Why Does My Cat Get the Zoomies After Pooping?


We all know that cats have some peculiar bathroom habits! But perhaps one of the more perplexing litter box behaviors are the post-poop zoomies. You might be familiar with the concept of "zoomies" from your cat running up and down your hallways at 4 am.

But some cats have zoomies of a different type! Some of our fluffy friends have a funny little habit of using the litter box, only to dash like mad around the house. This leads many cat owners scratching their heads and wondering, "Why does my cat do this?" 

Like most things with our favorite feline species, there are various theories and ideas behind why cats get the sudden urge to bolt around the house after using the litter box. 

Some animal behaviorists link this post-litter box sprint to a cat's innate survival instinct, noting that a cat might fear that a predator could track them based on the smell of their waste. This instinct often explains why cats bury their waste in the litter box. The sprint might be a way to get away from the location as quickly as possible to further avoid predator detection. 

Others speculate that, as kittens, cats are used to having their rear ends cleaned by their mothers. As they reach adulthood and start using the litter box, they don't need their moms anymore - so when they dash away from the litterbox, they're showing off their independence by dashing away. 

Interestingly enough, another theory shows that cats might have more in common with us humans than we thought! Both humans and cats have a vagus nerve running from their brain stem. In both species, this nerve can be stimulated by defecation, leading to what some have called "poo-phoria", a pleasurable sensation which can range from feelings of exhilaration to elation. So when a cat makes a dash for it, they might be experiencing their own form of "poo-phoria" and want to exert the sudden rush of energy and excitement. 

Others still speculate that a cat that is experiencing intestinal distress or difficulties going to the bathroom might sprint out of the litter box to try and get away from the source of distress as quickly as possible. If you observe your cat straining or struggling to go to the bathroom then suddenly darting away, it might be time for a vet checkup. 

Of course, the source of these post-poop crazies could be as simple as a dingleberry getting left behind. Some cats run around after using the box to try and shake off any excess waste that might cling to their furry little behinds.

Does your cat ever go crazy after using the litter box? Let us know in the comments! 


  • Shurudo

    My tabbies get zoomies, especial my 12 yr old female. She announces she’s had a poop, then zooms down the hallway and announces again on the otherside of the house, zooms back down the hallway, back to her afternoon nap place. The boy, he announces a few times and gallops his 19lb beautiful self down the hallway til he finds his toy. They are both in good health.

  • Roseanna Scotti

    Yes my cat runs crazy out of the litter box all over the place every time he uses it to go number two it makes me nuts I mean I think it’s cute but I just want to make sure he’s all right which he seems quite a right I read the article and it sounds good

  • MsAlyKat

    My boy Red (October 26, 2005-June 24, 2021) would yowl after he pooped and after that, it was off to the races! First, he would freeze, fix his eyes upward, and then he would run up and down the hallway. He was over 20lbs and sounded like a galloping horse.😹😹 Boy do I miss my guy. 😿

  • Peppy Le Peu

    All of my tabbies do the “poop-zoomies.” Sometimes they get riled up before the main event and start announcing their impending litter box deposit with a few laps back and forth from the litter box to me loudly meowing as if to exclaim: “It’s coming! It’s coming! It’s almost here!” Then run back and kicks about the pellets for a minute or two trying to make that perfect hole before finally assuming the position and dropping his cargo.
    After the main event, usually around 4:15AM, it’s chaos and mayhem for about a 1 or 2 minutes. Anything not glued to floor or weighing more than 12 pounds gets tossed about: carpets crumpled, shoes tossed, plants knocked over, etc; a form of cat parkour takes place with walls climbed, and then used to launch onto their kitty condos, counter tops, book shelves, dressers, beds, my stomach, or anything that they “fly” by and decide to land on.
    Each time I’m afraid of what awaits me in that box because my boys are healthy poopers and wow! let’s just say I’m impressed each time.

  • Tiffany

    Each of our cats zoom around like absolute nuts after pooping. They will tear around the living room and up and down the hallway, skidding on our timber floors. It is pretty hysterical, but funnier still is that they will all join in when one of them is “celebrating” using the litter box. Why all the others get the zoomies is beyond me. Must look like fun lol.

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