why does my cat howl before and after using litter box?
Questions About Cats

Why Does My Cat Meow Loudly After Using the Litter Box?

Felines vocalize to announce their bowel movements when they have a health problem. If your cat meows loudly when defecating, it’s highly likely to be because the experience is uncomfortable.

Your cat finds urination and defecation painful. A cat’s bladder or bowels could be a problem due to due to a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), bladder stones, feline interstitial cystitis, or swollen anal glands. Alternatively, your cat may be announcing that he has soiled his litter, expecting you to clean it immediately. Cats don’t want to leave their scent behind due to the threat of predators.

If your cat is meowing after using the litter box, pay attention to what he’s trying to tell you. It’s your cat’s way of alerting you that he has a problem that needs your urgent care and attention.

My Cat Meows Before Pooping

Cats feel very vulnerable while eliminating. There are two reasons for this:

  1. While a cat is using the bathroom, he’s entirely stationary. This means that your cat cannot flee quickly from potential predators if he needs to do so.
  2. A cat’s waste can give off a distinct aroma. This gives away your cat’s location, which makes him feel anxious. He’s informing you of his plans so you can remove the scent straight after.

When your pet announces a litter box visit, he is saying, “watch my back.” Cats loathe feeling vulnerable, and it’s almost impossible not to feel that way while emptying the 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 him but keep your distance. If he can smell you, he’ll know that you’re nearby. This will give him 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 him feel more comfortable.

My Cat Meows While Going to the Bathroom

If your cat is vocalizing while eliminating, a medical explanation is more likely. Cats that meow, howl, or cry when using the litter tray are experiencing pain.

It’s always possible that you’re standing too close. Your pet may be asking for privacy. Likewise, he may be warning other household pets that the litter tray is occupied.

cat meows while going to the bathroom

If your cat is very young or old, he may also be confused about the litter box. Kittens sometimes struggle to understand how to eliminate, and are calling for their mother to help.

Very senior cats, meanwhile, can have feline cognitive dysfunction. This is a condition of senility, which leaves them feeling confused about how to perform basic tasks.

What’s most likely is that your cat is experiencing discomfort while eliminating. Several medical ailments cause these sort of 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 (UTI)
  • Intestinal Blockages or Bladder Stones
  • Feline Interstitial Cystitis
  • Swollen Anal Glands

Any of these conditions can be painful, and some of them can 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. The most common signs of a UTI in cats are as follows:

  • Struggling or straining to urinate
  • Constant urination in small quantities
  • Blood in the urine
  • Licking the genitals
  • Very strong-smelling urine
  • Urinating outside of the litter box

UTIs can be dangerous if left untreated, potentially leading to bladder stones or blockages.

A minor UTI is 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 be required.

The easiest way to avoid UTIs in cats is keeping his 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, he will need medical help. If your cat is vomiting, and if it smells like fecal matter, the concern is more urgent. This suggests an intestinal blockage that is leaking feces into your cat’s digestive tract.

VCA Hospitals has stated that bladder stones are often diet-related. This means that bladder stones can 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 effective 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 considered safe. Most cats make a full recovery. Surgery will not be an option for a senior cat with pre-existing health concerns.

Feline Interstitial Cystitis

The symptoms of feline cystitis are similar to a UTI. Cats 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. The problem comes from within.

Often, cystitis related to stress. However, dehydration and poor diet can 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.

According to Pet Health Network, feline cystitis will 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, then he may have inflamed or swollen anal glands. This will be visible upon inspection.

A cat with swollen anal glands will be in significant discomfort. He will scoot along the ground, and lick his 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 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 he receives enough fiber.

If your cat’s anal glands are swollen, it’ll need to be expressed. A vet can do this, or you can do it yourself following these instructions from AnimalWised.

Why does my cat meow loudly after using the litter box?

My Cat Meows After Pooping

If your cat is vocal after he’s used the litter box, he could be in pain. It’s rare for a cat with a medical ailment to eliminate silently and then express his discomfort.

What’s equally like is that your cat is informing you what he’s done. This is so that you can clean up the litter box. After your cat poops, he’ll bury his waste to hide the smell. He may also scratch the floor, which is an extension of this behavior.

As long as your cat can smell his feces, he won’t feel safe. It will likely put him off eating and drinking. You should never place food or water bowls close to your pet’s litter tray.

Change your cat’s litter once he’s eliminated, and see if he stops the behavior. Over time, your cat will learn to trust you. He’ll understand that, when asked, you’ll clean up after him.

If your cat continues to verbalize, a medical concern is more likely. 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 his waste so he cannot be located by the smell.
  • Your cat wants to spread the aroma around the house, marking his territory as he goes.
  • Your cat was in pain while defecating and associates the litter box with that discomfort. He’s keen to get as far as away as possible.
  • Your cat is in a state of euphoria after releasing his waste.

The vagus nerve connects the brain to the colon. Defecation stimulates this nerve and can cause a burst of energy and exhilaration. The Dodo explains the latter scenario in more detail.

A cat racing around the house after pooping is nothing to worry about. It’s perfectly normal feline behavior. The only exception is when he verbalizes while eliminating.