in felines. These painful infections are a result of bacteria working their way into a cat’s bladder.
Some of the most common signs of a UTI in cats are as follows:
- Struggling or straining to urinate
- Constant urination in small, almost non-descript quantities
- Blood in the urine
- Licking at the genitals
- Very strong-smelling urine
- Urinating outside the litter box
UTIs can be dangerous if left untreated, potentially leading to bladder stones or blockages.
Thankfully, a minor UTI is comparatively simple to treat if caught early. A vet will prescribe antibiotics to clear up the problem. If your cat has developed bladder stones, it’s more problematic. Surgery may even be required.
The easiest way to avoid UTIs in cats is keeping their litter box clean. Regularly changing the litter and cleaning the tray offers less opportunity for bacteria to thrive.
Blockages in Cats
A side effect of UTIs is the formation of stones in a cat’s bladder. These cause blockages, making it difficult for a cat to eliminate. The side effects are similar to a urinary tract infection.
If a cat has bladder stones, they will need medical help. If your cat is vomiting, and if it smells like fecal matter, the concern is urgent. This suggests an intestinal blockage that is leaking feces into your cat’s digestive tract.
As VCA Hospitals explains, bladder stones are often diet-related. This means that bladder stones can also sometimes be treated through diet. The right food can dissolve bladder stones.
This can be a slow process, though. It can sometimes take as long as several weeks. This leaves a cat in discomfort for a prolonged period. The issue may become urgent in the meantime.
Surgery is a faster, and more impactful, treatment option. If possible, a vet will use a catheter to remove the obstruction. If this is not possible, a cystotomy and urolithotomy will be required.
Although no surgery is without risk, these procedures are generally considered safe. Most cats make a rapid, full recovery. Surgery will not be an option for a senior cat living with pre-existing health concerns, though.
Feline Interstitial Cystitis
The symptoms of feline cystitis are very similar to that of a UTI. Cats living with cystitis will continuously attempt to urinate, but will be unable to do so.
However, cystitis is caused by an inflammation of the bladder. This is not related to a bacterial infection. Instead, the problem comes from within.
Often, cystitis related to stress. However, dehydration and poor diet can also aggravate the problem. Remove anxiety triggers, encourage hydration, and consider a change of diet. Wet food with high water content eases bladder issues in cats.
As Pet Health Network explains, feline cystitis will typically clear itself up in around a week. This is a week of severe pain for your pet, though.
Swollen Anal Glands in Cats
If your cat verbalizes when emptying their bowels, they may have inflamed or swollen anal glands. This will be visible upon inspection.
A cat with swollen anal glands will be in a great deal of discomfort. They will scoot along the ground, and lick their rear constantly. Their anus will also smell very strongly.
Loose, watery stools cause swollen anal glands. Whenever your cat eliminates, some pressure is placed in the glands to release fluid. If your cat does not poop enough, or only releases very loose waste, this pressure will not be applied.
Swollen anal glands can be avoided by feeding your cat a high-quality, protein-rich diet. You’ll also need to ensure that they receive enough fiber, though. Any good cat food will provide your pet with everything they need.
If your cat’s anal glands are swollen, they’ll need to be expressed. A vet can do this, or you can do it yourself following these instructions from AnimalWised.
My Cat Meows After Pooping
If your cat is vocal after they’ve used the litter box, they could be in pain. It’s rare for a cat with a medical ailment to eliminate silently, then express their discomfort.
What’s equally like is that your cat is informing you what they’ve done. This is so you can clean up the litter box.
After your cat poops, they’ll bury their waste to hide the smell. They may also scratch the floor, which is an extension of this behavior.
As long as your cat can smell their feces, they won’t feel safe. It will also likely put them off eating and drinking. You should never place food or water bowls close to a litter tray.
Change your cat’s litter when they’ve eliminated, and see if it stops the behavior. Over time, your cat will learn to trust you. They’ll understand that, when asked, you’ll clean up after them.
If your cat continues to verbalize, however, a medical concern is more likely. In such instances, it’s time to have some tests run.
My Cat Meows and Runs Around the House After Pooping
Sometimes cats run around the house and go a little crazy after they empty their bowels. This is strange behavior, but there are possible explanations. These include:
- Your cat is fleeing from their waste, so they cannot be located by the smell.
- Your cat wants to spread the aroma around the house, marking territory as they go.
- Your cat was in pain while defecating, and associates the litter box with that discomfort. They’re keen to get as far as away as possible.
- Your cat is in a state of euphoria after releasing their waste.
The Dodo explains the latter scenario in a little more detail. The vagus nerve connects the brain to the colon. Defecation stimulates this nerve, and can cause a burst of energy and exhilaration.
A cat racing around the house after pooping is typically nothing to worry about. It’s normal feline behavior. The only exception is when they verbalize while eliminating.